Filipino Mythology

Sunday, August 19, 2007


In the very beginning, there lived a being so large that he could not be compared with any known thing. His name was Melu, and when he sat in the clouds, which were his home, he occupied all the space above. His teeth were pure gold, and because he was very cleanly and continually rubbed himself with his hands, his skin became pure white. The dead skin which he rubbed off his body was placed on one side in a pile. By and by this pile became so large that he was annoyed and set himself to consider what he could do with it.

Finally, Melu decided to make the earth; so he worked very hard in putting the dead skin into shape. When it was finished, he was so pleased with it that he determined to make two beings like himself, though smaller, to live on it.

Taking the remnants of the material left after making the earth, he fashioned two men. But, just as they were all finished, except their noses, Tau Tana from below the earth appeared and wanted to help him.

Melu did not wish any assistance, and a great argument ensued. Tau Tana finally won his point and made the noses which he placed on the people upside down. When all was finished, Melu and Tau Tana whipped the forms until they moved. Then Melu wen to his home above the clouds and Tau Tana returned to his place below the earth.

All went well until one day a great rain came. All the people on earth nearly drowned from the water which ran off their heads into their noses. Melu, from his place on the clouds, saw their danger and he came quickly to earth and saved their lives by turning their noses the other side up.

The people were very grateful to him and promised to do anything he should ask of him. Before he left for the sky, they told him that they were very unhappy living on the great earth all alone. So, he told them to save all the hair from their heads and the dry skin from their bodies and the next time he came he would make them some companions. And in this way, there came to be a great many people on the earth.

Source: The Soul Book. Francisco R. Demetrio, Gilda Cordero-Fernando and Fernando N. Zilacita.

Ang mapanumpa at mainggiting diyos The vindictive and jealous god

From the beginning, Tasu Weh has always been jealous of Fiu Weh.
Once upon a time, when the heavens still hung low, there was plenty of food to eat. Fiu Weh didn't have a hard time looking for something to eat.

One day, he laid out his rice to dry in the heat of the sun. Afterwards, he called the birds to him and he asked for some of their eggs. The birds landed near the rice and gave Fiu Weh their eggs in thanks. Fiu Weh thanked the birds, and feasted on the eggs.

There was also this other day, when Fiu Weh craved the heart of the wild boar. He called the Wild-boars of the forest and asked them for a heart. Because he was kind and good, the boars gave him what he wanted. Happily, Fiu Weh thanked the boars and feasted.

When Tasu Weh learned of this, he became very jealous of Fiu Weh. He approached Fiu Weh and asked him how was he able to get food so quickly, for he was starving. Because Fiu Weh cannot lie and was inherently good anyway, he told Tasu Weh the truth.

Tasu Weh did as he was bid by Fiu Weh. He laid out rice for the birds and asked for eggs. The birds landed on the rice, but refused to give their eggs to Tasu Weh, for they knew what he was really like. This angered Tasu Weh, and he cursed them, saying "From now on, you shall never be close to man. You will only be able to get close to them only if they trap you. That is my curse upon you and all your kind!"

Tasu Weh, still hungry, decided to call the Wild Boars. "I wish a boar heart," he shouted to them. The boars approachd, and then Tasu Weh killed one of them and it cried in pain. The boars got scared and scattered. Tasu Weh flared!!! He was so angry! 'Accursed boars! I curse you like I did the birds! You would never be close to man, and you will only be close to you when they catch and kill you. Remember that!" he shouted.

From then on, the boars and the birds aren't easily caught, they need to be hunted, and then killed.


The Benevolent Spirits


The Creator and ancestor of men. The highest in the order of spirit-beings. He lived in the Sky World and did not meddle in the worldly affairs of men. He is the most powerful of all spirit-beings and his assistance was sought in times of calamities and at very special occasions by mortals. They prayed and gave offerings to him.

DIWATA (Duwata, Dwata, Duata, Adwata)

According to Bilaan myths, Mele with Diwata and with Fiuweigh and Saweigh, were the first beings in the beginning of the world. They made the world and men by joint efforts. There were also two different other stories told by famous anthropologies, Cole and Genotiva. According to Cole, Diwata is the wife of Mele and of equal strength with him. But, according to Genotiva, Diwata is Mele's younger brother and of not equal strength with Mele.


A harmless spirit-being because they made friends with the people. They had the ability to forewarn people of dangers and to foretell possible luck in hunting, any event or activity that will be undertaken by any member of the community. The Malevolent Spirits Magical incantations and offerings were employed to ward off their evil powers.


They are the souls of bad men eaten by a soul-eating-demon who sleeps in the underworld. He causes earthquakes when he moves in his sleep.

SILING/BLANGA/MAGUT-AYEM Another class of demons, old and most feared because they feed on human flesh.


A mischievous spirit that caused a lot of embarassment to his victims especially among women. He also caused harm to people who angered him.


Spirit that scares and frightens people by transforming into frightful-looking animals. MALALAGUY, a Bilaan who was a vagabond and a good-for-nothing individual was likened to this spirit.


This is a class of malicious spirits. They fedd on the souls of people and caused sickness to those whose souls they wanted to eat. Source: The Soul Book. Francisco R. Demetrio, Gilda Cordero-Fernando and Fernando N. Zilacita.


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