Philippine Demonological Legends and Their Cultural Bearings (Realms Of Myths And Reality) by Maximo D. Ramos
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IN THE PHILIPPINES, folk healers continue to have extensive practice back home, prescribing cures to appease demonological beings whose domain, they say, the patient has violated. At twilight the healer casts uncooked rice or puts a bowl of saltless boiled chicken where the patient last worked or played before becoming ill. The healer then begs the spirits to accept the offering, forgive the patient's trespass, and heal him.The farmer also offers rice cakes, cigars or cigarettes, wine—and now bottled carbonated drinks have become acceptable as well—before plowing his field and on the last day of harvest. These are the farmer's traditional rent on the land, for the folk believe that the usually invisible dwarfs in the area are the real owners of the land, the farmer who works it being just their tenant though it is titled to him.
Our parks should be decorated with figures of these ancient deities rather than with those of European fairies with butterfly wings and sharp-eared dwarfs with red or blue bonnets alien to Philippine folklore. Our gardens should contain figures of the creatures which our villagers tell legends about.
Some of the beliefs about these creatures may have been forgotten. But the kinds of behavior they shaped persist, especially where they serve to reinforce existing behavior patterns.
Maximo D Ramos
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