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Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Legend of Bakunawa

European Folklores usually depict dragons as wicked winged creatures who breathe fire, dwell in caves, guard treasure and eat sheep and cattle. On the hand, Chinese dragons were depicted as kind and helpful creatures who bring fortune, good luck, intelligence and power.

Here in the Philippines, we have our very own mythical dragon called Bakunawa. It is a sea serpent which is believed in ancient times as the cause of lunar eclipse.
The Bakunawa has a mouth as big as a lake, a red tongue, gills, whiskers, wires on the side, a set of big wings on the upper part of its body and a set of smaller wings on the lower part of its body. The Maranaos, Maguindanaos and Samas call this creature "Naga". The Tagalogs call it "Laho". The Vizayans call it "Bakunawa".
I do believe that the ancient people thought about the idea of a dragon eating the moon because the shadow formed on the moon during an eclipse appears like it is being swallowed by a huge creature.

3 Story Versions of the Bakunawa

The Bathala created 7 moons. The Bakunawa was really amazed and attracted to these moons. It rose up and eat those one by one. The Bathala got mad and the two of them became enemies since then. Before the Bakunawa could eat the last moon, the people went out and drove it away by banging pots and pans. Some would play music, hoping that the creature would fall into deep sleep so they can kill it.
The Bakunawa has a sister which is a sea turtle who would lay eggs on a certain island. Water follows this sea turtle wherever it goes, and that makes the island smaller. Due to fear that they will lose their island, the residents killed the turtle. This angered the Bakunawa and it rose from the sea to eat the moon. The people prayed to Bathala for help but he refused to help them because they killed an innocent creature. Instead, he told them to bang pots and pans to drive the monster away.

The Bakunawa fell in love with a tribal woman and took her to be his wife; but when the natives found out about it, they burned their house into ashes while the monster is away, killing the woman and their children. When the Bakunawa found out about it, it was so angry that it tried to eat all the 7 moons. Before it could eat the last moon, the Bathala banished it away. Whenever there is an eclipse in the ancient times, natives believe that the Bakunawa is trying to go back to its home to find his family.

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Jade Martin is the founder of Center for Paranormal Studies and Profilers of the Unknown. She is also a Businesswoman, Certified Life and Business Coach, Author, Filmmaker, Public Speaker, Ghost Tour Guide, Paranormal Investigator and Tarot Reader.


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