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Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Story Of The Islands In Carles

The islands of Carles, Iloilo on the map 

Antonia Beach in Carles, Iloilo

From a distance, Isla de Gigantes or Gigantes Island, one of the islands of Carles, is about half an hour boat ride from the mainland Carles shapes like a giant lying.

In a village of Punta Bulakawe, town of Carles, there is a childless couple. In their great desire to have a child, they thought of visiting all the saints and ask for at least a child. Months has passed and the woman felt the heaven answered their prayers. She got pregnant and gave birth. They wonder greatly how the child grow up so fast. The height and weight could not fit into their house. At one year-old, he could not climb up the stairs of their home due to his size and weight. An average old person is only as tall as his knees. In short, he became a giant.

When he became a teenager, he lived in a mountain that's not too high. The mountain was called Beheya Hill.

When the giant teen walks, it is as if the surrounding is trembling and the rumbling of his steps is causing the tremor of the entire town and because of that he was called "Higante Tay-og" (Giant Tremor).

Higante Tay-og is very kind and helpful but due to his size, he was feared and the people of his age doesn't go near him. He never experienced playing with other children. No one dares to go near him, no one loves him except to a concerned, considerate mother who felt very sorry for him. His father instead of being sympathetic blame his wife to where she conceived the boy. Each time the people would see the giant, they immediately run away in fear. Thus the once gentle face was changed with anger and the once considerate child became savage.

He decided to live in Behiya Hill since he was feared. Just two or three steps only of the mountain and he's on top. To entertain himself, he learned how to smoke a tobacco. Each time he smokes, the whole surroundings darkened by the smoke and sometimes when he swallows the smoke, he coughs and his coughing seems like a thunder that cause tremors in the entire town. So the people prepares for the coming hurricane. The giant became friends with all the wild and stray animals.

One day he found a boat docking at the foot of his home, He waited and saw it carrying an old woman and a beautiful woman. The woman has a long hair and fair skinned. In her ways, posture and garment, she is a stranger and never knew where she came from. To what Higante Tay-og heard, the maiden was called Prinsesa Maganda (Beautiful Princess) and the old woman is her grandma. They settled in a hut located at the foothill of the mountain. This hut was left by the owner since Higante Tay-og live in Behiya Hill.

On the first sighting of the giant young man to the lady, he felt an unusual feelings for her.  The next day he caught some fish and left it at the doorstep of the hut. Sometimes he left in the hut the pet animals he cared. He kept on doing it until they discovered his kindness. Until one day, the people were just amazed to find out Higante Tay-og and Prinsesa Maganda were lovers. They set their wedding on a full moon. Higante Tay-og is so busy preparing for the coming festivities. He gathered some burot (a kind of plant in the forest), squash, gabi root crop, pomelo, calamansi, sugarcane for the wedding. He also got the Tulun-an (huge pot) of his mother and gathered some cogon grass and anahaw leaves to be used on their house. He also prepared a binangon (itak in Filipino), nigo and he looked for a big shoe for him and small shoes for the princess.  He gathered them all at the top of the Behiya Hill. Eve of the wedding while Higante Tay-og is still busy gathering all the needs for the wedding, there came a paraw carrying the pirates. When they anchored at the hut, they saw the beautiful princess. They salvaged the princess and brought her to the paraw inspite of her pleadings. While this is happening, Higante Tay-og is on the other mountain, gathering what's needed for the wedding. The paraw has not yet gone far, a lot of people came to rescue the lady. They used some spears and some pointed sticks and stones to defend the lady. During the fighting between the people and the pirates, Higante Tay-og arrived. When a pirate saw they were in danger, he stabbed a dagger in the heart of the lady. The heaven wept with the death of the lady. So the giant overturned the paraw and looked for the princess but it's too late. In his huge grief, the giant wept and wept. His cry seems like a thunder and his tears is like a rain that falls. He slowly carries the body of the princess and brought it to his home. In his madness, he picked the gifts one by one and with all strength throw it to the ocean. He first picked the small shoes and throw it to the left  and became an island of Sapatos Diutay (Small Shoes). He then throw the big shoes and throw it hitting near the small shoes and became island of Sapatos Daku (Big Shoes). He picked up a bundle of cogon grass and with all strength throw it far and became the island of Sicogon. This became a tourist attraction until it dwindles in the 1980s with the popularity of Boracay but will soon be redeveloped to reclaim its reputation and status.

He sighted the big pot Tulun-an which contains burot, pomelo, squash, gabi and throw it far. Its content were spread in different areas. The Tulun-an became the isle of Tulun-an. The burot became the isle of Naburot. The pomelo called Kabugaw became the isle of Cabugao and the squash called Kalabasa became Isla de Kalabasa. He then faced the nigo basket full of anahaw leaves and sugarcane. He throw it upwards and fell nearby. The nigo fell near Punta Bulakawe and became the isle of Manigunigo which is now a lighthouse. The anahaw became the isle of Anahaw and cana became Isla de Cana.

When he saw that he has nothing left to pick, he gently kissed the body of the dead princess and float it in space. It seems like he still wasn't able to accept the truth, he grabbed the bolo on his waist and cut his body in half and throw the bolo afar and became the isle of Balbagon. The half body of the giant fell and separately drop but not far from each other. The first half became the isle of Gigante Norte and the other became Gigante Sur. The dead body of the princess floating in the clouds also fell eventually after so long and dropped at the head of Gigante Norte and became the isle of Hegantuna. Over a long time, the paraw of the pirates drifted to the Higante Sur and became a sandstone. The shape of the stone is like that of a boat called bapor thus the locals called it bapor-bapor. This stone is said to have a mysterious cave and lots of unexplained phenomenon is said to occur there.

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