Captivated by her beauty while hiking in Sagada three years ago. Since then, her charm has always intrigued me. And Lubting was her name. Got a glimpse of her again last week as we search for the bush food of Kalinga, then finally learned about her enchanting legend.
”Lubting was a beautiful maiden with a heavenly voice who started uttering ullalim-like melodies almost as soon as she was born. She rejected all her suitors except Mawangga from Tonglayan village, who became her husband. After six months of marriage, Mawangga decided to visit Tonglayan, promising Lubting that he would be back in five days. He told her to meet him on Mount Patokan, midway between Dakalan and Tonglayan.
On the day of the meeting, the Tonglayan people had to fight Butbut warriors. Mawangga was beheaded by the enemy. His companions carried his headless corpse to Tonglayan and then informed Lubting who was still waiting patiently on Mount Patokan. Lubting, in her grief, decided to die in the place where she was supposed to meet Mawangga. She cried unceasingly, her tears causing landslides which buried her alive. Her face, as the legend goes, has not been covered by the soil to this day, and is said to be the peculiar shape of Mount Patokan’s peak.”(1)
Another version of this legend states that the beautiful lady’s name was Lagkunawa, living in Tinglayan. Many men courted her, but she said no, until she met, Finsay in Tanudan. They fell in love and decided to meet in the mountains. Lagkunawa waited and waited, however, no one came. One day, someone came to tell her that Finsay got killed. In her despair, she prayed to Kabunyan, Kalinga god, to take her. As the love of her life is gone. Then when she slept, she became a mountain and since she’s the most beautiful maiden, they called the mountain, “Sleeping beauty.”(2)
A story shared by Dennis, our guide from DOT Kalinga, after a few beers and shots of gin. Under the moonlight at the camping area of Balbalasang, Balbalan, Kalinga by the Saltan river. But he was not sure which name is which, tipsy? Maybe. It was past midnight and there were only five of us awake around a bonfire. Wasn’t drinking, was just there to hear the stories then the cold breeze started creeping in under my skin. That’s my cue to hit the sack and maybe chance upon Lubting in Tinglyan. Have you spotted her?
(1) Billiet, Francisco, and Francis Lambrecht. Studies on Kalinga Ullalim and Ifugao Orthography. Baguio City: The Catholic School Press, 1970:50-53
(2) Rosen, Trix. A Kalinga Journey Through Time, 2016