Manuvu epic Translated by E. Arsenio Manuel
Tuwaang, after finishing some work, calls his aunt aside and informs her that the wind has brought him a message: he is to attend the wedding of the Maiden of Mo:nawon. The aunt tries to dissuade him from going, for she foresees trouble. Tuwaang, however, is determined to go. He picks the heart-shaped basket that can activate the lightning, puts on his headdress and the costume made by goddesses, arms himself with a long blade and dagger, and takes his shield and spear. He rides on a flash of lightning and arrives at the Kawkawangan grassland. While resting there a while, he hears a gungutan bird crowing. He decides to catch the fowl, but soon sees the gungutan with a daggerlike spur. The gungutan tells Tuwaang he came to know of his coming in a dream and that he wants to go with him to the wedding celebration. Tuwaang agrees to bring the gungutan along. The two shake their shoulders and are carried into space.
Upon arriving at Mo:nawon, Tuwaang is admitted into the hall. He sits on a golden stool while the gungutan perches on a crossbeam. Meantime, enchanting sounds from afar and flowering trees signal the arrival of the Young Man of Panayangan. Other gallants—the Young Man of Liwanon and the Young Man of the Rising Sun—arrive. Finally, the groom, the Young Man of Sakadna, arrives with a hundred followers. He haughtily asks the house owner to clear the house “of dirt,” implying the people in the house who do not count. To this insult, Tuwaang answers there are “red leaves,” i.e., heroes, in the house.
Preliminaries of the wedding ceremony start. The savakan (bridewealth consisting of articles and wrapped food to be paid for by the groom’s kinsmen) are offered one by one, until only the two most costly remain. One is given the value of an ancient gong with ten bosses and nine relief-rings, the other is redeemable only by a golden guitar and a golden flute. The groom confesses his inability to redeem these articles. Tuwaang saves the groom from the embarrassing predicament by taking his place: through his magic breath he produces a more ancient gong, which is accepted by the bride’s party. He also produces the golden flute and golden guitar.
The bride is now asked to come out of her room and serve the guests some betel chew. She commands her betel box to serve everyone. Magically, the betel box obeys, with the betel chew jumping into the mouths of the guests. After two betel chews leap into the groom’s mouth, the betel box moves on to Tuwaang, before whom it stops altogether. Tuwaang brushes it away, but the box does not budge. The bride decides to sit beside Tuwaang. The groom blushes; he is shamed. He decided to fight Tuwaang. He goes down the house and challenges Tuwaang to come down to the yard.
After the bride unrolls and combs Tuwaang’s hair, Tuwaang goes down to fight. The gungutan, meanwhile, has been fighting the groom’s men and has slain a number of them until only six gallants remain. Tuwaang and the gungutan engage the six gallants. Finally, only Tuwaang and the Young Man of Sakadna are left moving about. Tuwaang is thrown against a boulder, which turns to dust. Trees get bent and topple. Tuwaang gets hold of his foe, throws him down so hard that he sinks into the earth. The Young Man of Sakadna surfaces quickly and confronts Tuwaang once more. Tuwaang in turn is thrust into the earth and sinks into the Underworld. There he talks to Tuwaha’, god of the Underworld, who tells him the secret of overcoming his foe. Tuwaang surfaces and summons the golden flute in which the Young Man of Sakadna keeps his life. Accompanied by the gungutan, Tuwaang takes the bride home to Kuaman, where he rules forever