Sep 4, 2009

Si Malakas at si Maganda

Retold by: Teofilo del Castillo

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A long time ago, there was no land. There were only the sea and the sky. A bird was them flying in the sky. Soon she grew tired and wanted to rest. But she could not. As she was smart, she made the sea throw rocks up at the sky. And the sky turned very dark and poured down water. That was how the island came about. Now the waves break on the shore and can never rise as high as the sky again.

Horrified by the unusual downpour of rain, the bird flew away as fast as she could. She saw the land just created. And on that land, she could see tropical trees, throwing up their naked shoulders. These green things were merely bamboos.

As the bird was flying all the time, she became thirsty. But she could not quench her thirst with the salty sea water. She, therefore, looked for rivulets. Unfortunately, there was none. Realizing that some water was stored in the bamboo joints, she alighted, and started to peck on the bamboo clumps.

“Peck harder, peck harder,” a weak voice cried, the moment her bill struck the bamboo. The bird was extremely frightened, and was about to fly away. But like a curious woman, she restrained herself. She wanted to know that voice really was. Gathering her courage, she pecked, pecked, and pecked.

“Peck harder, peck harder,” the weak voice complained again. The bird became he more curious. She pecked and pecked with all her might. But as her pecking was ineffectual, she snatched a piece of rock nearby and dropped it on the bamboo. The bamboo was broken and split in two. In the wink of an eye, a man and a woman stepped out of the bamboo joint, the man bowing politely to the woman. The woman gave recognition to the man; then they walked away hand in hand.

The appearance of the human beings frightened the bird. She forgot her thirst and flew away, hardly realizing that she saw the first human beings, and had a role in their creation.

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