eddie garcia as mambabarang. no this isn't how i picture barang in my head. she's a pretty woman in my thoughts
reading stories involving stigmatized dark creatures from my childhood dispels homesickness in one way or another. lately, i’ve been hooked reading stories from my former college professor before i start my day at the office.
multi-palanca awardee professor layeta bucoy writes shorts for children and tweens borrowing themes and characters from the rich collection of philippine mythology and folklore.
one of the stories that caught my attention is the story of barang.
as slaves, barang and her daughters who also never grew old bowed to their masters. the pale skinned masters were not only greedy, they were also very horny. one of the masters raped barang's eldest daughter. being a virgin, she bled.
barang whispered to her pet ants, "i want my revenge, sweet friends. suck the life of that pale skinned bastard."
she freed her pet ants and saw seven bamboo strips of ants marched towards the center of the village where the pale skinned masters lived. only twelve ants returned that night. before barang could grieve from having lost most of her pet ants, a neighbor told her that the pale skinned master who raped barang's eldest daughter was found dead with ants crawling out of his nostrils, ears, and penis.
barang used to be an ant who is blessed with the gift to command ants and other fellow insects.
professor bucoy weaves history, mythology, folklore, pop culture and fiction in a seamless fabric of stories that appeals to both classic and contemporary readers.
read her stories:
barang (story for children)
barang ii (still for children)
manananggal (story for tweens)
kulam (barang’s neighbor)