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5 Fun Philippine Folktales



This simple Philippine folk tale talks about a girl named Pinang who is very lazy, letting her mother do all of the work around the house. One day, Pinang’s mother becomes sick and cannot cook without any assistance. She asks Pinang to help her locate her ladle she needs, but, being the lazy girl that she is, she pretends to look around while lounging about. When her mother finds out what she did, she wishes her daughter had a hundred eyes so that she may find things easily. Due to her wish, Pinang turns into a Piña (Pineapple) the next day, her body covered with many “eyes”.


A simple folk tale from the mind of Philippine National Hero, Jose Rizal himself! It talks about two friends, Monkey and Turtle. One day, they find a banana plant floating across the river and retrieve it. Deciding to halve it between themselves, monkey foolishly picks the top half thinking it was better while turtle wisely picks the roots, which can still grow a tree in time. When monkey’s half dies, turtle offers to share his tree and fruits, which thrive greatly. Monkey, on the other hand, becomes selfish and keeps all the fruit of the tree for himself up in the branches. Because of his betrayal, turtle tricks the monkey to come down and bites his tail off. In anger, monkey tries to drown the turtle in the river, his home, where he gets laughed at instead for his foolishness once more. The story aims to teach children to be patient and clever like the turtle, not hasty and foolish like the monkey.


A very peculiar yet straightforward story about how the sky came to be so high up. Once upon a time, the clouds were close enough to be reached by people from the ground. One day, a beautiful girl named Inday wore a beautiful necklace and brought a comb which she inherited from her family. She put her necklace and comb on a cloud to avoid losing it while she pounded rice. While raising and pounding the pestle, the back end continued to push the clouds farther and farther up into the air. Before she realized what she was doing, the clouds were way beyond anybody’s reach. Her necklace became the crescent moon in the sky while the beads scattered by her comb became the stars.


In this story, vanity is the subject of the moral. It tells about a girl who was so beautiful, her parents refused to let her work. This made her feel very spoiled and concerned about appearances. One day, while she looked at her reflection in the river, a crab came up to compliment her. She screamed and called the creature ugly, which made the crab angry enough to scratch her face. He cursed her into becoming a fish and that’s why it is said fishes often dart away from their own reflections.


This story is another tale about another underappreciated mother. In Batanes, a widowed mother lived with her two, little girls. Unfortunately, the little girls enjoyed playing more than they enjoyed helping their poor mother around the house. The only thing the mother asked of them was to have dinner prepared after she finished working in the fields. One night, she arrived at home while her daughters were away playing a game. She decided to make dinner herself despite being quite tired. When the girls arrived back at home and saw the poor woman working, they went away to play more. Not being able to take the treatment, the mother walked away, followed by the two little girls. Before they could convince her to return, she transformed into the shape of Mt. Iraya. This plays on the age old fear that if you're a naughty child, your parents will disappear and leave you.

How were these 5 different folk tales? Do you think their stories hold valuable morals that people will want to hold onto for the rest of their lives? Sometimes a great story is the perfect way to spread a lesson that won't bore the readers.

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