22 July 2010


In Sorsogon, the legend of San Bernardino embodied this turn of events against the land and its inhabitants.The legend spoke about a mighty spirit who dwelt in Mt. Bulusan. He ruled the land and none of the inhabitants dared disobey him. 

In return, this powerful spirit made the land prosperous and the people contented. One day, this powerful spirit fell in love with one of the maidens living in a village near his abode. The spirit did everything he could to win this fair maiden's heart. 
He showered the inhabitants with greater abundance, while to the maiden and her family he gave precious gifts heretofore unseen by man. 

Unfortunately, the spirit's amorous proposals were not reciprocated by the fair maiden. Despite the pleas of the towns people, the maiden refused to become the bride of an unseen suitor for she had already chosen one. The spirit was enraged. Spurned in spite of all the bounties he bestowed upon the land and its inhabitants, the spirit of Mt. Bulusan wrought vengeance against them.  

He sent a scourge upon the land and the people. The forest became empty of game, the land became unproductive, and hunger and death stalked the land. Many died, especially the young and the old. It was while these events were taking place that a huge and horrible four-winged creature, half-bird and half-beast, was seen hovering ominously over the villages.  

Nobody knew where it came from but the inhabitants believed it was the spirit of Mt. Bulusan who had come to claim his bride. Panic filled everyone except one man -the favored suitor of the hapless maiden. He stalked the flying beast. When it alighted on one of the surrounding trees he shot it with his arrows.  

Blood gushed profusely where the arrows struck. The fatally wounded flying beast refused to be caught and flew towards the open sea. It had not gone far when death overtook it and, with blood-curdling cries, fell into the sea. Its neck sank while its head and body remained above the surface and were immediately transformed into land. 

The old folks claim that if we look closely at the portion of the sea between Samar and Sorsogon, we will notice two small islands with a slender strip of water between them. These two islands, they said, were the spirit of Mt. Bulusan turned giant bird. 

They further said that the narrow stretch of sea between Samar and Sorsogon, now called the Strait of San Bernardino, is fraught with dangers and the waters are fickle and deceitful. Even now, the inhabitants in these areas claim that the place is "engkantado"(enchanted) and human lives are annually exacted from theunwary passersby. 

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