Tabi-Tabi Po…

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Lumabas ito sa isyu ngayong Nobyembre 1 ng Philippine Panorama ng Manila Bulletin. Salin ito ni Jacky Oiga sa ilang sipi mula sa aklat kong 101 Kagila-gilalás na Nilaláng na inilathala ng Adarna House ngayong taon.

Narito ang buong teksto na mababasa rin sa link na ito:

Lamánlupà are supernatural beings living underground, in mounds (punso), or on big trees like the baléte. They are mostly small creatures, although some can be gigantic. They are invisible to the naked eye because they are usually in the form of spirits or elementals. People believe that the lamánlupà are the rightful owners of the land above and beneath the earth so farmers would do offerings to them during planting and harvest seasons. The lamánlupà are normally harmless, unless they are being disturbed or indiscriminate human actions destroy their homes. This is the reason why Filipinos are wont to mutter “tabi-tabi po” when treading dense or unfamiliar ground. In some circumstances, however, the lamànlupà intentionally play with humans or hurt them. The lamànlupà are called kaibaan in Pangasinan and tamyáw in Waray. Here are four examples of the lamánlupà:

TIYÁNAK
The tiyának is a lamánlupà said to be the soul of babies who died before being baptized. It is generally playful and likes to hoodwink bewildered travelers. It has the power to transform into another being or form or go invisible to confound a victim. It particularly finds pleasure in messing with children with unique or odd names. Its impaired vision is set off by enhanced hearing. It has difficulty in walking and running because its left leg is bigger than its right. It has, however, the ability to fly or leap a long distance. The tiyának lives underground where precious jewels are buried. It resurfaces during high noon or at dusk. It chirps like a bird when it spots a victim—the victim being a childless couple who adopts the tiyának in the form of a real baby. When the tiyának finds its new home, it will plot its plan to kill its adoptive parents by drinking their blood.

ALÁN
To the Tinggian and Isneg, the alán or arán is a lamánlupà with a deformed or mottled feature that usually lives in the forest or in springs. It hangs upside down on tree branches like bats, has wings, and skin as thick as a carabao’s. Its fingers and toes are also upside down so they are very horrific. Sometimes, it conceives a baby from menstrual blood or blood from a miscarriage. This baby would resemble a real newborn child. The alán raises the children like its own in a house made of gold. When the child finds out its real identity, it leaves the alán to be with its real parents, taking with it all the gold. The Tinggian look down on the alán as lesser type of lamánlupà. They sometimes ridicule it or cheat it during  offering rituals.

MÁNTIW
In Kiniray-a, the mántiw is a kind of lamanlupa perceived to be very thin and tall as a tree. Its skin is said to be black and hairy. It leans on kapok trees while chewing nganga (betel nut) or smoking a tobacco. The mántiw lives in the forest to stay away from people. There are times, however, that it scares people who stay out late. It roams around barrios and grabs people roaming the streets at night. It carries its victims on its back, carries them on trees, and leaves them there.

BÚSAW
To the Bagóbo, the búsaw is an evil spirit that eats corpses and brings danger to people. Its teeth and nails are long, curved, and sharp. It stinks and, although it’s normally invisible, it is very manlike when it reveals itself. It can hear the moans of the dying from a far. It can smell death. It feasts on the dead and the bodies of those left behind. When there are no corpses to be had, the búsaw gather on big trees near cemeteries where they scavenge for dead victims. Once a búsaw finds a lifeless prey, it replaces the corpse with a banana that will magically turn into a sort of dead stand in. Meanwhile, it turns the corpse into a boar or a big fish before eating it. Sometimes, it even cooks the transformed corpse and shares it with its neighbors.

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