The Mandaya warriors and the crocodile

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THE MANDAYA WARRIORS AND THE CROCODILE
The fear of the crocodile was so colossal that men and women in the olden times can only dream to conquer them all. This was the same state of fear the Mandayas of Davao Oriental felt with the river sentinels. Hunting and searching for food were difficult tasks to do because foot paths often halt, in places where the cavernous mouths of the crocodiles await.

Thus, with the menace troubling the people of the high mountains, the Balyan prayed to the spirits of the woods and rivers to end the community’s sorrowful agony. One moon full night she danced around the blessed tree seeking for the response of the Manaogs.

While the Balyan’s chanting prayers were said, the Likid and his team of warriors watched in the shadowy parch of river grass waiting for the crocodiles to doze; for the eyes and mouth to finally close.

Armed with only bamboo spears, the Likid and his warriors embarked to fight the biggest of the crocodiles that all of a sudden awoke upon hearing the splashes around his dwelling. With a hundred spears filled up on its tips with poison, the warriors struck the crocodile with all their might.

Up in the mountains the Balyan danced in swirling deep contemplation. Her eyes set in heavens, the voice unceasingly in high pitch cries, and in twirling motion danced with stumping feet and swaying hips.

In the midst of the forest an ec
hoing cry was heard, then the exhausted Balyan fell on the ground; the ‘gimbals’ as well stopped its beating in silence. There was stillness everywhere, of nothingness of any sound.

Downstream by the river, the Likid and his warriors fought with might against the evil dweller of the river, the crocodile. Alas, the gods in heaven heard the cries of prayers because hours after passed, there lay the huge crocodile, immobile and bloodied, finally, without life.

The courageous Likid and his warriors have finally defeated the river guardian.

At last the Mandayas up in the mountains can now live in peace.

For, such was their only dream.

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