Mt Mayon, One Of The Most Dangerous Volcanoes In The World, Above Rice Paddys., Albay, Philippines

Philippine Folk Tales Compiled and Annotated by Mabel Cook Cole

Dawn Sky Over Taal Lake, Home Of Taal Volcano., Lake Taal, Batangas, Philippines

Philippine Folk Tales
by Mabel Cook Cole

Wild Tribes of Mindanao

Philippine Folk Tales Table of Contents

SurLaLune Fairy Tales Main Page

Bulanawan and Aguio
(Bukidnon / Mindanao)

LANGGONA and his wife had twin boys named Bulanawan and Aguio. One day, when they were about two years old, the mother took Bulanawan to the field with her when she went to pick cotton. She spread the fiber she had gathered the day before on the ground to dry near the child, and while she was getting more a great wind suddenly arose which wound the cotton around the baby and carried him away. Far away to a distant land the wind took Bulanawan, and in that place he grew up. When he was a man, he became a great warrior. [121]

One day while Bulanawan and his wife were walking along the seashore, they sat down to rest on a large, flat rock, and Bulanawan fell asleep. Now Aguio, the twin brother of Bulanawan, had become a great warrior also, and he went on a journey to this distant land, not knowing that his brother was there. It happened that he was walking along the seashore in his war-dress [122] on this same day, and when he saw the woman sitting on the large, flat rock, he thought her very beautiful, and he determined to steal her.

As he drew near he asked her to give him some of her husband's betel-nut to chew, and when she refused he went forward to fight her husband, not knowing they were brothers. As soon as his wife awakened him Bulanawan sprang up, seized her, put her in the cuff of his sleeve, [123] and came forth ready to fight. Aguio grew very angry at this, and they fought until their weapons were broken, and the earth trembled.

Now the two brothers of the rivals felt the earth tremble although they were far away, and each feared that his brother was in trouble. One was in the mountains and he started at once for the sea; the other was in a far land, but he set out in a boat for the scene of the trouble.

They arrived at the same time at the place of battle, and they immediately joined in it. Then the trembling of the earth increased so much that Langgona, the father of Aguio and Bulanawan, sought out the spot and tried to make peace. But he only seemed to make matters worse, and they all began fighting him. So great did the disturbance become that the earth was in danger of falling to pieces.

Then it was that the father of Langgona came and settled the trouble, and when all were at peace again they discovered that Aguio and Bulanawan were brothers and the grandsons of the peacemaker.

Cole, Mabel Cook. Philippine Folk Tales. London: Curtis Brown, 1916. Buy the book in paperback.


[121] This is one of a series of tales dealing with mythical heroes of former times whose acts of prowess are still recounted by Bukidnon warriors.
Return to place in story.

[122] A heavy padded hemp coat with a kilt which is supposed to turn spears. Over the shoulder is worn a sash in which are a few peculiar stones and charms which are believed to protect its wearer. Warriors who have taken thirty human lives are permitted to wear a peculiar crown-shaped headdress with upstanding points.
Return to place in story.

[123] See note 1, p. 23. (Referenced note states: "This peculiar idea, which frequently appears in Tinguian tales, is also found in Javanese literature. See Bezemer, Volksdichtung aus Indonesien, p. 47 (Haag, 1904).")
Return to place in story.

Available from

Philippine Folk Tales Compiled and Annotated by Mabel Cook Cole

Filipino Children's Favorite Stories by Liana Elena Romulo, Joanne de Leon

Abadeha: The Philippine Cinderella by Myrna J. De La Paz

Rockabye Crocodile: A Folktale from the Philippines by Jose Aruego

The Turtle and the Monkey (Philippine Tale) by Joanna C. Galdone, Paul Galdone

 Favorite Folktales from Around the World by Jane Yolen


©Heidi Anne Heiner, SurLaLune Fairy Tales
Page last updated June 1, 2005 Logo