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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Mama Suli Of Cabatuan

Mama Suli was born before Cabatuan was the name of the town. According to some natives, she came from the clan of Sumakwel and a close relative of Tan Tono, the first gobernadorcillo of Cabatuan.

Mama Suli was born in Bugton, a sitio of Jelicuon. Bugtong which means only child is about a kilometer from Jelicuon Elementary School. In this place, Suli spent her days.

Mama Suli is an extraordinary individual because she was born a breech baby, born bottom first instead of head first. She was called by the name Mama Suli because she was born a breech or suli in Hiligaynon. She is tall and has big body physique. She has a big body but her neck is short. She has a narrow forehead and big ears which shapes like a cup with sharp hearing which can be compared to a radio receiver or a mobile phone signal in the present times. His nose is average in size but shapes like the beak of a parrot. Her eyes are also big and she has a funny face and head.

Mama Suli has an extraordinary figure. Two long legs and with arms about a foot less before it touches the ground when she stretches it. When she is in a squatting position, her head is longer than her knees so that she can see things and objects on her front through sneaking in between her legs. She has no compare in strength and bravery during her time. She is quick to move when needed especially during battles. She can easily defeat in running and to any contest any men of her time.

One day, a carabao or water buffalo fell down the cliff. Mama Suli single-handed pull up and in an instance, the carabao was lifted up. Her other movements are peculiar. In climbing a tree, stairs or hills, she is using her two feet first and a bending head. If the trees are close to each other, she just jump across it to pick up some fruits.

Suli is an local herb doctor or locally called albularyo. She knows and identify each herbs, shrubs, tree roots, and woods as treatment of any disease and she knows what herbs or shrubs should be used to a specific illness of a person who comes to her. However her unusual ability is the removal of fish bone stuck in the throat because she was born a breech baby. Breech born people has this special ability of removing fish bone in the throats of any person. By touching the neck of an affected person, in an instance the fishbone is gone from their throats. Another of her abilities is her healing the new and deep wounds, cripple and sprained or limped bones. She was called himagan. The himagan is a person who can cure or heal an illness, ailment or malady by touching or applying some of the concocted herbal oil  or saliva as a cure. Her touching therapy is effective, most especially if the patient is a female, young and beautiful.

Mama Suli is fair and just. Because of that, she was loved, honored and respected by everyone who knows her. She always defend Cabatuan most especially Jelicuon against the bandits and thieves who wants to attack the place. She can fight singled-handedly the bandits thus she was called one-man army. Her only weapon is a sharp dagger because she is quick, strong, agile and fearless.

It so happened during the time of Mama Suli, Cabatuan is frequented by many thieves and bandits from neighboring towns which disturb the peace and safety of the place. The mastermind of the violence is Pedro Barbon which has a thick beard.  He is tall, harsh and cruel. He gets anything he wants or desire, kill anyone who oppose him, harm innocent people and rape the girl he likes. He is always riding a big, black horse and always carrying his weapons, a gun on his side, a rifle on his shoulder and a dagger on his waist.

The Captain of the place is confused. He could not curb the crime committed by Pedro. The captain heard the plot to kill him and Pedro will lead the local government. The captain offer a reward to any people of Cabatuan who can kill Pedro Barbon.

During this time, Mama Suli was over 60 years old already and too old to fight cruel people who were younger than her but to Suli the reward she heard was like a temptation. What if something will happen to her? She's already old. Besides that, she has this aim to show the world that she is brave and have a kind heart.

She secretly left her home in Bugtong going to Inabasan and went to the barrio often visited by Pedro. Suli expected that in this place she will encounter and fight Pedro.

It was by chance when Suli arrived in Inabasan, Pedro also came. So Suli prepares herself by going at the back of a mound tip toing and between her two legs, she sneaks through the arrival of Pedro.

Suli was shivering when she saw Pedro. She tried so hard to gather all her strength, courage and skill in fighting. Next is the exchange of feisty words. Pedro became furious because this is the first time he was threatened and humiliated.

Aside from this, the humiliation came from an old person without any weapon. Pedro could not use a gun since his enemy is at the back of a mound. He certainly assured that he could not be hurt by Suli. He walk closer towards the mound to have a chance to shot his enemy.

Suli is also intuitive while waiting the closer coming of Pedro in the mound. She calculated the distance she can use in jumping and kicking out his enemy.

When she got the chance, she jumped and kicked Pedro which caused him to fall from his horse. Before Pedro can even stand up, Suli pulled out her dagger and stabbed her enemy through his heart. Suli thought of bringing to the captain the body of her slain opponent as a proof that she is the one who killed Pedro. For the reason that the body is too heavy, Suli thought of just cutting his tongue. She immediately opened his mouth, cut his tongue and wrapped it with banana leaves and put it in her pocket. She left the place and when she passed in Barrio Salakay, bought some tuba or palm wine and drink to relieve her of exhaustion and tiredness and to regain her energy.

Some people passed by the body of Pedro and remember the reward offered by the captain to anyone who can kill Pedro. So they thought of getting anything from the slain body to convince the captain that they are the one who killed the bandits. These people were the first to arrive at the municipal hall and introduce themselves as the one who killed Pedro. One person who claimed he was the one who killed brought a dagger of Pedro, another person brought a gun and third brought a dagger and on his other hand carrying the head of Pedro.

After awhile, Suli arrived and for quick chat she introduced herself as the one who killed Pedro. Everyone around laugh so hard even the captain because they never saw Suli carrying a proof that she killed Pedro. Aside from that, this is the first time they saw the face of Suli.

Suli asked the people who claimed to have killed Pedro to open the mouth of the slain enemy. They open it and showed it to the crowd and they were all surprised to see why the tongue is gone. In that instance, she told them that they should not be surprised because she already got it and that is her proof as the real slayer of Pedro. To convince the captain,she slowly picked in her pocket the tongue wrapped in banana leaves. Everyone believed she is the one who slayed Pedro.

The reward is a huge coconut shell filled with Spanish gold coins.

The celebration was held and the family of Suli was invited to watch to bestow the reward to Suli. The dances like kuratsa, kamantugol and many others were performed. When the celebration is finished, Suli and her family return to Bugtong to live peacefully. The hero went on to live for more than 110 years old.

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