Magic Tales from Lipa, Batangas by Amparo Reyes, 1925 Part II - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Magic Tales from Lipa, Batangas by Amparo Reyes, 1925 Part II - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Magic Tales from Lipa, Batangas by Amparo Reyes, 1925 Part II

Henry Otley-Beyer Collection



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pain and of anguish. His face was pale and haggard, and his countenance revealed a feeling of deep suffering, suffering as painful as that given by a heart wounded in love. He sighed, but in vain. He tried to write but because of an uncontrollable passion, he could not. He sobbed and tears rolled from his eyes. For several hours, he wept on his table and fell unconscious. At last, he succeeded in writing his farewell letter in which he said that by the time she received the letter, he would be sailing in the deep blue sea of death to live the life of the forlorn and brokenhearted.

When Charing received this, she fell unconscious, and from that time on had been sick in sorrow for Pedro. While Pedro was sailing on his boat to the deepest part of the lake, Charing was lying and suffering for his loss. As he rowed his boat, a large white fish followed him. When he jumped into the water, he happened to take hold of one of the fish’s fins. The fish opened its mouth and said, “Why do you drown yourself?” Pedro was surprised to see a talking fish. “Do you not fear, I am here to help you in your quest. Pray tell me, and your burden will be relieved.” Pedro at first hesitated, but at last he was convinced that the fish had supernatural power. He told the fish about his grief, and the fish replied, “You just do what I tell you to do and you can easily have your desire. Go with me to the shore where I shall transform you into a magic chicken. Go under the house of Charing and chirp there as loud as you can. When she hears your chirping, she will order you to be brought near

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Pedro was then transformed into a chicken. When he was already under Charing’s house, he chirped as loud as he could till Charing heard it. At the sight of the chicken, she suddenly became strong and well. Soon after that, the chicken became the pet of the household, and Charing could not eat or sleep without the chicken near her.

One night, Charing was awakened and to her astonishment, she found Pedro at her side instead of the chicken. Both of them were unable to speak so that for a moment, the two stood in silence. At last, Charing smiled and Pedro began to speak, telling her his bitter suffering and how he was transformed into a chicken which had cured her of her sorrow.

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Aswang and Mario.

In the old town of Lipa, there once lived a handsome young man. He was pure and noble-hearted and was called Mario, the curly. He was stalwart, brown and a pure Filipino in blood and features, but his hair was like that of a Negro’s. He fell in love with a beautiful maiden having more than twenty suitors. At one time, while the maiden was washing clothes in a clear stream at the outskirts of the town near her house, Mario approached her to express his

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love. The maiden replied that she could not reciprocate it, although in reality she loved him secretly. So great was his disappointment that at once he bade her farewell with much sorrow and grief.

On his way, he met an old man with a long beard. The old man told him to follow him and obeyed. They passed through a forest into a cave in a mountain. On reaching the cave, the old man said, “I bring you here to give you a blessing. Among the youths of the land, you are the noblest and the kindest, and it is to you that I dedicate this blessing if you want to have it.” Mario replied, “If you think I am entitled to possess it, then I shall be willing to have it.” “But promise me that you will not use it for any wicked purpose,” said the old man. He promised to live uprightly as he had been, and the old man handed him a white small handkerchief, “Ask everything and that handkerchief will help you in any desire you want, provided that what you ask is for the good of someone,” said the old man.

He then thanked the old man and went directly to his home.

In that same town, there lived another suitor to the maiden courted by Mario. This [man] was called Aswang for he was a leader of some bandits living in the mountains. Aswang, because of his wickedness, was despised by Laura (the name of the maiden we are talking about). The greatness of his

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affection forced him to resort to evil means in trying to make Laura love him. He planned to kidnap her by the help of his men. So when Luring was washing her clothes in the stream alone, Aswang with his men tied her hands and brought her to their cave in the mountains. After that, Mario passed by the stream. He found there the clothes lying without the owner. He looked around and found many footprints on the sand by the bank of the stream. The footprints led to a path in a forest. He followed the path until he reached the mountains.

While Aswang was convincing Laura to love him, Mario was vainfully seeking for her in the mountains. He was overtaken by darkness and because of weariness and hunger, he was forced to rest. In his repose, he dreamed of the maiden and the cave where the maiden was. When he awoke, he started to find the place. He peeped through a hole in the cave and found Laura sleeping with an old woman. The bandits who were guarding the cave saw him, and they all reached to box and to wrestle with him. As he had the handkerchief with him, the one given by the old man to him, he was not afraid to fight with them. He rushed to them and knocked them down one by one. On that night, he slept by the entrance of the cave. Early in the morning, Laura found him still sleeping. So great was her surprise that for a moment, she could not move, and could not tell if she were in a dream. He awoke and found himself in front of her. She told him

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of her capture.

Mario then brought her to her home. Because of the joy of Laura’s parents to see her again, they invited him to dine with them. For the first time in his life, Mario felt some hints of hope in his suit. While they were about to eat, Aswang and his men came. They tried to show that they could perform some miraculous things. On the benches of Laura’s home, there were many plow shares and Aswang and his men said that they would eat those plow-shares. They began eating the plow shares one by one. As the table was already set when Aswang and his men came, the parents of Laura because of their hospitality, invited them to eat also. When they were about to eat, Mario waved his handkerchief and Aswang and his men could not and were not able to eat the food on the table. Upon the surprise of all, Mario waved his handkerchief again and Aswang and his men were able to eat. After eating, Aswang hanged a jar full of water from the roof of the house, struck the jar with a bolo so that it broke into pieces, but the mystery was that the water remained hanging in the air. Everybody was again surprised. But Mario then again waved his handkerchief and the pieces of the broken jar all jumped and returned to the water and were formed into whole again. He then took a small coconut dipper and asked Aswang and his men to lift it. Each of them attempted and tried, but all were unable. So, in great shame, they left Laura’s house, and from that time on, they never again attempt-

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ed to appear in that town.

Mario and Laura, after several months, were married and lived happily for many years. Mario used his handkerchief in making the blind see, the lame walk, the dumb speak, and the deaf hear, and in many other humanitarian purposes that brought him untold benefits, joy, and blessings to hundreds and hundreds of people.

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The Fairy Tree.

The old town of Lipa is noted for its sons having “anting-anting.” One of these men was “Don Felipe.” There was a large forest some miles away from the town. In the midst of this forest was a very large “barbanera” tree, which was said to be haunted by an old witch that lived somewhere in the forest. This tree was also visited by a company of snakes every noon. The snakes had a king of their own. The king snake was the biggest of all the snakes. It had three heads with a brilliant diamond called “zula” in the middle mouth. All the brave youths of the town were afraid to enter this forest, and no one could dare approach the tree because of the witch and the snakes. But there was one young man named Felipe, gifted with extraordinary courage who dared to enter the forest to go near the so-called “fairy tree.” One midnight hour, when the moon was at the


Notes and references:
Transcribed from “Magic Tales from Lipa,” by Amparo Reyes, 1925, online at the Henry Otley-Beyer Collection of the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.
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