As the locals of these three villages compared their tales, they concluded that there must be two Kapres: one whom they called the White Kapre, was benevolent; and the other whom they called the Black Kapre, was pernicious.
The White Kapre and the Black Kapre did not get along. During a violent thunderstorm some years ago, a bolt of lightning hit the mid-section of the Lawaan tree of Guinbalaon. Fire consumed most of it so much so that Manong Kako’s son thought it would not survive. But survive it did and green shoots started growing soon after.
The inhabitants of Patag now hope that the Balete tree still standing in their midst would in due course receive an equally devastating blow from the strengthening Lawaan tree in a primal battle between good and evil.
* * *
Whilst folktales indeed often explain events which are seemingly inexplicable, they also usually serve as mirrors of ourselves. Good-and-evil, for example, is only one of the dualisms that exist in the human psyche. In this story, they are shown as separate entities. However, in another level, they are also mental abstractions. We all have opposing elements within us and our struggles and battles are the results of the interplay of these opposing forces.
Ascription: From interviews done by Jopy Plotria.
Footnotes: /1/Visitors can now see the glaring reminders of this period of hostilities: remnants of an anti-aircraft gun still in its rampart, foxholes, bunkers, even the vestiges of an old medical facility, and a memorial dedicated to the Japanese war dead; /2/Scholars opine that the folktales relating to giants living in mountains and roaming the island were already part of Negrense folklore long before the coming of the Spaniards. However, the word “Kapre” came from the Spanish-Arabic word “Cafre.” The Ortigas Foundation recently published pictographs on the origin of the word. The “giants” were African natives sent to the Americas and other Spanish colonies as slaves. This followed the decree of King Carlos I that no Spaniard could enslave the natives of their colonies since they were now Spanish subjects. As Spain did not own territories in Africa, the Spaniards started their slave trade from there. The Nguni tribe from southern Africa, for instance, were brought to the Philippines through the galleon ships coming from Mexico;