Dagasanan

 

There was once a hunter who made a terrible mistake. He searched for his quarry in the shadow of Mount Daeogdog, where the gods of his people lived. The most powerful of all the gods was Gamhanan, and he had a special pet. This favored creature of the great god was called the Panigotlo, a pristine, white deer with full antlers. One spear was all it took to silence the majestic sound of this enchanted creature.

There was once a village that had no choice. A full moon and the bleating of the Panigotlo signaled an abundant day for planting the next morning. The festivities and merriment suddenly stopped when they saw a figure approaching across the river. The hunter, Dagasanan, had on his shoulders the carcass of Gamhanan’s pet. They all knew that they could not abide by this sacrilege of the great god. The villagers took their spears and swords and slew Dagasanan by the river and his father in their home.

There was once a spirit that thirsted for vengeance. On the spot where Dagasanan was killed, an inyam tree grew. The hunter’s ghost would not know rest. The tree cast a shadow and on that spot his hunger for revenge would be sated. One child of the village would pay for what their ancestors had done. A child every year until the village would know the pain that he felt when his friends betrayed him.

There was once a boy who didn’t believe in ghost stories. His friends dared him to swim by the inyam tree and all he did was laugh. The boy called his friends cowards for believing in the stories that their lolos and lolas told them. He knew he was different and the bravest of their group, so he took the challenge and jumped in the water.

There is still a part of a river in Aklan named after the hunter, Dagasanan. They say that the loud noises that come from the rocks are his spirit crying in pain, looking for his next victim.

Leave a Reply