Sulod Myth of Creation

The myth as recorded in Philippine Folk Literature: The Myths (1994)
According to the Sulod Myth, a long time ago there was no land. There were only the sky and wide expanse of water called linaw.

Then one day there appeared two people–Laki and Bayi. Thesse people were of extradordinary size. Just where they came from was not known. One day Bayi (female) caught an earthworm called lagu-lagu. Out of curiosity, she held it on her palm and as she did this the creature threw out its excreta. The excreta grew and grew until it became the earth.

When the earth became big, Laki and Bayi went down to live on it. They married each other. When Bayi became pregnant, Laki prepared for her an amakan on which to lie down during her delivery.

Bayi gave birth to many children. The first set of her children came out of her finger-tips. These were the wild pigs, the deer, and other game animals now roaming the mountain sides. These animals are still wild today because their ancestors ran away immediately after birth without waiting to be given names by their parents.

The second set of children came out of the tips of Bayi’s toes. These were marine creatures like the eel, the Balanak, all creatures living in the rivers and streams. Following the fish and eels were the domestic animals such as the dogs, the cats, and the chickens. They came out of the calves of Bayi’s legs. Out of her thighs came the wild birds–the crows, the ribariba, and many others. Again these creatures were wild because they did not wait to be named but flew away immediately after birth. The last set of children who came out of Bayi’s genitalia consisted of three handsome boys–Hukum, Hikap, and Sit.

These boys grew to be sturdy young men. To findout who among them was well behaved and good, Laki devised a way of testing them. One hot noon, after lunch, he lay down on the floor and purposely let out his scrotum from his clout. Then he went to sleep. When Hukum came up into the house when they returned from their hunt, he saw his father’s scrotum and he burst into laughter. Suddenly he turned black as though he had been burnt.

Following him was Hikap, the second son. Upon seeing their father’s genitals he smiled in amusement and he turned slightly brown. The last one to come up was Sit, who, upon seeing their father’s position, stepped forward and covered the exposed genitals. He remained maputi.

When Laki woke up, he called his three sons to his side. He asked them what each would choose from three kinds of gifts he would like to give each of them: a golden chair, a beautifully carved bolo and a pedang (headwear adorned with silver coins). Hukum chose the golden chair, Hikap the beautifully carved bolo, and Sit took what his brothers left, the headwear.

Next, Laki went beside the window. Looking out he pointed to what he described as a “golden fish swept by the water our of the shore.” On hearing this, Hukum jumped out of his seat to tale a look. He was followed by Hikap who changed his mind before he reached the windown, and retured to his seat. Sit rose but did not go beside the window, instead he sat on Hukum’s golden chair. Turning to his three sons, after a while, Laki said:

“You Hukum because your conduct has been unbecoming and you have been very greedy, you’ll only die but never become rich. You will have to live by begging from your brothers and hunting by bow and arrow. You Hikap, you won’t earn a living until you make use of that bolo and till the soil. But you Sit, because of your exemplary conduct, you will find living easy. Even if you don’t work, you’ll become rich.”

When these three young men came of marriageable age, they separated. Hukum became the father of the ati (Negritos), whose children still roam the mountainside begging for food and hunting with bow and arrow; Sit went far, far away and was not heard of until his children returned (possibly the Spaniards and the Americans); and Hikap went mountainward and became the father of the Sulod people.
Eugenio, D. L. (1994). Philippine Folk Literature: The Myths. University of the Philippine Press.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *