If you guessed correctly then I’ll say my thanks to you.
Yes, today is my ‘berdey’! Mwahehehe!
Amidst my busy schedule today, I was given a surprise bouquet of roses, cakes and lotsa food! Yay! I have no plans on celebrating, though; but still, I’m so happy for all the efforts and fun! (In our class, I poked everyone’s faces with my cake’s icing! Hahaha!)
I need to say bye for now. Back to the busy week… whew!
Chapter 8.2: Saginrawa and Saminsadi (2)
“Roselda,” the girl heard her name being called in her mind but it seemed coming from far away.
She suddenly turned to Managat. “Did you hear that?”
The merman knitted his brows, wondering. “What?”
“Someone called my name.” Roselda replied.
“I didn’t hear anything.” The young merman’s face was plastered with confusion as he shook his head in response, but then he suddenly realized what’s happening. “Imprinting! It’s imprinting to you, Eda.”
The girl was still obviously confused. She didn’t understand the merman.
“Imprinting?” She repeated as she looked towards the egg once again. But the small merman was no longer there; instead, it’s hovering in front of her face.
“Saminsadi!” called Roselda, unconsciously.
At that instant, they were covered with a blinding light that also immediately dissipated.
When Managat opened his eyes again, he saw Roselda was still sitting while the Lambanang-tubig flew, darting around her. He didn’t expect this outcome. Typically, Lambanang-tubig would imprint those water creatures only. He only just found out that it can also imprint to a mortal life.
“Managat, what happened?” asked the surprised girl.
“You’ve been a part of a wonderful phenomenon, Eda.” The merman answered her with joy. “The imprinting is a sacred bond or agreement between two entities. It serves as vows that both of you are forever connected in the same spirit. That means you’re both connected in mind and in soul. No matter what you think or feel, it can also know and perceive.” The merman pointed at the Lambanang-tubig.
“It is now a part of you.”
(TL: Oh, so there’s no contracted beasts? Huehue!)
Roselda couldn’t understand her feelings. Her emotions grew more and more intense. She couldn’t even relate the merman’s words to what’s happening. She seemed to have become more confused by his explanation.
The girl spread her palm then the little creature landed there.
“What do you call them, Managat?” Roselda inquired.
“We call them Lambanang-tubig. A familiar.” he answered.
“Like a pet?” She asked.
“More than a pet,” strongly corrected Managat. “They also have their own minds and emotions. They understand well. And they are the gentlest of creatures.”
Roselda carried the Lambanang-tubig next to her face. It tenderly caressed her in response. “Saminsadi, that’s his name.”
Managat fondly watched the mortal girl and also the Lambanang-tubig, who’s darting all over the girl while giving out a funny sound and chirping.
The old healer swiftly approached the position of the little mermaid.
“Amang!” called the mermaid. “Look, I’ve found a Lambanang-tubig.”
The little Lambanang-tubig flew around Maalam adoringly. She kissed him on the cheek before returning to Sarikit.
“That, I can see,” answered the old man.
The Lambanang-tubig was rarely found nowadays since it needed a century for an egg to hatch. Sarapay was the last mermaid that he knew who found the eggs of such creatures; but when she died, the healer wasn’t able to find them on her keepsake. They suddenly disappeared. But now, the little one in front of him has just met one.
“Where did you find it, child?”
“By the garden,” Sarikit replied while playing with the small fairy.
In the garden? Surprised, the healer secretly wondered. Most of the time, the eggs of such fairies were hidden in areas that would be difficult to reach and a garden, such from the palace, couldn’t have been a hiding place for such eggs.
Sarapay, was this a sign that you’re still looking after us?
Mang Berto was one of the villagers who strongly believed in engkanto1. He lived alone in his kubo2. His wife has been long gone while their children have their own family already. He was the only one left in his place. He didn’t want to leave their home for he grew up and learned so much here. The kubo housed his precious memories of her.
Today, he was walking back home from the farm that he inherited from his late parents and that he has been patiently farming for so long. On his back laid the bundles of saba3 banana. These served as his daily food since it’s all he can afford.
He walked very fast not only because it’s already getting dark but also because his long route home will pass near the rocky area, which was believed to be the home of engkanto and lost souls. He, amongst all, believed this. Time may have already passed but he will always remember.
As he continued walking, he heard laughter somewhere. He was immediately frightened and walked even much faster. Shortly afterwards, he saw a light exuded from the rocky place. He could no longer stop his panic and fear. He frightfully ran the remaining distance to his kubo.
1Engkanto – from Spanish word ‘encanto’ (incantation or charm); a Philippine mythological creature synonymous to fairies, fays, nymphs, deities, gods or goddesses who are believed to be guarding the seas, rivers, forests, trees and mountains. They are also associated with dark beings that bring sickness and bad luck.
2Kubo – a hut or a nipa hut; a traditional house for Filipinos which is usually made from light materials like wood or bamboos and nipa palm (Nypa fruticans) for the roof. This way it is easier to be moved around (bayanihan).
3Saba – cardaba banana; a variety of banana in the Philippines and an ideal ingredient in cooking.