The Lake of the Stars
(Talubin and Bontoc tribes)
"Way up in the mountains to the East about four kilometers
from Talubin is a lake about five hundred meters long and fifty meters
at its widest. It still exists, but now only hunters venture there.
"But long ago, an intrepid hunter, who happened to be a widower,
was coming home after a fruitless chase. It was about four in the afternoon
for the pancake of the sun was almost dropping to the western ranges. When
he assembled his dogs and began the long descent, he saw in the lake, wonder
of wonders! The lake was alive with bathers - hundreds of them. He observed
that they left their wings by the shore before plunging into the lake.
Closer scrutiny disclosed to the agitated hunter that the shore line was
filled with wings! He presumed the bathers were stars, as the latecomers
dropped from the skies.
"Then, his lead dog came to him with something in his mouth.
A pair of wings! With a quick gesture he retrieved the wings and hurriedly
concealed them in the back flap of his basket. As he was sure that they
were invisible to the bathers, he continued to view the entrancing scene.
"After some time, the leading star bather came ashore and as if
by a command, the other bathers followed suit hand in hand, and they began
to sing around the lake. They were dancing in the nude. The lone spectator
was deeply impressed with the romantic scene.
"Then this ballet in the nude was ended by a great commotion
on both sides of the lake. All of a sudden those who put on their wings
took to the skies like so many birds in blight. The rustling and flapping
of wings in the atmosphere could be heard.
Then all was quiet again.
"But alas! One nude bather was running along the shore crying,
"My wings, my wings!" The hunter did not understand what she was saying
but he presumed that she was looking for her wings which he know were secure
inside his back basket.
"From under the trees he emerged and the nude bather was taken
aback and squatted to hide her nudity. But the man was equal to the occasion.
He took some leaves, fixed them, and offered them to her with some signs
to put them on as a crude covering. This act broke her shyness and she
stood up less coy and more docile.
"When he pointed to town and made signs for her to follow,
she readily understood and followed with cautious steps down the steep
descent. Even the hounds howled and wagged their welcome and touched her
legs with their noses. This action encouraged her and reduced her timidity.
"It was still daylight when they reached town and some neighborly
women gave her an extra skirt which she fixed on her naked body after discarding
the improvised covering. This put her more at ease and he brought her to
his hut. Eventually, as he was a widower and there was no impediment to
a marriage, they lived as man and wife.
" After some time the heavenly wife, or the star woman, gave
birth to a boy. But the strangest part of this uncanny birth was the the
afterbirth became another baby. So the fruit of this odd union was two
boys and as we shall see later, the one of the placenta proved to be a
"The strange wife was quick to adapt herself to her new life
even as she experienced the hardships that crush the human spirit. She
knew fear, fatigue and loneliness. But she lived on for her boys and the
slow moony flood of the time could not erode her faith that somehow, sometime
she must return to where she came from with a vengeance.
"She proved a capable and faithful wife.
She easily ingratiated herself with her neighbors and more with her husband.
"One day while she was weeding in the backyard and her boys
were already in their early teens, the boys in play overturned a flat stone
and underneath they discovered a strange object eaten away by white ants
in various places. They showed the find to their mother and she readily
recognized her wings.
"With great care and jealousy she patched up the parts
damaged by termites and later in the afternoon before her husband arrived
from the hunt she told the boys that now she was going to leave them. "Tell
you father that I have flown to heaven on my wings which he has stolen."
"The boys cried and asked her to take them with her."
"Very well, let's see if you can fly."
"Then taking their father's extra spear, she sank it perpendicularly
in front of their yard and commanded the one of the placenta to perch
his foot at the spear point; and as he dexterously did so, he was catapulted
to the skies and they saw him twinkling brightly in the heavens. He is
the evening star. But when the humanly born boy tried, he was afraid to
go up the spear point.
"Well, Son, don't cry for you can't come with me, and it
is as well. Tell your father what happened. Anyway, I will help you but
you must leave Talubin and you will be the ancestor of all white people
and you will have better lives than the people here. I will help you."
After that she flew up and the boy saw two stars twinkling side by side.
"As apparent from this story the Talubin people are of the
opinion that all white people are the descendants of that man born of a
star woman from Talubin."
courtesy of: Fae References in Philippine Mythology [ link