Sep 4, 2009

The Legend of Hari sa Bukid

(Southern Luzon)

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Many years ago, in the high mountains of Southern Luzon, there was a beautiful place where the people were happy. They produced much tobacco. The people were governed by a certain king named Hari sa Bukid, who was very good. He had a very wide plantation in their domain, the mountain that was very beautiful. His people were happy.

One day he called all his men and said that he was going to a far-away land to visit his friends, who were kings. He bade them to be industrious and to continue planting. He told them to be diligent and to the slopes of the mountains with tobacco, if he was delayed in his return journey.

During his first ten years, the people of Hari sa Bukid faithfully fulfilled their vow to the king and the slopes of the mountains were virtually flower gardens full of beautifully cultivated tobacco plants. The whole tribe of Hari sa Bukid were happy and prosperous. Their tobacco trade was so large that even the people of the nearby lands flocked to barter their goods with them. All were happy and prosperous. Everyone tended his share of the land carefully. More and more tobacco was produced. The fame of the people in raising tobacco in Hari sa Bukid’s tribe became well-known.

Then they started to abandon the care and the cultivation of the field. Their harvests diminished greatly and their business with other people was discredited because of the small quantity that they could raise. Almont of the friends were abandoned.

When they were already in want because of lack of goods and other things that they needed in their livelihood, they felt a strong earthquake that shook the foundation of the earth and the volcano started throwing out fire and smoke. They were frightened and ran in all directions towards the sea.

To their astonishment Hari sa Bukid appeared in a terrible rage. Calling all his men together, he rebuked them for their disobedience to his order and advice. He scolded them severely for their improper and unbecoming conduct, ordering them in a thundering voice to answer him. All his men were speechless. They knew they were guilty of the serious crimes of disobedience and laziness. Upon seeing the guilt of his people, he punished them by gathering the scanty produce of tobacco in the fields and carried it to the top of the mountain. With a terrific blow of his fist, he bore a hole on top of the mountain and carried all the tobacco with him down to the center of the earth. He smokes in there when he is in good mood. Thus when we see the volcano smoking and sending out fire, it is Hari sa Bukid smoking his tobacco.

Unless his people will come again and show their industry and work hard, Hari sa Bukid will never return; the tobacco which he is still smoking in the center of the earth will continue.

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