Philippine Folk Tales
Mabel Cook Cole

Mandaya (Midanao)

The Sun and the Moon[1]

The Sun and the Moon were married, but the Sun was very ugly and quarrelsome. One day he becamee angry at thc Moon and started to chase her. She ran very fast until she was some distance ahead of him, when she grew tired and he almost caught her. Ever since he has been chasing her, at times almost reaching her, and again falling far behind.

The first child of the Sun and Moon was a large star, and he was like a man. One time the Sun becoming angry at the Star, cut him up into small pieces and scattered him over the whole sky just as a woman scatters rice, and ever since there have been many Stars.

Another child of the Sun and Moon was a gigantic crab.[1] He still lives and is so powerful that every time he opens and closes his eyes there is a flash of lightning. Most of the time the crab Iives in a large hole in the bottom of the Sea, and when he is there we have high tide; but when he leaves the hole, the waters rush in and there is low tide. His moving about also causes great waves on the surface of the sea.

The crab is qarrelsome like his father; and he sometimes becomes so angry with his mother, the Moon, that he tries to swallow her.[2] When the people on earth, who are fond of the Moon, see the crab near her, they run out of doors and shout and beat on gongs until he is frightened away, and thus the Moon is saved.

[1] The crab was called Tambanokano.
[2] An eclipse of the moon. This belief in a monster swallowing moon and the wild efforts to frighten away are very widespread. It is found among the Batak of Palawan and in other parts of Malaysia as well as in the South Sea, Mongol, Chinese, Siamese, and Hindoo mythology. Even in Peu, we find the belief that an evil spirit in the form of a beast was eating the moon, and that in order to scare it the people shouted and yelled and beat their dogs to make them add to the noise. See Karlson, Journal of Religious Psychology, November, 1914, p. 164.

See "The Sun and the Moon" (Visayan)
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created: November 1, 1997
updated: November 1, 1997
APSIS Editor Johann Stockinger