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Banga Ng Gusi (pot Of Gold Bars)
Oil painting on canvas Dimension:10x14inches Year:2006 My Great Great Grandfather is Placido Gino who just passed away when I was a toddler. I am his first Great Great Grandson. The stories and ideas of him was just narrated to me by her daughter, Aunt Amada. Grandfather Placido did not have a formal schooling but manages his financial well. He has three fishing boats and manufactures Pineapple weave textiles. He had a hundred employees. His sport was bird hunting. They use blowguns to kill the birds. Together with his two friends they hunt the mountains of Montalban, Rizal. One season while they were concentrated and busy tracking the birds they lost track of time. They must return to civilization since their supplies are all consumed. They trailed the forest as fast as they could but the night was even faster. Soon darkness and fog blanket the forest. While trying to trace the trail they found themselves in front of an old nipa hut. You would think that it was abandoned without the small gas lantern lit near the window. They knock and asked for help since they were lost in the forest. The door opened and three beautiful women where inside. They explained their situation and the women gladly accept them to stay for the night. The women are very hospitable. They always kept a warm smile on their face even though they were ready to sleep in their kamison and tapis when my grandfather and his friends disturbed them. After a few conversations the women offered them food. A hot bowl of sopas was served on the table. They were ready to eat the soup and scooped the elbow pastas with the wooden spoon when they were surprised with what they saw. Together with the elbow pastas were little fingers of children. They tried not to panic for fear of the women. They secretly dropped the fingers to the bamboo floor and into the splits the little fingers fell to the soil below. When they were done the women showed them their room to sleep for the night. They did not sleep but attentively listen to their surroundings. They heard noises like of big roosters clapping their wings. They cautiously and silently went up and searched the hut. Below the hut they found big pots containing gold bars and near it with amazement they saw three pairs of legs from stomach down wearing the tapis worn by the women. They think fast and decided to put salts to the intestines. They know about these creatures from Philippine mythology. They are called Mananangal. An evil being, were from human form transforms by splitting his or her body into two. The upper part had wings and fly to hunt humans for food. The lower part of the body was hidden because they were venerable. After scattering the salts all over the intestines my grandfather and his friends hide. Soon the three mananangal returned. They cried after they saw what my grandfather and his friends did to their lower extremities. The women beg them to remove the salts because no matter how they try to land and put back together their bodies they failed. They explained that they have not done them any harm. They told them that when the sun rises and still they are not with their lower bodies they would burn and die. They bargained for anything. Pleasures or treasures, just remove the salts from their intestines. My grandfather and his friends became more afraid since the three female beasts became desperate. If they will not help them they might just kill them too. They asked the three women to leave them while they remove the salts so that they could also have time to run for their safety. After they removed the salts they ran as fast as they could and never again returned to that place.
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