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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 preternatural creature.
 
 "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 ]