[the philippines’] geographical location, the archipelagic nature of the country, the numerous ethnolinguistic groups to be found in it, and the various historical forces that have shaped the destiny of its people probably account for the richness and variety [of their fairy tales]. a glance at the map and at the history of the islands reveals the archipelago as a veritable ocean center of the streams of story…philippine animal tales [center around] deceptions or the absurd predicaments into which the animal’s stupidity leads him…in the philippines, the animal trickster is usually a monkey, more often a turtle. the crocodile is always the dupe…many philippine märchen are local versions of internationally known tales [but] these tales have been filipinized. for instance, in many versions of the cinderella story [such as mayyang at ang alimango], the friendly helper is not a fairy godmother but the heroine’s mother in the form of a crab. moreover, the heroine is often shown washing clothes in the river, a very typical household task of philippine village girls…the hero is not always a prince or a king. in the leyte version, he is the son of the richest man in baybay…the meeting with the hero, likewise, does not always happen at a ball. in the majority of philippine versions, it takes place in a church. in place of a coach and horses to take her to the ball, the heroine in a samar version is given a golden calesa to take her to church. in another well-known and popular tale of the puss-in-boots pattern, two striking modifications reflecting philippine village life may be noted. the first is that in all philippine variants of the tale, the helpful animal is always a monkey, just as it is always a cat in the french, german, and italian versions. the second is the use of the borrowed rice measure as a trick to impress the king or father of the heroine with the wealth of the hero. of foreign analogues examined, only in the spanish version is this motif found, establishing a close relation between that tale and the spanish version.
examples: juan ang walang kapantay na magnanakaw (juan the peerless robber), ang apat na bulag kapatid na lalaki (the four blind brothers), chonguita ang unggoy asawa (chonguita the monkey wife)
post 684 of an infinity-part series