P h i l i p p i n e M y t h o l o g y S e r i e s | x |
B a k u n a w a, the naga who causes eclipses & guardian of Sulad
Bakunawa is a naga in Visayan mythology who is seen as a gigantic sea serpent deity that lives under the sea. Bakunawa is described as having a mouth the size of a lake, a red tongue, whiskers, gills, small wires at its sides, and two sets of wings, one is large and ash-gray while the other is small and is found further down its body. There was a belief that instead of one moon there used to be 7 moons in the sky. Bakunawa fascinated by the beauty of the moons rose up from the sea and devoured 6 of the moons leaving one left. In order to save and protect the moon the people would try and scare the large serpent by making loud noises often using pots and pans. When an eclipse happened it was believed that Bakunawa was trying to devour the last remaining moon in which in every eclipse people would go out to try and scare the serpent. Today there is a childrens game that represents Bakunawa and the eclipses known as Bulan Bulan, Buwan Buwan, or Bakunawa. Bakunawa is also the guardian of Sulad, the land of the dead ancestors.