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When the world first began there was no land; there was only the Sea and the Sky, and between
them flew a huge, beautiful Kite (a bird similar to a hawk). One day, the bird, which had
nowhere to land and rest, grew tired of flying about, and in frustration stirred up the Sky in a
quarrel against the Sea. The Sky threw rain, thunder, and lightning that reached the Sea, who in
turn rose up and hurled waves and hurricanes that reached the Sky. In order to restrain its fury,
the Sky showered a multitude of massive boulders down upon the Sea, which became the islands
that formed the Philippines. These islands prevented the waters from rising any more - instead
causing them to flow back and forth, and thereby creating the tides. Afterwards, the Sky then
ordered the Kite to light on one of the newly-formed islands to build her nest, and to leave the
Sea and the Sky in peace.

Now at this same time the Land Breeze and the Sea Breeze were married, and they had a child
which they named Bamboo. One day, when Bamboo was floating against the sea, it struck the
feet of the Kite. Shocked, hurt, and angered that anything should strike it, the bird furiously
pecked at the bamboo until it split in half. Out of one section came a golden-bronze colored man,
named Malakas (Strong One) and from the other half came a similarly hued woman,
named Maganda (Beautiful One). The earthquake then called on all the birds of the sky and the
fish of the sea to see what should be done with these two, and the animals decided that they
should marry each other. Together, Malakas and Maganda had many children, and from them
eventually came all the different races of people.

After a while the parents grew very tired of having so many idle and useless children around.
They wished to be rid of them, but they knew of no other place to send them off to. Time went
on and the children became even more numerous that the parents could no longer enjoy any
peace. One day, in an act of pure irritation and desperation, Malakas seized a stick and began
beating them on all sides. This so frightened the children that they all fled in different directions;
seeking some place to hide both within and outside the house. Some of the children ran into
hidden rooms in the house, several concealed themselves within the actual walls, while others
hid in the fireplace. Some ran outside and the rest fled out to the sea. Now it happened that those
who went into the hidden rooms of the house later became the chiefs of the islands (Maharlikas);
and those who concealed themselves in the walls became slaves (Alipins). Those who hid in the
fireplace became the Negritos and the Aetas; and those who ran outside turned into free men
(Timawas). As for those who fled to the Sea; they were gone many years, and when their
children eventually came back, they had become the white foreigners.
The names Malakas and Maganda also denote a deeper meaning and truth
about Pilipino culture. Pilipinos consider women to be maganda - beautiful, sweet, and soft;
while men as malakas - a strong and sturdy being to whom the family can depend on at all times.


Si Malakas at Si Maganda is not the story they want to tell America. However, the ideas of strength
and beauty as what makes up the human race is something that I feel like is going to stick with me
for a very long time. We’re strong and we’re beautiful. We need mirrors so that we can see this.
We need windows so we can see this in others and so others can see this in us.

OUTSIDE the ark, the people went about their life the same as before. They still did not believe
that the Flood would come. They must have laughed more than ever. But they soon stopped
All of a sudden water began to fall. It poured down from the sky as when you pour water from a
bucket. Noah had been right! But it was too late now for anybody else to get into the ark. The
door had been closed tight by Jehovah.
Soon all the low ground was covered. The water became like big rivers. It pushed over trees and
rolled around big stones, and made a lot of noise. The people were afraid. They climbed up to
higher ground. Oh, how they wished they had listened to Noah and gotten into the ark when the
door was still open for them! But now it was too late.
The water kept getting higher and higher. For 40 days and 40 nights the water poured out of the
sky. It rose up the sides of the mountains, and soon even the tallest mountains were covered. So
just as God had said, all the people and animals outside the ark died. But everyone inside was
Noah and his sons had done a good job building the ark. The water lifted it up, and it floated
right on top of the water. Then one day, after the rain stopped falling, the sun began to shine.
What a sight it was! There was just one big ocean everywhere. And the only thing that could be
seen was the ark floating on top.
The giants were gone now. No more would they be around to hurt people. All of them had died,
along with their mothers and the rest of the bad people. But what happened to their fathers?
The fathers of the giants were not really human people like us. They were angels that had come
down to live as men on earth. So when the Flood came, they did not die with the rest of the
people. They stopped using the human bodies they had made, and went back to heaven as angels.
But they were no longer allowed to be part of the family of God’s angels. So they became the
angels of Satan. In the Bible they are called demons.
God now made a wind blow, and the waters of the flood began to go down. Five months later the
ark came to rest on the top of a mountain. Many more days passed, and those inside the ark could
look out and see the tops of the mountains. The waters kept on going down and down.
Then Noah let a black bird called a raven out of the ark. It would fly away for a while and then it
would come back, because it could not find a good place to land. It kept doing this and each time
it returned, it would rest on the ark.
Noah wanted to see if the waters had run off the earth, so next he sent a dove out of the ark. But
the dove came back too because it did not find a place to stay. Noah sent it out a second time,
and it brought back an olive leaf in its beak. So Noah knew that the waters had gone down. Noah
sent out the dove a third time, and finally it found a dry place to live.
God now spoke to Noah. He said: ‘Go out of the ark. Take your whole family and the animals
with you.’ They had been inside the ark for more than a whole year. So we can just imagine how
happy they all were to be outside again and to be alive


The teaching of the story is that humans, no matter how righteous, will sometimes lose their way.
San Carlos, Pangasinan

In the olden days, Binalatongan whose main product was mongo beans (balatong) hence its
name. It was a wealthy settlement of 2,000 houses where ordinary people wore the finest
Chinese silk for daily use and gold flowed in the rivers surrounding the region.

The name of their sovereign ruler was Maginoo Palasipas, who was unhappy in spite of his vast
wealth and power brought by his exemplary rulership. His greatest desire was to be conquered by
the heart of a woman and share his kingdom with a soul mate. This woman had to be the fairest
of the fair, whose beauty and character was unmatched by no other. His loyal datus sought the
fairest maidens in the land and presented their beauty to the King. Tagalog chieftains sent envoys
with a message offering their secluded royal daughters to be his bride. Chinese, Japanese and
Bornean merchants volunteered to sail back to their native lands to bring back princesses of pure
royal blood. But he refused all their offers and suggestions.

One evening, Maginoo Palasipas strolled by the riverbank and laid down on the dewed grass to
admire the fullness of the moon. He heard a faint and mystical melody from afar. Following the
sound of the music, he came upon a maiden sitting on a rock with her back turned. She was
combing her thick ankle length hair and sang with the most enchanting voice. He noticed a
crown of pearls adorning her head and she wore a silk robe embroidered with gold beads, pearls
and diamonds. The maiden instinctively turned around and he beheld the face of a goddess with
flawless olive skin, blue green eyes like the waters and blood red lips. Instantly smitten Maginoo
Palasipas asked who she was. She answered, “I am the mermaid of Binalatongan” Palasipas
replied, “I have heard about your kindness towards my people. Thank you for guiding my
fishermen back into shore during a storm, for rescuing Datu Angat’s only son from drowning and
leaving a string of pearls to Datu’ Bakat’s widow after he was killed by raiding Tirong pirates.”
By this time Palasipas got down on his knees and asked the mermaid to be his wife and rule as
the Queen of Binalatogan. The mermaid smiled, nodded her head and gave her hand to the
Palasipas. Renouncing her sea life and begun the long and glorious reign of the once mermaid
and the powerful Maginoo Palasipas.


The sirena is described as a kind lady with supernatural powers rather than a half human –fish
creature. The lesson you can take away from this story, from my point of view, is that love is

In ancient Greece there were two brothers named Epimetheus and Prometheus. They upset the
gods and annoyed the most powerful of all Gods, Zeus, in particular. This was not the first time
humans had upset Zeus, and once before, as punishment, he had taken from humans the ability to
make fire. This meant they could no longer cook their meat and could not keep themselves

However, Prometheus was clever and he knew that, on the Isle of Lemnos, lived Hephaestos, the
blacksmith. He had a fire burning to keep his forge hot. Prometheus travelled to Lemnos and
stole fire from the blacksmith. Zeus was furious and decided that humans had to be punished
once and for all for their lack of respect.

Zeus came up with a very cunning plan to punish the two brothers. With the help of Hephaestos,
he created a woman from clay. The goddess Athene then breathed life into the clay, Aphrodite
made her very beautiful and Hermes taught her how to be both charming and deceitful. Zeus
called her Pandora and sent her as a gift to Epimetheus.

His brother Prometheus had warned him not to accept any gifts from the gods but Epimetheus
was completely charmed by the woman and thought Pandora was so beautiful that she could
never cause any harm, so he agreed to marry her.

Zeus, pleased that his trap was working, gave Pandora a wedding gift of a beautiful box. There
was one very, very important condition however, that she must never opened the box. Pandora
was very curious about the contents of the box but she had promised that she would never open

All she could think about was; what could be in the box? She could not understand why someone
would send her a box if she could not see what was in it. It seemed to make no sense at all to her
and she could think of nothing else but of opening the box and unlocking its secrets. This was
just what Zeus had planned.

Finally, Pandora could stand it no longer. When she knew Epimetheus was out of sight, she crept
up to the box, took the huge key off the high shelf, fitted it carefully into the lock and turned it.
But, at the last moment, she felt a pang of guilt, imagined how angry her husband would be and
quickly locked the box again without opening the lid and put the key back where she had found
it. Three more times she did this until, at last, she knew she had to look inside or she would go
completely mad!

She took the key, slid it into the lock and turned it. She took a deep breath, closed her eyes and
slowly lifted the lid of the box. She opened her eyes and looked into the box, expecting to see
fine silks, gowns or gold bracelets and necklaces or even piles of gold coins.

But there was no gleam of gold or treasure. There were no shining bracelets and not one
beautiful dress! The look of excitement on her face quickly turned to one of disappointment and
then horror. For Zeus had packed the box full of all the terrible evils he could think of. Out of the
box poured disease and poverty. Out came misery, out came death, out came sadness - all shaped
like tiny buzzing moths.

The creatures stung Pandora over and over again and she slammed the lid shut. Epimetheus ran
into the room to see why she was crying in pain. Pandora could still hear a voice calling to her
from the box, pleading with her to be let out. Epimetheus agreed that nothing inside the box
could be worse than the horrors that had already been released, so they opened the lid once more.

All that remained in the box was Hope. It fluttered from the box like a beautiful dragonfly,
touching the wounds created by the evil creatures, and healing them. Even though Pandora had
released pain and suffering upon the world, she had also allowed Hope to follow them


The theme of "Pandora's Box" is similar to the metaphor "curiosity killed the cat". However,
though Pandora did open the box when she was told not to, the message of hope remaining
throughout troubling times is a second theme within the story. The message is that though there
may be strife, grief, sadness, and pain, hope will always be there in the midst.

Once upon a time, there was a temple to which many people went to pray to the Buddha. A spider
made a net on the beams. As time went by, the spider was edified and received wisdom. All of a
sudden, one day, the Buddha came to the temple. Inadvertently he saw the spider. He asked her:"
You have lived here and thought for one thousand years, I want to ask you a question." The spider
was glad that the Buddha would speak to her, so she promised to reply. The Buddha said: "What
do you think is the most precious thing?" The spider answered: “I think the most precious thing is
what I can't get and what I have lost." The Buddha left without a word.

After a thousand years, the Buddha came and asked the spider the same question. The spider gave
the same answer also. The Buddha said: "You can have a profound think, and I will come back to
you some day."

One day after a millennium, a sudden gale rolled a drop of dew up to the net. The dew was
glistening and translucent, spider liked it very much and she was happy looking at the drop of dew
every day. But after a few days, the wind rolled the dew away from her. The spider felt lost. Then
the Buddha came again. He asked:" Have you had a profound think about that question?" The
spider thought of the dew, so she said: “What I can't get and have lost is the most precious thing
in the world for me." Buddha said: "That being the case, I will let you become a person." So the
spider become a beautiful girl of a rich family in the capital city. One day, the emperor rewarded
the champion of the country who was named Dew. All of the girls in the capital were attracted to
Dew. But Spider believed that Dew will fall in love with her because of the Buddha.

But Dew had no impression of Spider, and didn't like Spider. Spider was sad. A few months later,
the emperor announced that Dew would marry the Princess Wind and Spider would marry Prince
Grass. She knew this and was extremely disappointed. She didn't have anything to eat for several
days and was going to die. Then Prince Grass came hurriedly, and talked about his feeling of love
for Spider. He said:" If you die, I will go with you!" He was ready to die. Just then, the Buddha
came. He said to Spider:" Have you ever thought about who brings Dew to you? The Wind does
this. And at last, the Wind will take it back. Dew belongs to Wind, not to you. But have you thought
of Grass? He was the grass living in front of the temple. He was looking at you for three thousand
years and loving you for three thousand years, but you never took any notice of him. Now, Spider,
what do you think is the most precious in the world?"

Spider understood the Buddha's meaning at once. She woke up, stopped Grass and gave Grass a
deep hug. She said to the Buddha:" Now I know the most precious thing is the happiness I can
have right now."


The moral of the story is: don't rely on someone else for your happiness and self-worth. Only you
can be responsible for that. If you can't love and respect yourself - no one else will be able to make
that happen.