PANYAAN: Three Tales of the Tagbanua
By Rhandee Garlitos and Annette Ferrer
Artworks by Sergio Bumatay III

THE SECRET OF THE SACRED ISLET

ANG LIHIM NG SAGRADONG ISLA

“Don’t you want to see the giant octopuses?” Noli pleaded.

“You know the rules, Noli,” Marlon answered. “We’re not even supposed to be here! If your father were to catch us…”

“But don’t you want to see the giant octopuses?” Noli repeated, his eyes shining with youthful excitement.

Marlon could only sigh. “You win. But we’d better not get caught by your Tatay or the elders.”

“You mean, we’d better not get caught by the manlalabiyot,” Noli laughed as they made their way to the shore.

 

“Ayaw mo bang makakita ng mga dambuhalang pugita?” pagsusumamo ni Noli.

“Alam mo na ang utos, Noli,” sagot ni Marlon. “Di tayo puwedeng pumunta rito! Kapag nahuli tayo ng tatay mo….”

“Pero ayaw mo ba talagang makakita ng mga dambuhalang pugita?” inulit ni Noli. Nagniningning ang mga mata niya sa pagkasabik.

Napabuntong-hininga na lang si Marlon. “Ikaw na ang panalo. Pero hindi tayo puwedeng mahuli ng tatay mo o ng mga matatanda.”

“Baka ang ibig mong sabihin, hindi tayo mahuli ng mga manlalabiyot,” tawa ni Noli, habang lumalangoy pabalik sa dalampasigan.

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