The Tale of Mount Mogao and the Enchanted Eels

In the olden times, the people in one of the villages of Demag, Sunnyside cluster, Tadian municipality lived in harmony. They also lived simple life and peacefully.

Kagu, the most beautiful maiden lured the young men and unmarried men in the community and nearby villages. The sons of the kakadangyan (rich) went to offer their love to her but Kagu rejected them.    

Atan, a hunter, caught the attention of Kagu. She felt in love with him. Later on, they fall in love with each other.    

The parents of Kagu, who were considered kadangyan in the village were against Atan because he was kodo (poor). They reminded their daughter to forget Atan because there were other men who were interested to marry her.

Due to inevitable love, Kagu and Atan eloped and got married. They made a little house away from their village.

Atan continued hunting while Kagu tend to their fields. She planted vegetables and palay.

They were happy and contented with their daily lives, but they felt something was lacking.

One day, the couple prayed faithfully to Igorot god Kabunyan to bless them with children. However, for years Kagu didn’t bear a child.

Kagu had a dream one night. Kabunyan told her that she will soon bear children. Atan was so happy and was encouraged to do his daily chores when his wife shared her dream to him. 

One day, Atan was attacked by wild animals when he went hunting. He was terribly wounded but managed to go home alone. He died in the hands of his wife.

After several days of mourning, Kagu went to tend her field.  She fainted after a few hours of work. As soon she arrived home, she engaged the service of a village quack doctor to examine her. The village “physician” declared that she was pregnant.

One sunny day Kagu gave birth to twins, a boy and girl. The village “doctor” who assisted her was dumbfounded because the babies possess slippery skin which is likened to that of a fish.              

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An enchanted eel. Photo by FBD

Most of the people in the village avoided the two children because they feared that the condition of the children was contagious.

One day a tragedy happened in the village. Water became scarce. The villagers perceived that the presence of Kagu’s children was a curse in the community that caused the water to become inadequate. Angry, they went to Kagu’s house and shouted for her to relinquish her children to the people.

Alarmed, Kagu hid her children under their bed made of intertwined sticks. Because she didn’t yield her children, the community started throwing stones to her. The two kids ran and tried to save their mother. Kagu hugged her children instead.

Kabunyan saw what was going on. He sounded a great bellow that scared the villagers. The latter scampered for their safety. Kagu and her children were hurt tremendously. Before they died, they asked Kabunyan to forgive the villagers. Due to their humbleness, Kabunyan turned Kagu into a mountain, which is now called Mount Mogao, while the two children were turned into eels that are now found in Cagubatan.

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Mount Mogao. Photo by FBD

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