The Busuanga dugong legend

c3 philippines

Many years have passed in Busuanga, Palawan and with today’s new modern age, some stories are left behind. This story is from the forefathers of a 67-year old woman named Consuelo L. Serrano from Brgy. Salvacion, about a family in Busuanga. And the time has come for everyone to know, and for this story to be passed on…

Once upon a time, there was a poor family that lived in a faraway place on a beach, located at the foot of the mountain, where the forest was wild with the tallest trees, crawling vines and shrubs covering the forest floor. Birds would sing the entire day, and when the day turned to night, the crickets would come out to serenade them. The father worked as fisherman and his blind wife stayed at home, with their two daughters and one son who brought happiness to the family.

One day, a rumor came out from the village that the father was having an affair.

Not long after, the couple went fishing and when they reached the deep sea, it is said that he used his blind wife as an anchor to his boat, tying her feet with a rope and dropping her into the deep waters.

The father came back from fishing in the pitch black night, and his eldest daughter was waiting outside of their house, “Father, where is Mother?” asked the eldest daughter. And her father replied, “She fell into the water and is nowhere to be found,” then hurriedly went inside the house.

After this, the father brought his mistress to their house and did not take care of his three children.  The eldest daughter who was 14 years old, couldn’t raise and support her siblings, and didn’t know how to handle the situation.  She decided to go everyday to the beach to stand by the shore where their mother used to bring her 5-year old brother and under one-year old sister everyday to play.

With her belief that their mother was alive, everyday she sang to the sea this Cuyonin song:

“Ay Nanay patetein mo ren si Neneng

magpakita karen kanamen

pati si Dodong napupungaw ren

maski anu imong itsura beken kami

naadlekan kanimo

Dodong-dodong, Dodong-dodong”


Mother please feed your milk to Neneng,

Please show yourself to us

And Dodong is also sad without you

Whatever your face is now

We are not afraid of you

Dodong-dodong, Dodong-dodong

One day after singing, a big creature with small eyes  appeared from the sea in front of them and immediately lay down, offering her breast.  The daughter quickly put her brother’s mouth to the breast of this sea creature, and after a while her brother was full and fell asleep and the creature went back to the sea.

That day the three siblings went home with pleasure and a new hope to their hearts. They told their father what happened but the father did not believe his children, and was busy with his new wife.

Since then, every morning, the eldest daughter brought her siblings to sing at the shoreline. The sea creature would show up again and feed her siblings all day until sunset. Many people from the village heard about it later on, and many believed that this unknown creature was the blind woman who went missing in the deep sea. Eventually, the sea creature which they called “Dodong-Dodong,” was called the “Duyong” or what we know now as the sea cow or “Dugong”.