The Story - Page 2 of 4

But what a frailty of the human heart! While the three were on their way home, envious that Juan was able to do what they had not done, Don Pedro and Don Diego conspired between them to do away with Don Juan. Don Pedro suggested that they should put Juan to death, but the other, being of the soberer heart, merely wanted to disable him. This latter suggestion was the one carried out. So they beat Juan to unconsciousness, and carrying with them the adarna, they left Juan on the middle of the road, and proceeded on their way home. Arriving home, the two brothers presented the bird to their father, but it did no appreciable good to the father in as much as the bird would not sing.

Meanwhile, Don Juan came to his own self. But he was too weak to walk. His prayers to God, which he presently said, seemed to have been answered by the fortunate passing of an old man who upon being informed of what had happened cured Don Juan. Then this young man went back to his country, Berbania. When he arrived at the palace, the bird adarna entirely changed its aspect. This time it became happy and beautiful. It sang its sweet songs, changed its colors, and told the story of the three brothers.

In furious anger, the king decreed the death of Don Pedro and Don Diego, but again, Don Juan saved them. The latter was able to ask pardon for their acts. The king was now rapidly recovering from his failing health. Meanwhile, these three sons were ordered to watch the bird at night, by turns. And so envious were the two elder brothers of the favors lavished by the king on Don Juan that again they conspired against him. One night, during his turn in watching the adarna, the two brothers came stealthily and let the bird loose. Upon discovering its loss, and bethinking of the wrath of his father, Juan hurriedly went away.

When King Fernando learned of the loss of the bird and of the disappearance of his favorite son, he sent the two elder brothers to look for them. They met Don Juan in Armenia, and because they could not find the bird, they planned to stay there.

One day, while they were thus living in that far away country, they saw an interesting pit and a long rope near its mouth. So curious were they, that in unison they showed their intention of finding out what was in it. But common agreement Don Pedro was first lowered by the aid of the rope, but hardly was he a meter or so below the surface when he ordered his brothers to pull him up. The same was true with Don Diego. But Juan had a very different story.

His courage and determination enabled him to be lowered to the very bottom of that pit, where he saw two enchanted palaces wherein dwelt two lovely princesses, whose names were Doña Juana and Doña Leonora. Love-lorn and discontented with their lives there, these maidens easily succumbed to Don Juan's offer of love. So they decided to go with him. But before that could be done, it was necessary for Don Juan to wage two terrific fights victoriously; the first against a giant who was taking care of Doña Juana, and the second against a seven-headed serpent who was taking care of the other. Then the three came to the surface of the earth. But no sooner had they arrived there than Leonora remembered that she had forgotten her diamond ring in her palace, and asked Juan to get it.

In this instance, the greed of Cain once more manifested itself. While he was being lowered at the rope by Don Pedro and Don Diego, whom he had saved once from death and resuscitated too from the grave, Pedro cut the rope, and thus practically threw him to death. Leonor who loved Don Juan so dearly was about to leap into the pit, but she was prevented by Don Pedro from doing so. Unable to personally help her lover, because of the intervention of Don Pedro, Leonora threw her lamb-talisman into the pit with the instructions to help Don Juan in his necessities. The four – Don Pedro, Don Diego, Doña Juana and Doña Leonora – soon departed for Berbania, where immediately Don Diego and Doña Juana were solemnly married. As for the other two, Doña Leonora asked his Majesty, King Fernando, to give her a seven-year grave and seclusion to enable her to do her promised penance. The truth was that she wanted to wait for Don Juan.

Meanwhile, let us see the fate of the latter. Through the help of the lamb-talisman which Doña Leonora threw into the well, Don Juan was cured of his ailments. His dislocations, sprains, and wounds were cured by the talisman. It was also this talisman that brought a quantity of water from the Jordan that restored the vigor of Don Juan. Then when the prince had already found the diamond ring of Leonora, he went back to the surface of the earth, again with the help of the talisman. Then, deciding to go back to Berbania, he set out for that long journey. Day after day he set toward that kingdom of Berbania which was always dear to him.

One sultry afternoon, feeling tired, he stopped under a big shady tree to rest; and in a short time he was soon asleep. While the prince was thus asleep, the adarna arrived, and sang its beautiful melodies. Then it called and awakened him and told him of the existence of the most beautiful woman in the world. This woman, whose name was Doña Maria, was the eldest daughter of King Salermo of the kingdom of the Crystals, which was located near the place of the rising sun. Having been told by the adarna that Doña Maria would bring honor to the kingdom of Berbania, Don Juan forgot Doña Leonora and decided to find the Kingdom of Crystals and win the heart of the princess.

For three full years he wandered in search of that country, but he could not locate it. Nevertheless his determination remained unchanged. Then he met several hermits. But neither one of them could tell him of that kingdom, although all of them tried to help him. At last one of them called an assembly of the animals of all classes, but not one of these animals was able to tell him of that kingdom. When all the fowls and the birds had been called, the hermit found one who could help Don Juan. This was the eagle, the king of all the birds.

Don Juan flew with the eagle to the land of the Crystals and after thirty days of continuous flying, they reached it. Before the eagle left the prince, it informed him of the existence of crystal baths where the three princesses bathed every afternoon at four. In a hidden bush near these baths the prince waited and at four in that afternoon, he saw the coming of three beautiful princesses, who immediately took off their dresses and plunged into the pools, Don Juan stealthily crept to the place where the most beautiful of the three had left her dress and stole it.

Learn this Filipino word:

sa kabiláng-buhay