Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Enchanted Eels of Cagubatan

by: Felisa Daskeo

The place looks like the place in a fairy tale with fogs usually covering the place especially during cold days plus a mountain peak towering it.  Cagubatan, Tadian Mt. Province is one place that you should go and visit for a change.  A peaceful Igorot village in an equally nature-rich place, this is the perfect place to unwind and be closer to nature.  Now that it is 2012 it is easy to reach the place through land transportation; unlike when we were kids when we needed to walk to reach the place.

Mugao- Cagubatan, Mt. Province
Cagubatan is what we call Sunnyside.  It is where Mr. Sun shines first and where rain often comes from before it reached our town.   When I was a kid, we often raced with the rain coming from Sunnyside. Once we heard the sound of rain rushing to our town, we ran as fast as we could to our homes before the rain-soaked us. Sometimes the rain came but sometimes it just stopped and didn't reach our place.

Rice Terraces

Towering the place is a mountain peak called Mugao believed to be once upon a time an active volcano.  It has died and been extinct for perhaps hundreds or thousands of years- nobody could tell even the oldest man that I have spoken to said that Mugao was already there when he was born.
Read what the Cagubatan people have to say about the eel or DALIT.

 In this high-tech world nobody would believe in superstitious beliefs and tales from the old men and women.  Back then, I have always heard of stories from my grandparents, my father and other old men and women.  These stories had circulated for perhaps hundreds or thousands of years and had been handed down from generation after generation perhaps some were true- who would have known, all those who have told the stories were already long time dead and silent in their graves.  But Mugao is still standing as powerful as it used to be like a monument guarding the place.  
Back home, when I was a little girl, I often watched Mugao in our window.  It was like a painting on the wall and I loved it.  

There, you can see how big it is and how healthy.

What’s more interesting is that at the foot of Mugao, there is a creek inhabited by eels that people believe are enchanted eels.  When I was a young girl I heard a story about a man who tried to catch one of the eels and ended up only hurting the eel. The eel survived but became blind in one eye.  The man who hurt the eel they said died.  Another story goes that there was a family who ate an eel from the creek and they also died.  From then on nobody ever attempted to hurt or catch the eels for food.  The creek was opened to the public for eel viewing only.  If you poke a stick with a bait, the eels come out and show themselves to the viewers. 
Have fun viewing.

Some people believe that the eels have wings and that they travel at night to other places.  There was one time when one eel was found in another village which was several kilometers away from the said creek.  The question is, how could the eel have possibly traveled that distance when it has no wings?  This is the reason why people strongly believe that the eels have wings and that they are enchanted.  The scientific explanation of the event is the possibility of the eel having traveled that far through the water table.  Whatever is the answer, the folks around the creek strongly believe in the eels being enchanted.  The eels are believed to have lived hundreds of years, which validates their being enchanted.

Cagubatan’s eels will live years and years and people will keep visiting them.  Enchanted or not, the truth remains that the eels of a long time ago are still there and alive.  The strong belief of the people around that these eels are enchanted and must be left alone to breed in the creek is what is making the enchanted eels safe and alive forever.

Copyright 2012 Felisa Daskeo


Jojit Capuyan Latayan said...

when i was young, my grandmother often told me about revered springs with revered eels in the mountain province. the eels were said to be spirits of ancestors with the ability to shapeshift or grow old into dragon-like creatures.

Jojit Capuyan Latayan said...

So, it's called Mugao- Tadian's Matterhorn. I dreamed of climbing its summit.

Felisa Daskeo said...

Yes, i heard that too. They say that the eels could fly at night and they produce lights. perhaps dragons are true and not only fairy tales.

Unknown said...

_ helloo_ kailyan_ Sino po adMin nito?? hehe_

Felisa Daskeo said...

Hi, ako po. My name is Felisa Daskeo. Thank you for visiting.

Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Unknown said...

Nice article for Cagubatan.But one thing, their is no hole in the summit of Mt.Clitoris/Mogao, I already reach it's summit & it shows an awesome view of the whole vicinity of the Tadian & even the view of Cervantes, Ilocos Sur