(Translation = It’s just a joke)
For the non Tagalog speakers, here are some name puns and Easter eggs I snuck into the book:
Arawan: Sunshine / Sunbathed
Bato ko: Bato (rock) + Ko (my) = My Rock
Ina Ko: Ina (mother) + Ko (my) = My Mother
Narra: A tree with yellow flowers. It is the national tree of the Philippines. This is important to know because [REDACTED].
Pulang Ilog: Red River
Sundo: Fetch / Pick up / Follow up
Tigang: Arid / Barren
Astar = ‘A star’… get it? Because she fell from the sky! *groans*
Okay so yes, my names are terribly obvious, but there is a real legend about the Star Maidens and you can read it here. Roshani Chokshi also wrote a beautiful short story about them here: The Star Maiden.
Instead of “Once upon a time” Filipino legends often begin with “Noong unang panahon”. This roughly translates to: In the first days / In the ancient times / In the old times. In this book I’ve used “In the time before” because it is another literal translation that doubles to mean “In the time before their homeland was destroyed.”
Legend of the Pineapple
This story is mentioned in the book, but the full folktale doesn’t appear in full. It’s one that I’ve always disliked so much that I can’t unremember it. It’s also not technically pre-colonial, but you can read a full version of it here: The Legend of the Pineapple.
EXTRA MUSICAL PALETTE CLEANSER
I Use Tabo (Jason Derulo Parody) – Warning for literal toilet cleaning humor.