The Origin of Bulo and Bokod

Written by Louis W. Angel on .

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          Long, long ago, Benguet was sparsely populated. The inhabitants, partly depending on hunting for their living, constantly moved from one place to another. In a village northeast of Benguet lived Kuyab and Bulo. They owned a dog which they named Bong-nged, meaning famous hunter.

          One day during the hunting season, Kuyab and Bulo, with a dog on a leash, started at dawn for the mountain to hunt. At the foot of the mountain, which is now the boundary between Benguet and Nueva Vizcaya, Beng-nged strained his leash and wanted to get loose. The brothers knew that he smelled a deer! They loosened him and it bolted up the mountain through the bushes and trees. When it got farther it barked and barked.  

          The brothers placed their hunting net across the path where they expected the deer to pass. They waited for sometime because they knew their dog would direct the deer to them. While they were waiting, they could hear the barking of their dog getting farther and farther away from them. They rolled their nets and followed the dog to the top of the mountain. Before reaching the top of the mountain, they saw a break in the mountain and guessed that the deer passed by there. Sure enough, there were fresh tracks of the deer and the dog.

          The hunters decided to rest and smoke their tobacco brass pipes. Once in a while they called their dog. While smoking, they heard the barkings of their dog far down a deep stream. They could tell that it was chasing a deer downstream. They could not decide at once which way to take whether to follow the ridge or go down the stream and follow their chase. The day was getting hot and they were very thirsty, so they decided to go down stream to quench their thirst.

          When they came to the stream, they saw the clear footprints of the deer and the dog. They went downstream as far as the place where a big and high rock stood. Under the shade of the rock they saw their dog panting with its tongue hanging. The two brothers wondered where the deer must be. They joined their dog under the shade of the rock. When they were rested, the dog got up. It was whining and wagging its tail and looking towards the top of the rock. There on the top of the rock was the deer. Bulo, the younger brother, suggested that they spear the deer, but the older brother, Kuyab, protested saying, “Can you not see the high rock? We human beings cannot climb it with ease. This cannot be a real deer. Come, let us go home”.

          After eating their lunch, they agreed to go home by taking different routes from that place as far as the saddle on top of the mountain where they had rested. They further agreed that whoever reached the place must place a bar across the way on the saddle as a sign. Bulo retraced the paths which they followed coming down, while Kuyab followed another path on the side of the mountain. Their agreement was fulfilled and both arrived home, one after the other, late in the evening. Their father asked them why they came late without anything. They related the story to him. Their old father was fascinated by their story.

          At last he said, “Tomorrow, both of you must go to the place where you found the deer. You told me you came home by taking different ways upstream. Mark or stake a good place along each of the stream that you follow”.

          The next day, Kuyab and Bulo started for the journey. Bulo retraced the stream he followed. He found a long strip of level land and staked it. Kuyab did the same but the place that he staked was very narrow and irregular. They returned home a few days after. Their father told them to get ready with their families and other neighbors who might want to go with them to their new place. After a few days of preparation, they all started for the new settlement. Bulo and his family with some neighbors settled on the land he had staked. It is now the Bulo barrio.

          The Kuyab family with other families settled in the place that he had staked. The place is now named after him. Kuyab was not contented with the place, so he decided to look for a better place. He went up to a much bigger stream which is now the Bokod River. Farther north of this river was a wider and much longer valley. Here, Kuyab and neighbors settled. This is now the town of Bokod.




Angel, Louis W. “The Origin of Bulo and Bokod.” In Folk Tales of Mountain Province: Retold for Children-Grade V. 1st ed. Baguio City: n.p., 1960, 54-57.



This folk tale was produced by Area - - A during a Division Curriculum Workshop held in Baguio City, Philippines on February 9-17, 1960. The workshop’s theme was “Enriching the Curriculum Through the Development of Local Materials.” 

“Division” in Division Curriculum Workshop refers to a schools division of the Department of the Education. It could have been then the “Mountain Province Schools Division.” (YBelen,11December2014)

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