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The Sleeping Beauty Mountain of Kalinga

The legends of the Sleeping Beauty Mountain of Kalinga as passed down orally from one generation to another.

The Sleeping Beauty Mountain of Kalinga
The Sleeping Beauty Mountain of Kalinga

The Sleeping Beauty Mountain (also known as Mount Patukan, Mount Mating-oy Dinayao, Mount Mantingoy) is a mountain ridge in the province of Kalinga. The mountain is called such because the silhouette of the northern ridge resembles a sleeping woman.

Mount Patukan (in the Lubo dialect of Tanudan) is the forehead and highest point of 'Sleeping Beauty.' The ridge is located between the municipalities of Tanudan and Tinglayan. It is usually best viewed from the west near the municipality Tinglayan in the Chico River valley, but it can also be viewed from the east near Tanudan. The mountain is known as Mount Mating-oy Dinayao in the Tinglayan dialect.

There is a folkloric legend regarding the mountain, passed on for several generations. The tale is one of Kalinga's most loved bedtime stories popularly sang in the native ballad called Ullalim. The tale of two lovers ended by a tribal war has different versions, depending on the tribe where the story originated, the names of the protagonists are different, but with only a slight variation in the story.

One version of the story is about Lubting and Mawanga; one, about Dinayao and Binsay; and the other, Edonsan and Banna - all ending with the female protagonist resting on Patukan, in despair, after the loss of her loved one.

The Sleeping Beauty Mountain of Kalinga (also known as Mount Patukan, Mount Mating-oy Dinayao, Mount Mantingoy)
The Sleeping Beauty Mountain of Kalinga (also known as Mount Patukan, Mount Mating-oy Dinayao, Mount Mantingoy)

"Patukan: The Legend of the 'Sleeping Beauty' Mountain of Kalinga" by Scott Magkachi Saboy

She may not qualify for listening as among the "Wonders of the World" - not even for the 9th after her neighbor, the labyrinthine system of rice terraces in Banaue, Ifugao. She may not even be the most discriminating and nationwide to our country's tourist spot hunters.

But to the Kalingas, she represents their tribalistic pride and honor - the heroism of their forefathers who fought and died in the name of their people and their children's children - and the fidelity of their women to their husbands. She is the perpetual "Lady Lubting" known to many a Kalinga tribesman today as the "Sleeping Beauty Mountain."

To a casual traveler along the Bontoc-Kalinga national road, the mountain is merely one of these mountain ridges monotonously following him all through the mountain roads from Baguio to the northernmost highland political territory of Apayao. She may not be seen at times because of the clouds blanketing the mountain range or because of one's lack of an aesthetic sense. Or that she is viewed from another vantage point. But she is there, supinely lying to remain for today's generation and the generations to come as a symbol of a woman's love for a man of her own choice.

One cannot fully understand and feel the pride that a Kalinga has for this mountain unless he encounters the legend of Lady Lubting. The legend is one of Kalinga's most loved bedtime stories popularly sang in the native ballad called Ullalim. So popular is the legend that anyone from Tinglayan, Kalinga, or from the neighboring municipality of Tanudan can sing it in the Ullalim verse by verse.

This is the legend taken from that immortal ballad:

There once lived in Dakalan (a barrio/village of Tanudan municipality) a couple whose names were Gamu (wife) and Usa-ay (husband). Born out of their wedlock was a baby girl who was immediately named "Lubting." The baby had shown unusual talents. She had a beautiful voice which attracted people in the village.

Lubting grew up to become the most beautiful maiden in the whole Kalinga land. Many a dashing Kalinga young man had offered his love for Lubting but not one of them met the approving eyes of the beauteous village queen.

One day, Mawanga, a son of a pangat (wealthy Kalinga man and tribal chief) from Tinglayan heard about the wild news about beautiful Lubting. He set for Dakalan, where he met the famed maiden. Mawanga was himself a famous, handsome, young warrior. Lubting fell in love with him, and Mawanga asked Lubting's hands from her parents. With Gamu and Usa-ay consenting, a parental engagement was celebrated...

Since Mawanga was hurrying home to Tinglayan to tell his parents about the betrothal to the beauteous Dakalan girl, he and Lubting agreed to meet after five days atop Mt. Patukan where they would rendezvous to plan their future. (Patukan is a border mountain ridge bordering the municipalities of Tinglayan and Tanudan. This is the highest point in this mountain ridge overlooking both the Tinglayan and Tanudan valleys.)

On that appointed day, a fierce tribal war erupted between the Botbot and the Tinglayan tribesmen. Mawanga led his Tinglayan men to battle. He killed many enemies but was himself slain at the end of the strife. He was decapitated and his head was carried off by the Botbot tribesmen.

The surviving Tinglayan warriors brought home the headless body of their slain warrior. Upon remembering Mawanga's promise to meet Lady Lubting at Mt. Patukan, the village leaders held an emergency meeting and decided to send a messenger to Lubting who was expected to be at the meeting place waiting for her Mawanga.

The messenger climbed the mountain with a heavy heart, wondering how he would break the terrible news to the lady. After a slow and heavy trek, the messenger reached the mountain peak where Lubting was.

"Where is Mawanga?" asked the lady in a surprised tone.

With faltering speech, the messenger said, "You must go home. Luck has left you and Mawanga. He was slain in a battle with the Botbots. His head was taken by our enemies."

Bursting into tears, Lubting cried: "No, I will not go home to Dakalan. I am not going to see the body of my beloved, either. For of what use will it be to me to see the headless body of my Mawanga?"

Throughout the day, Lady Lubting wept until her copious tears slowly eroded the mountainside. Suddenly, she stood motionless, her head raised to the heavens, and fell to the ground on her back - lifeless.

As time wore on, the spot where she fell gradually took on a shape that developed into what the present-day "Sleeping Beauty Mountain" looks like. Lady Lubting lies there today eternally facing the heavens to remind Kalingas of her wish for the return of her beloved.

The Sleeping Beauty Mountain of Kalinga | Macques Xer
The Sleeping Beauty Mountain of Kalinga Macques Xer

The Legend of the Sleeping Beauty by Manolo Ballug

In those days, tribes were not on good terms with each other. Tribal wars were common.

There was a man in Tinglayan called Banna, who had extraordinary bravery and strength. He had an unusual charm so people look up to him for leadership. He was also a very good "ullalim" singer.

One day Banna realized that he needed a lifetime partner, someone to share his life with, so he went in search of a wife. Since there were no eligible women in his barrio he decided to ascend Mount Patukan, a mountain west of Tanudan and east of Tinglayan, and go to the sitio of Dacalan, Tanudan.

While it was still daylight, he stopped and rested under a big tree at a distance away from the village so that no one could see him. This is because he might provoke trouble by his presence.

When night came, Banna slowly went down nearer to the village and searched for a place to observe. After some time, he heard a soft, melodious female voice singing the ullalim. He was drawn to the voice and moved closer to the hut. Peeping, he saw the most beautiful woman he had ever set eyes on. Long, wavy hair, dark, fringed eyes, and a voice that grew sweeter and sweeter as he drew closer to the hut. Banna was mesmerized...captivated by the lyrical voice. The leaves of the trees around him seemed to be dancing in unison with the woman's ululations.

He knew it was extremely dangerous for him to reveal himself inside the village territory, but his burning desire to meet the woman was stronger than his sense of survival.

He knocked boldly at the "sawali" (bamboo-made) walls of the hut.

" Anna tago," ( Someone's here.)

" Umma sanat?" (Who is it?), the singing stopped, but the spoken words were the most appealing sound Banna had ever heard.

" This is Banna" from Tinglayan.

He heard hurried movements from the house, then a male voice spoke harshly, " What do you need?"

The natives were very protective of their women and properties, and Banna knew that he could get killed by his boldness.

" I don't mean any harm, I come in peace. I would like to meet the woman who sings the ullalim with passion."

The family was so nervous about letting a stranger in the house and had urged him to go home instead. But Banna was persistent and had refused to go.

Dongdongan - the father of the woman - slowly opened the door and saw a young, handsome man standing like a sentinel at the door. He repeated his plea for Banna to leave but the stance of the Banna indicated, he would not be budged from where he stood. So, he reluctantly let him in.

"I am Banna from Tinglayan"

Once inside the house, as dictated by tradition, Dongdongan handed Banna a bowl of water. It was an old tradition that once a stranger is accepted into a house, it is also understood that he will be protected and kept safe by the host family. As a symbol of this unwritten agreement, the stranger would be given a drink of water. This is called "paniyao". If a stranger is not given one, then it denotes an existing hostility that may result in a deadly fight if the stranger does not leave immediately.

The second phase of the ritual continued. Dongdongan offered Banna the "buyo" - a bland, powder which when chewed with certain leaves would produce red-tinged saliva. This concoction is called "moma".

Ullalim was the official means of communication then so they sang as they talked. Banna too had a strong, masculine voice and it was apparent he could sing well.

In his ullalim Banna revealed his search for a wife. Dongdongan introduced him to her daughter, Edonsan, who readily accepted Banna's handshake.

Banna then and there proposed to Edonsan. Edonsan in turn accepted the proposal and there was a flurry of activity, as all the village folk were invited to a meeting and then a "canao" ( festivities with dancing and singing). Banna and Edonsan dance the "salidsid" (courtship dance) to the tempo of the gongs, while the community participated in the "tadok" (dance for all). The celebration lasted the whole day, with everyone in the village participating. No one had gone to the fields and the kaingin as people usually did. The village people were the witnesses to the exchange of vows between the two. There were no officiating priests or Judges, no official documents to sign, but the vows were always kept and were considered sacred by everyone in the village.

Tradition also dictated that Banna had to stay with Edonsan's family for 7 days to prove his sincerity and purity of intention. Banna and Edonsan had their honeymoon along the slope of the Patokan mountain picking guavas and wild strawberries, making love, and dropping by the river to catch fish for supper.

In the evening of each day for the seven days that Banna was there, Edonsan took Banna to each of her relative's houses. It is considered good luck to do so, as it is believed that the blessings and approval of relatives are vital to the happiness of the couple.

At the end of the 7th day, the couple prepared to leave for Banna's village where they will establish residence. The parents of Edonsan and the village people prepared native cakes and tobacco as gifts for the departure of the newly married couple.

As dawn broke, the village people came together to see them off. The two left happily, with their hands entwined against each other. The trail was adorned with guavas and strawberries and they had a handful as they trek towards the summit of Patokan. It took them 8 arduous hours to get to the top.

As soon as they reached the top, they heard unusual noises coming from Banna's village which was a few miles below them.

Banna had a premonition that it was something dangerous so he instructed Edonsan to stay put and wait for him. He was going down to his village to investigate the cause of the ruckus.

Banna ran down to the village. As soon as he was seen by the village people, a cheer reverberated in the air. He was informed hastily that their village was under siege and that his leadership was needed to drive the trespassers away.

The bloody, face-to-face encounter of the two warring tribes went on for hours, spears and bolos clashed against each other as more bodies piled up in between the cluster of the nipa huts. The great number of the invading tribe slowly weakened Banna's men. One by one they fell, bloodied, to the ground. He could not possibly go back to Edonsan, Banna thought. He would fight up to his very last breath - but he had to make sure Edonsan does not come down to the village.

Hastily, he instructed one of his men to warn Edonsan, but the man never made it far. He and Banna were simultaneously wounded and fell bleeding to the ground. Banna died with his spear in his hand and his last vision was the face of Edonsan.

Edonsan, on the other hand, waited and waited...and waited. But there was no Banna to take her home. She was weak from weariness and heartache. She had no desire to live without her Banna.

When it was evident, Banna was not coming for her, she slowly crumpled to the grassy-matted forest and wept uncontrollably. Tears flowed down from her cheeks as she grew weaker and weaker and the tears flowed more and more copiously.

Night came and Banna had not returned yet..and Edonsan had grown weak with grief and fatigue, her breath slowly coming out in gasps... until she closed her eyes and breathed her last.

On the spot where her body was laid to rest, sprang two waterfalls which are believed to be the tears of Edonsan. Today mt Patukan resembles the body of a woman lying down.

In Tinglayan, one can see from a distance, the beautifully, shaped body of a reclining woman.

And that is the legend of "The Sleeping Beauty" folks, as handed down orally, from one generation to another.

As the story is passed on, additions and omissions are done by each set of generations. What is important is that the undying love of Banna and Edonsan will always be remembered by the people of Kalinga.

Note: Some versions of the story name the Gentleman "Binsay" and the woman "Dinayao" pronounce as "Chinayao" by the people of Tinglayan. Today Mt. Patukan is considered one of the most challenging mountains to climb.



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