Ang Alamat Ng Bakunawa - The Legend of the Eclipse-Dragon

A very old legend from the Philippines. The exact wording has been lost to history, but it still lives on in its own way.

"When the world was yet new, there were seven moons. Bathala, creator of land, sea, and sky, had made them to light the sky at night. These moons were a sight to behold: gleaming like newly polished silver."

"In the sea lived a dragon called Bakunawa. This dragon had a mouth as big as a lake, a tongue red as blood, the whiskers and gills of a catfish, and two pairs of wings: a larger pair gray as ash and a smaller pair found farther down its body. The Bakunawa was so enchanted by the beauty of the moons that one night, he rose up out of the sea and swallowed one moon whole. Inordinately proud of his feat, he slunk back down to his watery domain. Unfortunately he soon realized the moon inside him was melting away like candle wax."

"Wanting to take a moon that would last, the Bakunawa rose into the sky the next night and swallowed another moon. But this one too melted away. Night after night he took another moon from the sky, and each time it melted away inside him."

"By now only one moon was left in the sky, and Bathala was furious. Rather than kill the Bakunawa, he punished the beast and commanded him not to devour the last moon."

"They say Bakunawa obeys Bathala’s order… most of the time. Every now and then he tries, yes he tries to eat the last moon, and that is why it turns red. But the people on earth raise a loud clamor of clanging and clashing metal, screaming and wailing, all to startle him into spitting the moon out. Others take the gentler approach, playing music to put him into a deep sleep so that the moon will roll out of his mouth."

And that’s the gist of the Filipino legend of the Bakunawa - a dragon so terrifying its head is used on kampilan hilts to bestow upon the warriors its fearsome presence and power.

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