It was such a joy to behold the beauty of Mararison Island when I and my friends visited it in 2012. Unspoiled and accessible from the mainland of Antique, this island is populated but there are hilly parts which are not occupied and a cove that is so cool to swim to. You may check out our photos here.
Recently, a facebook friend posted the legend of Mararison Island and I can't help but share the same as I had shared my oven English translation of the Legend of Islas de Gigantes. So here is the story about the island of Mararison.
THE LEGEND OF MARARISON AND BATBATAN
ONCE UPON A TIME, a young datu named Haidar from northern Sumatra, along with four companions, went pearl fishing. A strong wind caught them ashore on Lipata point in northwestern Panay. The pearling vessel was badly damaged and so had to undergo some repairs. During the time, the lonely datu roamed about the island.
In one of his excursions into the hinterland, he saw a beautiful maiden bathing in a stone fountain at Moroboro. He found out that she was the only daughter of the native ruling chief, Datu Kukato of Madyaas.
Princess Sukita, for that was then the maiden’s name, became fascinated by the dashing young stranger, and so she began to think of ways in order to have him for her husband. Her aged father objected to her wishes but she had set her mind for Haidar. Haidar, in return, reciprocated the princess’ affections. The wiser counsels of the old men of the kingdom were of no avail because Haidar had planned to take Princess Sukita with him to Sumatra. He appointed the day for their departure which only Sukita and he knew.
When the day came, the princess could not contain herself. She could not sleep the night before the appointed day for she kept a vigil over the pearling vessel in the bay that was to sail before the crowing of the cocks.
At cockcrow, she dressed herself as a slave, stole past the guards, and hurried towards the waiting vessel where Haidar stood waiting. Then the sails were furled and the sure sturdy vessel began to glide silently out of Lipata Bay in the darkness to the smooth silent sea. But hardly had the vessel gone of the bay when a loud deafening thunder and a blinding flash of lightning dropped from the top of Madyaas, and the pearling vessel with Haidar and Sukita in her hold vanished in the air. A great wave rose and two islets, rough and rugged, appeared.
The people wondered. They believed that the deafening roar was the voice of Datu Kukato, cursing his daughter who disobeyed him and so had transformed her into an island and called it Mararison... “the disobedient one”. The other island was Datu Hadar, which was called “Batbatan” or the “counseled one.” It was believed that Datu Kukato had told Haidar several times of the curse that would befall them should they choose to go against his wishes. Because he did not listen, the other stone islet into which Haidar was transformed shall bear the ironic name, Batbatan.
After the tragic event, Datu Kukato shut himself up in Madyaas and many waterfalls gushed forth from its sides: these were believed to be perpetual tears of a loving father who mourned deeply for the loss of his only beloved daughter.
~ English translation by Beato A. de la Cruz, Contributions of the Aklan Mind to Philippine Literature (Rizal: Kalantiao Press, 1958, pp. 29-31).
*Special Thanks to my humorous facebook friend, Akeanon poet Alexander De Juan for posting this in facebook.