Philippine Folktales, Myths and Legends
Home | Heavens | Earth | Water | People | Plants | Animals | Misc | Links | About

Sorry, that story is not yet available. Introduction
Sorry, that story is not yet available. Sea, why it is salty
Sorry, that story is not yet available. Fish, why it has scales

Why The Sea Is Salty

Many years ago, the sea tasted like ordinary rainwater. It was bland and tasteless. Fortunately, the people living in the islands knew about a friendly giant who kept mounds of salt in his cave.

The people would cross the ocean on their boats to reach the gentle giant's island, and that is how they were able to bring salt back to their villages, in order to prepare tastier meals.

One time, however, the ocean was quite rough and they could not sail out to gather salt. They eventually ran out of salt and the villagers no longer enjoyed their tasteless meals. They wondered how they could get salt again, when a child suggested they ask the giant to stretch out his legs over the ocean so that they could walk to his island instead.

The kind giant agreed, and villagers with empty salt sacks walked along the giant's leg. Unfortunately, the giant's foot landed on an anthill, and the ferocious red ants started biting the enormous leg.

"Hurry!" pleaded the giant, who strained to keep his itchy legs still.

As soon as the people reached the giant's island, he immediately withdrew his foot and scratched the itchy bites. The villages just smiled at how a giant could be bothered by tiny ants.

Anyway, the people got their salt and the giant again stretched his leg over the ocean. Immediately, the ants began biting his swollen foot. Once again, the giant asked the people to hurry up, but the heavy salt sacks slowed them down.

Besides, the people didn't believe that the tiny ants could really affect the giant, so they idly chatted away, and walked rather slowly.

Before the villagers could cross the ocean, the giant cried out and thrust his ant-bitten foot into the ocean. All the packed salt fell into the plain-water sea and melted.

The giant saved the people from drowning, but no one was able to recover the spilled salt. From that day onwards, the sea became salty.

Retold Stories Copyright © 2001-2005 by
Photographs Copyright © 1998-2005 by Manuel Viloria. All Rights Reserved.
Homepage globe is derived from the cover of The Mythology Class,
Copyright © 1999-2005 by Arnold Arre. All Rights Reserved.