Wrath of Kaptan

The myth as recorded in Outline of Philippine Mythology (1969)
The great flood, according to the ancient Bisayans, occured shortly after the people of the world became many and living became so complex that reverence to the gods was no longer taken seriously. It must be rememeberd in this connection, that god Kaptan created the first man and woman, Sikalak and Sikabay, to while away his loneliness when his wife, goddess Maguayan, left their home in the sky shortly after their quarrel. The first pair bore many children, and the world was populated. This made Kaptan very happy. There were many things to attend to and this preoccupation helped him steer his thoughts away from the unwholesome memory of the past! His loneliness gradually disappeared.

In gratitude, the great god blessed the children of Sikalak and Sikabay with prosperity. He gave them abundant harvest. All they wanted was easy to obtain. No one had to labor very hard in order to get what he wanted. The housewives had only to place empty baskets in front of their doorstepas before retiring at night, and in the morning, every tray was full of food.

“This land,” Kaptan said one day as he surveyed the beautiful land, its verdant plains and valleys lying snugly beneathe the golden light of the morning sun, “shall be the extension of heavenly joy. Everything that is in my household shall be here also — the comfort and happiness of Kahilwayan must not be the exclusive privilege of the diwata, these people must share with it.”

However, as time went on, Sikalak’s children, in prosperity, began to neglect their duties towards the other gods of Kahilwayan. They took for granted their promise to the different diwata. They did not perform their ceremonial obligations regularly. Despite the warnings of their chief priest, Bangut-Banwa, they refused to pay homage to the idols of the gods. They even trespassed the paths of the anito.

This act of open defiance to the divine wishes of Kahilwayan angered the other divinities. And so one day, when Kaptan was away, they met in council to decide what to do about it. Addressing the assemblage in a voice filled with anger, Maklium-sa-t’wan, lord of the plains and valleys, bellowed: “All of you have seen how these people refused to pay homage to our idols and trespassed the paths of our anito. They have neglected their duties; have refused to offer sacrifices to us, and, above all, they have defied our wishes. What a disgraceful mistake, Kaptan has made in giving them wealth and prosperity.”

“What plans do you have in mind?” asked the other diwata.

“They must be punished.”

“Hadn’t we better wait for Kaptan to decide that matter for us?” one of the diwata suggested.

“His lordship is very busy,” replied Maklium-sa-t’wan. “We must teach these people a lesson before it is too late.”

At length, it was agreed that the people on earth should be punished. Maklium-sa-badigan, lord of fire, suggested burning the world as punishment to the irreverent people. However, afraid that the heat of the fire might kill the fishes of the sea, Maklium-sa-tubig, lord of the sea, vehemently objected to his brother’s suggestion. The plan was not carried out.

Finally, Kasaray-sarayan-sa-silgan, lord of the rivers, suggested flooding the whole world as punishment for the disobedient children of Sikalak and Sikabay.

“At least,” he reasoned out, “that would not harm the fishes of the sea, the shrimps of the rivers, and the snails of the lakes.” The plan sounded all right to the other members of the council and it was carried out: the world must be flooded.

Unknown to this group, Suklang-Malayon, guardian of happy homes, was listening behind the sawali wall which separated the councilroom from the darapulan or chamber for the ladies-in-waiting. Upon hearing the plan to destroy the plains, she hurriedly went down to the lowlands and warned Datu Paubari, the brave and kind leader of the Muro-puro, a progressive village at the mouth of Jalaur river in Panay, of the forthcoming calamity.

She told the good chieftain to go to the highest peak of a nearby mountain and make a raft. Obediently, Datu Paubari followed the instructions of Suklang-Malayon.

In the meantime, Maklium-sa-tubig, with the help of Magdan-durunuon, mistress of hidden lakes, was able to persuade Saragan-ka-bagtiw, god of the storm, to help with their plans.

Then the appointed day came. Maklium-sa-silgan began his assigned task. He closed the mouths of the rivers while his brother, Maklium-sa-tubig, opened the gates of the sea. In like manner, Magdan-durunuon cauused the water of the lakes to flow out. Saragan-sa-bagtiw sent forth the whirlwind, dense clouds, and thunderstorms. Heavy rain fell as fierce hurricane raged.

The people scampered for safety, but it was too late! Pandemonium broke loose as the elements raged in fury and violence! Strong winds tore trees, houses and everything that stood in their way; mighty waves rushed out of the sea-gates as rivers rolled back and lakes convulsed. The world shook and the lowland soon became an ocean of dying men and mewling animals.

When the water reached the mountain top, Datu Paubari tied his wife and himself on the raft. The storm raged for several days and the two drifted along. Then one day they noticed that their raft was no longer moving. The skies became clear and the sun appeared. The water had subsided.

Certain that they were out of danger, Datu Paubari untied himself, his wife, and other members of his household. They they burned the raft as a sacrifice to the gods of Kahilwayan. They went down to the plain, cultivated the land, bore children and repeopled the world.
Jocano, F. L. (1969). Outline of Philippine Mythology. Centro Escolar Univ. Research and Development Center.

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