LEGENDS of the Hundred Islands
Anita and Akong
One of the legends told by old folks who live in the area and passed on to generations of storytelling, is the story of a couple named Akong and Anita. There used to be only one island in the place where the Hundred Islands can be found today.
Akong is a fisherman and his wife Anita sells the fish he catches everyday. But discontentment soon crept in Akong’s heart and thought of ways to earn money in an easier and faster way. While he went out to sea one night, Anita had a dream about an old man who visited their hut and told them that if they work hard, they will eventually get rich after three years. She shared this with her husband when he returned but he dismissed her impatiently.
One night, he set out to sea again; his first throw of the net didn’t yield any fish but the second one caught black stones the size of a man’s fist. In disgust, he threw them back to the sea, accompanied by complaints.
Just then, he heard a rumbling sound and saw the waves becoming bigger, making him paddle faster towards the shore. Unbeknownst to him, the black stones he threw to the sea became islands. He died that night in his sleep.
And once more, the old man appeared in Anita’s dream, telling her about the islands and the fate her husband brought upon himself. Anita just cried as she looked at her dead husband.
Source: Summarized from EU-Asia
The Greed that Created the Hundred Islands
Another legend tells how the islands were created by man’s greed for power and other worldly things.
The story goes that a kingdom just lost their king in ill health and his people were left without a leader. There were two datus from two warring tribes who are legitimate successors. They were not only rivals to the throne but rivals to the love of a princess named Liglioa who was also a ward to the kingdom’s priestess and for a mystic huge pearl which would give wealth to anyone who possesses it, but is mysteriously un-gathered from the bottom of the sea.
These two rivals had been fighting for a long time now that the priestess finally consulted the ancestors and the oracle gave her what ought to be done to attain peace and unity for the whole kingdom, which she in turn instructed to the princess.
Liglioa then told the two warring datus that whoever wins in the last battle shall win her hand in marriage and the pearl in the bottom of the ocean. The two datus and their tribes prepared long and hard for the upcoming sea battle and by night, bodies and swords were clashing each other.
And before daybreak, something strange can be noticed on the dead warriors’ bodies and their upturned bancas. They were immobile; and soon grass began to grow on them and became a hundred small islands.
The priestess then told Liglioa what happened and the truth about the huge pearl. The real pearl was Liglioa all along, sent to the people by the gods, as they foresaw that the kingdom would be without a ruler when the former king dies. The huge pearl at the bottom of the ocean was a mere illusion made to test the character of that rightful ruler.
Fishermen of today still swear that a bit farther off where the islands are now, one can see the mysterious huge pearl mystically gleaming under the clear waters of the sea, beckoning, then disappearing just as swiftly as it came.
Source: Summarized from "Tales from the Land of Salt" by Emmanuel Sison
Still others stay the islands were formed from the tears of a giant with a broken heart. Some tell tales of the mermaids that once mystified fishermen in the area. These and countless legends and myths, so old that it finally drifted off of the people’s consciousness, only add to the Hundred Islands charming aura.