Untitled (10) | Jomar Tingson

Untitled (10) | Jomar Tingson

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Open Edition with a Fotomoto Certificate of Authenticity.

14 x 6in Pigment Print on Hahnemuehle Photo Rag.


Series: The Return of Nuno

Many years ago there lived on the mountain of Taal an old man whose name was Nuno. His house was on the topmost part of the mountain. He was so kind to the natives that they did not fear him. He allowed them to plant tobacco and other plants on the side of the mountain. As Nuno was the one who took care of the plants, they grew very well. The natives were allowed to have all the tobacco raised on the sides of the mountain; but Nuno told them only that above a certain line around the top of the mountain no tobacco should be planted. All obeyed the will of the old man. The tobacco fields extended from the very bottom to the boundary line at the top of the mountain. The natives became wealthy and prosperous on account of raising tobacco.

Once Nuno called a meeting of all the tobacco growers. He delivered a farewell address in which he stated that he was going to be absent from the mountain for a long time. He also said that the natives could continue planting tobacco on the mountain side; but he emphasized the fact that no one should extend his field beyond the boundary line, and that a violation of his order would mean the confiscation of the fields, and of all the tobacco. Then he went to an unknown land.

A very long time passed, but Nuno did not return. The natives made inquiries about him, but no one could tell what had become of him. As the price of tobacco at that time was very high, the farmers were tempted to plant on the forbidden ground. One year passed again, but nothing happened to the disobedient farmers. But one day, while they were celebrating a fiesta in the house of Nuno, a violent earthquake occurred. The natives were so terrified that they left the mountain. After a few days, they were surprised to find out that all the plants that were growing on the mountain had disappeared. The part of the mountain above the former boundary line flew high up in the air. An immense hole was formed from which smoke began to come out from that time on. Nuno kept his word and confiscated all the tobacco for his own use. Barrios have sprung up again at the bottom of the mountain, but no plants can be grown along its sides. The descendants of the disobedient farmers may be waiting anxiously for the return of Nuno, but they have to wait until he finishes smoking all his tobacco.

Fansler, Dean S. (1922). Manuscript Collection of Philippine Folktales, “Tagalog Folktales.”