Habagat, the Angry God

Like a spurned lover, Habagat is a very angry god, unleashing endless streams of rain in a show of might against rival Buhawi, the god of typhoon. Both smitten with Amihan, the goddess of cool, northeasterly wind, these legendary deities have elemental powers to win over the other – while lowly creatures that inhabited the earth cringe in fear and helplessness. Such were the stuff of Philippine mythology. Habagat

Oh, what a powerful and frightening image they make in the Himpapawiran (sky) – for love and for ego – in those days.

But these days, we got a female typhoon by the name of “Maring,” (a.k.a. Trami, which also sounded feminine) adding a twist to the plot of this myth about these gods. And as I wrote this, a terrible, rumbling cannonball-like sound echoed from the heavens. And stronger rains began to fall incessantly as if a universal message was being sent.

So, Amihan has also found a rival for the amorous quests of Habagat in typhoons, like Maring. Females are also lording it over the males, even in the Himpapawiran, huh. But Habagat dominates. 166913_2265928941625_240301598_n

Maybe the weathermen got it wrong when they said typhoon Maring pulled Habagat in its upward direction. Could it not be a case of Habagat pursuing Maring as the latter tried to elude the obsessive overtures of the god of wind and rain that had dumped all this water upon us? It took only three days for an equivalent of a month-and-a-half long of precipitation to inundate the capital and outlying provinces as well.  394656_4073535010647_1546066332_n

When the Philippine islands were still very, very young, its natives, who believed in these gods, would have been imploring the heavens to appease their wrath when they were as relentless as the past three days. They must have those dance rituals and some offerings to calm down their gods. In Japan, they have the “teru teru bozu” paper or cloth dolls that they hang by their windows to make the rains stop and wish for good weather. 296226_2265934981776_401633999_n

When our ancestors outgrew the gods of the elements, evolved into civilized people, became Christians and some-other, we inherited the land of our birth. Sadly, in the course of stewardship we became grossly irreverent to the point of undermining the power of the elements: the wind, the water and the soil. We abused their bounty in the belief that God created them all solely for us – and as such, they must do our bidding. But that was not the story of Creation.

A quick reading of Genesis 1 shows (as gathered by some Bible scholars, too) that the elements were already somehow present before God set out for six days to organize the Universe and create godlike humans to fulfill their destiny. Having that pre-existent state, the wind, the waters and the land possibly truly possess much greater divine power than we ever believed so.

As deities revered by the ancient peoples of our race, we must be wiser not to belittle them. Today, it is customary for us to resort to prayer when we are challenged by nature’s fury. Because we realize too well now that we cannot trample on the elements, not by any measure. Year after year, calamities borne by the elements are getting fiercer and more destructive. There’s no place for us to hide from the hellish wrath of Nature abused, exploited and violated.

Because they are. Like God is. And, we should be in awe.

Genesis 1

King James Version (KJV)

1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.


2 thoughts on “Habagat, the Angry God

  1. A nice piece, Wordweaver! The Philippines would still have been a better place had the people kept its reverence to the deities of old specially to the one who prevails when neither Amihan nor Habagat lords over. The diety because of whose regulation of the the mighty winds willfully creates a dry spell which we call–the dry season.

    This is the time of the year when the damaging acts to our environment are committed. Without which, perhaps, what now cause the calamitous effects would not have been created.

    It creates a situation that dries up the natural drainage system channels like, creeks (sapang-patay), and makes them, as well as rivers, which during this season have shallow water, appear useless and too much to contain the peaceful water flowing slowly downstream.

    Some people think that the next smart move is space utilization maximization. They fill these dry brooks to extend their territories and erect structures on top. Even river banks are not spared. The trees and greens that used to inhabit its banks were replaced by structures housing both man and animals, both rich and poor turning the once beautiful and mighty rivers into squalid, murky rivulets. These practices continue on until people realize that the move that once thought to be a smart one is actually a fatal mistake.

    The civilized people we thought we have evolved into and Christians we believe we have become who had inherited the land of our birth, I agree— “sadly, in the course of stewardship we became grossly irreverent to the point of undermining the power of the elements: the wind, the water and the soil. We abused their bounty in the belief that God created them all solely for us – and as such, they must do our bidding.”

    But, alas, Christians know the kind of stewardship that God wants us to employ to enrich the resources that He allows us to use. Never the kind people do on those they acquired freely unmindful of purpose. They are serving the wrong God perhaps. They might not be true Christians after all.

    The dry season showed people opportunities to acquire properties easily which some souls grabbed voraciously unwilling to give up or release them for their rightful purpose cognizant of the frivolousness of their selfish, illicit act notwithstanding.

    And we are just allowing them to continue.

    • Thank you, Leo, for your take on this topic. Our unlettered ancestors already had the wisdom of showing great respect and fear of the sky gods. But as we acquired knowledge, we belittled that ancient wisdom, not realizing that it’s divine wisdom all along. God’s been telling ALL His people such truth, but you know, a lot of people want to play god-role, uh-huh..

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