The Maiden of the Buhong Sky

(an epic of Manuvu hero, "Tuwaang")

Tuwaang, the hero, is introduced as a craftsman adept at making leglets, engraving finger rings, and moulding chains. He calls his sister who hurries out of her room with a box of betel chew; she walks daintily to her brother, sits at his right side, offers him betel chew, and hears what he has to say. Tuwaang tells her that the wind has delivered a message informing him that a maiden has come to the country of Batooy, a minor hero, but she would not talk to any of the gallants, and therefore one of them has sent the wind to call for Tuwaang. The sister is fearful of the consequences if he makes the journey.

But Tuwaang gears and arms himself, takes his shield and spear. He calls on the lightning to transport him to the land of Pinanggayungan; upon arriving there he becomes the object of admiration of the girls. The he calls at the house of the Young Man of Pangavukad where he is received. The two men start immediately on the journey, arrive at, and are received in the house of Batooy. Tuwaang lies down near the Maiden of the Buhong Sky and soon falls asleep and snores. The maiden talks and shows herself meanwhile, and then pulls one hair from Tuwaang's cowlick. They introduce themselves to each other. The maiden now tells her story, of how she is running away from the Young Man of Pangumanon, a giant of a man whose headdress reaches up to the clouds and who wants her hand in marriage. Because she has refused him, the Young Man of Pangumanon has brought destruction to her country by burning it; has tracked her everywhere she went and burned the country where she has taken refuge. So she has come to take shelter in the earth world.

No sooner has she finished her story than the Young Man of Pangumanon arrives enveloped in fire, wreaking death on the people of Batooy's country. He starts slaying people in the house and the Young Man of Pangavukad himself is among the last men to be slain. Next he slashes at Tuwaang who remains unscathed. The two warriors fight in the yard with shields, spears, and blades, but neither gains an advantage. Their shields get smashed, except for the handles which are thrown away; their spear-shafts get broken and are cast away; their long blades get shattered and so too do their daggers, except the handles which are thrown away -- all the fragments growing into trees. After wrestling, the Young Man of Pangumanon calls on his "patung", a span-long iron bar, knots it and throws it at Tuwaang, who is ringed by the bar. The "patung" produces flame, but Tuwaang raises his right arm and the fire is put out. It is now Tuwaang's turn to call on his "patung", a skein of gold. He calls on the wind to fan the flame, which engulfs the Young Man of Pangumanon, who becomes helpless and dies.

Tuwaang now revives the subjects of Batooy by his spittle. Then he carries the maiden on his shoulder to his country in Kuaman, riding on the lightning. They are greeted by Tuwaang's sister who offers betel chew. After resting for five days, Tuwaang has to fight again. A stranger comes bringing death to his followers and challenging him. They fight and Tuwaang defeats the invader. The hero revives his followers and rests for another five days, after which he gathers his people to take them to the country of Katuusan, one of the heavenly worlds. The people ride on the "sinalimba", an airboat. Tuwaang places his sister and the maiden on his shoulders and follows the airboat to the land of Katuusan where there is no death.

"The Maiden of the Buhong Sky" is one of the many songs about the Manuvu hero, "Tuwaang". In 1,417 lines, the song narrates how Tuwaang comes to the assistance of a mysterious maiden from the skyworld and how in the end he takes her and his people to the country of Katuusan, the "land without death."

Learn this Filipino word:

nagtikom ng bibíg

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