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Full Online Book HomeShort StoriesWhy The Sun Shines More Brightly Than The Moon
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Why The Sun Shines More Brightly Than The Moon Post by :david_br Category :Short Stories Author :Dean S. Fansler Date :November 2011 Read :4968

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Why The Sun Shines More Brightly Than The Moon

A Tagalog story narrated by Francisco M. Africa.

Long, long ago there lived a fairy with two very beautiful daughters. Araw, the elder daughter, was very amiable, and had a kindly disposition; but Buwan, unlike her sister, was disobedient, cruel, and harsh. She was always finding fault with Araw. One night, when the fairy came home from her nocturnal rambles and saw Buwan badly mistreating her elder sister, she asked God for help against her unruly daughter.

Before this time God had prepared very valuable gifts for the two sisters. These gifts were two enormous diamonds that could light the whole universe. When God heard the prayer of the fairy, he descended to earth disguised as a beggar. On learning for himself how bad-tempered Buwan was, and how sweet and kind-hearted Araw, God gave the older sister her diamond as a reward. Buwan was greatly angered by this favoritism on the part of the Almighty, so she went to the heavenly kingdom and stole one of God's diamonds. Then she returned to earth with the precious stone, but there she found that her jewel was not so brilliant as Araw's.

When God went back to heaven and learned what Buwan had done, he sent two angels to punish her. But the angels abused their commission: they seized both sisters and hurled them into the sea. Then they threw the two stones upward into the sky, and there they stuck. But Araw's diamond was bigger and brighter than the one Buwan stole. Thereafter the bigger jewel was called Araw ("day" or "sun"); and the smaller one, Buwan ("moon").



A Pangasinan myth, narrated by Emilio Bulatao of San Carlos, Pangasinan, tells how the light from the sun and the moon proceeds from two fiery palaces. The story follows:--

The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars.

There was once a powerful god called Ama ("father"), the father and ruler of all others, and the creator of man. He had a wonderful aerial abode, from which he could see everything. Of all his sons, Agueo ("sun, day") and Bulan ("moon") were his two favorites, and to these he gave each a fiery palace. In accordance with the wish of their father, Agueo and Bulan daily passed across the earth side by side, and together they furnished light to mankind. Now, Agueo was of a morose and taciturn disposition, but he was always very obedient to his father; Bulan, on the other hand, was merry and full of mischief.

Once, when they were near the end of their day's labor, they saw thieves on the earth below, wishing that it were night so that they might proceed with their unlawful business. Bulan, who was one of their kind, urged Agueo to be quick, so that the earth might soon be left in darkness. As Agueo obstinately refused to be hurried, a quarrel ensued between the two brothers. Their father, who had been watching the two boys and had heard all that passed between them, became very angry with the mischievous Bulan; and, in his wrath, he seized an enormous rock and hurled it whistling through the air. The rock struck the palace of Bulan, and was broken into thousands of pieces, which got perpetual light from contact with the fiery palace. These may still be seen in the heavens, and they are called Bituen ("stars"). Bulan was forbidden to travel with Agueo any more, but was commanded to light the ways of thieves henceforth with his much-dimmed fiery palace.

A somewhat similar Pampango myth may also be given here, as it has never before been printed. It was narrated by Leopoldo Layug of Guagua, Pampanga, and is entitled "The Sun and the Moon."

Long ago the earth was created and ruled by Bathala. He had two children, Apolaqui and Mayari. From the eyes of these two children the earth received its first light. The people, the birds of the air, the animals of the mountains, and even the fishes of the sea, were glad because they had light, and so they were great friends of the two children.

Bathala loved his children tenderly, and never wanted them to be separated from him. So, no matter how tired he was, he always followed them in their daily walks. But as time went on, and Bathala became old and feeble and could no longer keep up with his active son and daughter, he asked them to stay with him at all times; but they were so absorbed in their pleasures, that they paid no heed to their father's wish. One day he became sick, and died suddenly, without leaving any written will as to the disposition of his kingdom. Now Apolaqui wanted to rule the earth without giving any power to his sister Mayari. She refused to consent to her brother's plan, and a bitter conflict arose between them. For a long time they fought with bamboo clubs. At last Mayari had one of her eyes put out. When Apolaqui saw what he had done to his sister, he felt very sorry for her, and said that they should struggle no longer, but that they should exercise equal power on the earth, only at different times. Since that time, Apolaqui, who is now called the Sun, has ruled the earth during the day, and from his eyes we receive bright light. Mayari, who is called the Moon, rules the world at night. Her light, however, is fainter than her brother's, for she has but one eye.

This same struggle between the two great luminaries is reflected in two short cradle-songs that Pampangan mothers sing to their children to still them. These verses were contributed by Lorenzo Licup of Angeles:--

Ing bulan ilaning aldo
Mitatagalan la baho
Pangaras da quetang cuarto
Nipag sundang, mipagpusto.

"The Moon and the Sun chased each other above. When they came into a room, they took their daggers from their sides and were ready to fight each other."

Ing aldo ilaning bulan
Mitatagalan la lalan
Pangaras da quetang Pampang
Mipagpustu, 't, mitabacan.

"The Sun and the Moon chased each other below. When they came to a bank, they first made preparation, and then began to fight each other with bolos."

The two stories and the two stanzas just given appear to be genuine old native tradition, unmodified by Christianity.

For Tinguian, Bukidnon, Mandaya, and Visayan myths of the sun, moon, and stars, see M. C. Cole, 65, 124, 145, 201.

(The end)
Dean S. Fansler's short story: Why The Sun Shines More Brightly Than The Moon

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Version (a) Why the Culing has a Tonsure Narrated by Francisco M. Africa. In a certain field there lived two birds,--Pogô ("quail") and Culing (a small black bird that has no feathers on the top of its head). One day Pogô, while scratching the ground for food, met Culing. When Culing saw Pogô, he said in a taunting tone, "Where are you going, lazy one? Be more active. Don't be as lazy as a leech!" Pogô became very angry. "You call me lazy!" he said. "You are much lazier than I. Let us see which can fly higher into the sky!"

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