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Lanang: The Tikbalang Episode
Written by Kuya Flor  
Illustrated by Twilly & Isya
      Growing up at the old house exposed me to my first lesson in agriculture - the San Miguel way. My dedication to plants, and the farmers of Morong paved the way to a degree in Agriculture.  

     Apprenticeships with Lolo, Lola and Tio Elyong Pascual (another relative) ay tanrang-tanra ko pa.  

     I had one hair-raising experience in one of our sojourns in Lanang that involved the tikbalang.  

     We were on our way to the farm and  Lola was walking ahead of me with her favorite basket (full of goodies) and dulos, a dull machete she used for gamas and digging camotes. I saw Tio Nick's Little Lanang. In a minute we'll be at the gate of Big Lanang, I thought. Palatanraan (point of reference) was a big boulder by the gate leading to the lanras (pathway) and to the kubo.  

     I kept on following Lola. 'Round and 'round we went. No big boulder. After the fourth turn-around and still no big boulder I realized - aba ay nawawala kami (Gosh, we are lost!). Then I heard Lola.  

     "Mga !@#$%^&* kayong mga tikbalang kayo. Ano't ako ay inyong ginagala?" (Translation: "You no-good (!@#$%^&*) tikbalang what are you doing to us?")  

     "Hoy, Florante dali! Baliktarin mo ang kameseta mo, bilisan mo." Lola utos me to take my shirt off and put it back on inside-out. (A long-standing belief that if someone is lost in the forest the tikbalang will show the right way if the lost person wears his shirt inside-out).  

     Then Lola mellowed down and talked to the tikbalang very calmly. "Look, whoever you are, my apo and I will be working all day here so please show us the right way." We walked again and on one turn we saw the big boulder, the gate, the kubo, and Lolo already hawaning around the banana plants. "Ano bang tagal ninyong dalawa ay ako'y hindi pa nag-aalmusal?" ("What took you so long?  You know I haven't eaten breakfast yet.")  

     I could have told him the whole story, but I didn't because I knew that his reply would be "Pulos kayo kalukuhan, araw't gabi eh narito ako eh walang nangyayari sa akin." (That's crazy. I come here day and night and nothing has happened to me.")  

    The end of "Kwentong Tikbalang".  

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