Saturday, October 27, 2007

Why Mahagnao is Haunted

There was once a tribe of ancient warriors in the forests in the town now known as Burauen. They were fierce people, and their men hunted wild animals in the mountains. Strangely enough, there were only few women in their tribe, and were mostly aged.

One day, a lone warrior named Guapo wandered into a fern-covered patch of the forest, where a clear spring was flowing from the rocks at the side of the mountain. He set his bow and arrow on the soft grass, and drunk water from the spring.

“Who are you?” A soft voice said.

Guapo turned to where the voice was, and saw a beautiful nymph dressed in a moss-colored robe. He was stunned because she was the first young female he saw, not unlike the elder women in his tribe.

“My name is Guapo, from the tribe of Hagnao”. He said, standing up.

Jiga, the nymph fell in love with the broad-shouldered youth who had just entered her domain. She never wanted him to leave.

“I am hunting wild boar to bring back to my tribe.” He said.

“I know of a place where there are a lot of animals to hunt.” Jiga said. She had a plan. She picked up a basket of essences and in one of the bottles she collected the potion that could put any person to sleep.

“First you must eat some fruits from my forest and drink to keep up your strength.” She picks delicious red fruit from the trees and gives them to Guapo.

Guapo sat on one of the rocks, marveling ay Jiga’s beauty as she picks up a shiny goblet and dips it in the spring. The nymph secretly puts a few drops of potion on the goblet before she handed in to the young man.

“Which tribe do you belong to?” Guapo asks.

“I am alone here,” she answered, “this is my forest.”

The young warrior started to become drowsy, and he fell asleep on the soft arms of the nymph. Jiga smiled as she took him into the depths of the forest, never to return again.

Back in the village, there was a gathering. The elders thought Guapo had been captured by an enemy tribe, and therefore they must fight to get him back.

With their torches, swords and spears, the Hagnaos marched toward the forests of the mountain. When they came upon the clearing where a spring nearby flowed from a rock, they met a strange old woman.

“Go back to your village!” She said.

“The lady of the forest has taken the young man as her husband, and he will never return.”

Wasting no time, the elders struck with their spears. But their weapons only struck he garments. The old woman had disappeared.

Suddenly, radiance filled the forest. It was Jiga, the nymph, who appeared before them and she was angry. She struck the warriors with madness, and turned all the women blind.

The men slaughtered their own women, and went on searching madly for their lost comrade. To this day, they say, one can still hear the voices of the warriors as they roam the forests of what is presently known as Mahagnao.

Author's note:
This is not actually a "real" legend- I just made this up (I couldn't think of better names of characters, so I chose guapo and jiga- which is a waray slang for "hot" lol!). I was inspired though, by the stories of my classmates of their visit to the remote Mahagnao National Park during boyscouts, and how they experienced the supernatural. Apparently most of the children had convulsions and some had strange visions on their way home after visiting the craters and hot springs.
An American Journalist writes about her experience here.

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