Mystical Islands. Two simple words often coined to describe the Province of Dinagat Islands. Many consider it mysterious. Some believe it magical. While others think it has healing powers. But I wasn’t there to uncover its mysteries. That was not my purpose. I traveled to Dinagat Islands to see and discover the many spectacular natural wonders that I’ve heard from other people. But this journey to Dinagat Islands does not only let me discover its natural splendors but it also allow me to understand why they often call Dinagat, Mystical Islands.
On my first day that I was there, I chanced to ask my host Mr. Danilo Bulabos, the Provincial Tourism Officer of Dinagat Islands why the whole Province is called Dinagat Islands. He looked at me and started saying, “Only those who doesn’t fear to come to Dinagat Islands can understand fully the Legend of the Islands. Only those whose hearts are pure and those who come to see Dinagat Island as gift of nature to behold can only see the proofs of the Legend.” I began wondering what he meant until I realized I was slowly drowned listening to his story about The Legend of Dinagat Islands.
Once upon a time in a faraway land, there existed two different tribes that lived in fierce rivalry. The chieftain of each tribe was known to be fearless and proud. The chieftain of the first tribe had a handsome son named Prinsipe Gat, a pure and strong warrior while the rival chief had a beautiful daughter named Prinsesa Dina, an admirable virtuous lady, so unceasingly gorgeous to behold. In spite of their tribe’s feud, Dina and Gat fell in love with each other. Because of their father’s rivalry, they chose to keep their affair in secret. But rumors spread around the two tribes. Soon, both chieftains learned about their secret affair and forbid them to see each other. And like other romantic stories, their enduring love would conquer all obstacles. Dina and Gat chose to fight for their perpetual love and decided to escape from their own tribes. They fled far across the miles and sailed the oceans until they reached a secluded Island Paradise. Here, Dina and Gat lived as husband and wife and together built the family of their own.
The Island had been a good provider to the couple. It gave them shelter. It gave them food. In returned, Dina and Gat nurtured and fostered the Island as their own. They nourished and cultivated the Island they considered a paradise and vowed to protect it for their children and their children’s children.
One day, a fleet of foreign ships carrying armies of hundred intruders were seen coming to the Islands. Seeing the multitude of intruders, Dina and Gat were frightened they cannot fight such huge armies of enemies. They were scared they cannot protect the Island they considered their home paradise. But because of their love for their children and the Islands, they ran to the seas and dove and swam the deep blue waters of the Island. They dove deeper and deeper until both disappeared. Few days passed by, a separate bulge of two Islets sprouted in the middle of the waters where the couple was last seen. The two islets appeared so mystical it formed like giant humans laying down to rest. It became incredibly visible that it was believed to be the remnants of Dina and Gat, the protectors of the Islands and its children.
The first islet was called Lalakeng Bukid and the other was called Babaeng Bukid. And from then on, the whole Island was called DINAGAT, named after the Prinsesa Dina and Prinsipe Gat. Today, people of Dinagat Islands believed that the couple are still guiding and protecting them through presence of the Lalakeng Bukid and Babaeng Bukid. That is the reason why the people of Dinagat Islands manage to survive and endure the tests of time.
After his exciting narration of the Legend of Dinagat Islands, Mr. Bulabos asked me to indentify which among the many islands in Dinagat is said to be Lalakeng Bukid and Babaeng Bukid. He repeated, “Only those men whose hearts are pure and those who come to see Dinagat Island as gift of nature to behold can see the proofs of the Legend”. So then I looked around meticulously searching for the two significant distinctive figures. And then I pointed my fingers to an Islet nearby and then to another Island. Mr. Bulabos gave me an approving smile and said, “You have a good heart and the Islands loves you”. I smiled back. I was right. It wasn’t a guess. When my eyes laid to those two figures, it knew they were Lalakeng Bukid and Babaeng Bukid. It was overwhelming to know that I was right.
That was the Legend of Dinagat Island. A tale that merely proves that indeed Dinagat Islands is a “Mystical Island Province… of Love”.
This is the eighth part of “EXPLORING CARAGA REGION: The Travel Series”
- CATCHING SUNRISE AT CLAVER, SURIGAO DEL NORTE
- SOCORRO AND THE BUCAS GRANDE ISLANDS
- CLUB TARA AND TIKTIKAN LAKE OF BUCAS GRANDE ISLANDS
- SOHOTON NATIONAL PARK OF BUCAS GRANDE ISLANDS
- THE SANDY BEACHES AND STUNNING ISLETS OF BUCAS GRANDE ISLANDS
- THE JELLYFISH SANCTUARY OF BUCAS GRANDE ISLANDS
- EXPERIENCING SAN JOSE AND THE PROVINCE OF DINAGAT ISLANDS
- THE LEGEND OF DINAGAT ISLANDS