The Legend of Mampak

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The Legend of the Mampak, a giant man-eating bird is widespread in Sorsogon. The presence of the giant bird in the legend of San Bernardino is proof of the popularity of this mampak legend among the Sorsoganons,

In the town of Barcelona, Sorsogon local accounts attribute several place names in the town to this Mampak legend. Mapapak, Barcelona was so named because it was here where the mampak was seen. Tagdon got its name because it was here where the mampak alighted. Tagdon, in fact, is a corruption of the local word togdon meaning "to alight." Layog, Barcelona got its name because it was here where the Mampak flew again. Layog, in the local dialect means fly." The bird alighted in another place which was named Paghaluban because the inhabitants here drove away the bird with whips and rods. Paghaluban means "to drive away with a pole or a rod." Driven from Paghaluban, the bird alighted in another place, now called Macabari. The place was named Macabari because when the bird alighted many tree branches were broken due to its size and weight. Nabari in the local dialect means "broken:'

Other places in Sorsogon have their own stories about the mampak bird. In Porog Cave at San Pascual, Casiguran, Sorsogon residents believed that a Mampak lived here. In Pinanaan Cave, at Binontolan, Prieto Diaz, Sorsogon was so named because a local legend said that it was here that an Aeta named Comisario Juan killed a mampak with his arrows. The legend must have been old because the writer, in one of his trips to an archeological site in Santa Barbara, Bulusan, Sorsogon was shown by some residents in this barrio a jar burial cover with a design of a bird with a human being between its beak.

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