The Battle of Cagubatan

Written by Rosalina G. Ramos on .

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          Long ago, before the Spaniards came, the different tribes which were scattered around the valleys of the municipality now known as Kayan, were enemies. In those days, because of the high mountains that acted as natural barriers between the tribes, each tribal group lived by itself alone. If one tribe wanted to own a certain forest as a hunting ground and another neighboring tribe to possess it, too, the two tribes would fight for its ownership. Indeed, in the olden days, it is said that fighting was the chief occupation of every tribe in order to survive and be master of the weaker tribes.   

          So, it came to pass that Bangbang-owan, the powerful ruler of the tribe inhabiting Pandayan village of the other side of Abid River, led his group of warriors against a neighboring village. This village which was on the other side of the Abatan mountains was inhabited by the Tue tribe ruled by a weaker Chief, named Kadwising. Bangbang-owan and men made a surprise attack at dawn when everybody in the Tue village was still fast asleep. As they were caught unaware, the Tue tribe was easily defeated. As was the custom, the winner could demand anything from the subdued enemy. As his chosen prize, Bangbang-owan brought to his home village, Taney, the most beautiful daughter of the ruler of the defeated tribe.

          There was great rejoicing in Pandayan upon the arrival of Bangbang-owan and his men, together with the beautiful Taney. Immediately afterwards, a great wedding feast was celebrated. The wedding feast was the best and the longest ever held in the history of Pandayan village. It lasted for seven days and seven nights. One hundred heads of cattle and pigs were butchered for the occasion. One hundred fifty gosi of Tapoi, the native rice wine, was consumed by the village people during the wedding feast.

          On the seventh night, as was the village custom, after the village priest Galamping had pronounced Bangbang-owan and Taney as man and wife, the new couple had to sleep together in the bridegroom’s house. But that night, Taney pleaded to her master and husband that she wanted to be left just for that night to enjoy her maidenhood for the last time. Bangbang-owan, being so tired and drunk after the long, tedious celebration of his wedding feast, gladly granted her first request. As he was too tired, Bangbang-owan, slept soundly under the big and widespread batekang tree, on a long and wide flat stone where nearby a pine knot was kept burning the whole night long to give him warmth. Taney, his young and charming bride, also very tired, slept alone in the Katog-o, the village sleeping place for unmarried women.

          At midnight, Tublan, the childhood sweetheart of Taney, from her own tribe, kidnapped Taney and took her back to their village in Tue. As the whole village of Pandayan was fast asleep after the long wedding feast, nobody noticed the disappearance of Taney. It was only the next morning that they noticed that she was nowhere to be found. Enraged by the disappearance of his beautiful bride, Bongbong-owan gathered all his brave and loyal men once more to attack the Tue village. He was determined to win back the stolen bride. The attack was made early that morning.

          The Tue warriors, led by Tublan, the kidnapper and lover of Taney, posted themselves at the boundary and met Bongbong-owan and his men in a fierce battle. Bongbong-owan was killed during the encounter. After he fell, his brave and loyal men lost their courage and fled away.

          Tublan and his men won the battle of Cagubatan. They returned to Tue where another feast was held for nine days and nine nights, this time to join Tublan and Taney in wedlock. It was the happiest wedding feast ever held in Tue. After their wedding, Tublan and Taney decided to settle in the valley of Cagubatan where they lived ever after. Among the prosperous and respected inhabitants of Cagubatan today are descendants of Tublan and Taney-that brave and pioneering couple of long ago.



Ramos, Rosalina G. “The Battle of Cagubatan.” In Folk Tales of Mountain Province: Retold for Children-Grade V. 1st ed. Baguio City: n.p., 1960, 99-101.



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.” (YBelen15December2014) 

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