A long, long time ago, Mindanao was covered with water, and the sea cover all the lowlands so that nothing could be seen but the mountains jutting from it. There were many people living in the country and all the highlands were dotted with villages and settlements. For many years the people prospered, living in peace and contentment. Suddenly there appeared in the land four horrible monsters which, in short time has devoured every human being they could find.
Kurita, a terrible creature with many limbs, lived partly on the land and partly on sea, but its favorite haunt was the mountain where the rattan palm grew; and here it brought utter destruction on every living thing. The second monster, Tarabusaw, an ugly creature in the form of a man, lived on Mt. Matutum, and far and wide from that place he devoured the people, laying waste the land. The third, an enormous bird called Pah, was so large that, when on the wing, it covered the sun and brought darkness to the earth. Its egg was as large as a house. Mt. Bita was its haunt; and there the only people who escaped its voracity were those who hid in the mountain caves. The fourth monster was also a dreadful bird, having seven heads and the power to see in all directions at the same time. Mt. Gurayan was its home and like the others, it wrought havoc to its region.
So great was the death and destruction caused by these terrible creatures that at length, the news spread even to the most distant lands - and all nations grieved to hear the sad fate of Mindanao.
Now far across the sea, in the land of the golden sunset, was a city so great that to look at its many people would injure the eyes of men. When tidings of these great disasters reached this distant city, the heart of King Indarapatra was filled with compassion, and he called his brother, Sulayman, and begged hem to save the land of Mindanao from the monsters.
Sulayman listened to the story and as heard it, was moved with pity. "I will go", zeal and enthusiasm adding to his strength, "and the land shall be avenged," said he.
King Indarapatra, proud of his brother's courage, gave him a ring and a sword as he wished him success and safety. Then he placed a young sapling by his window and said to Sulayman "By this tree I shall know your fate from the hour you depart from here, for if you live, it will live; but if you die, it will die also."
So Sulayman departed for Mindanao, and he neither waded nor used a boat, but went through the air and landed on the mountain where the rattan grew. There he stood on the summit and gazed about on all sides. He looked on the land and the villages, but he could see no living thing. And he was very sorrowful and cried out: "Alas, how pitiful and dreadful is this devastation."
No sooner had Sulayman uttered those words than the whole mountain began to move and then shook. Suddenly out of the ground came the horrible creature Kurita. It sprng at the man and sank its claws at his flesh. But, Sulayman knowing at once that this was the scourge of the land, drew his sword and cut Kurita to pieces.
Encourage by his first success, Sulayman went on to Mt. Matutum, where conditions were even worse. As he stood on the heights viewing the great devastation, there was a noise in the forest and a movement in the trees. With a loud yell, Tarabusaw forth leaped. For the moment they looked at each other, neither showing any sign of fear. Then Tarabusaw used all his powers to try to devour Sulayman, who fought back. For a long time, the battle continued, until at last, the monster fell exhausted to the ground and Sulayman killed him with his sword.
The nest place visited by Sulayman was Mt. Bita. Here havoc was present everywhere, and though he passed by many homes, he saw that not a single soul was left. As he walked, sudden darkness fell over the land, startling him. As he looked toward the sky he beheaded a great bird that swooped upon him. Immediately he struck, and the bird fell dead at his feet; but the wing fell on Sulayman and he was crushed.
Now at this very time King Indarapatra was sitting at his window, and looking out he saw the little tree wither and dry up.
"Alas!" he cried, "my brother is dead" and he wept bitterly.
Then although he was very sad, he was filled with a desire for revenge. Putting on his sword and belt, he started for Mindanao, in search for his brother.
He, too, traveled through the air with great speed until he came to the mountain where the rattan grew. There he looked about, awed at the great destruction, and when she saw the bones of Kurita he knew that his brother had been there. He went on till he came to Matutum, and when he saw the bones of Tarabusaw, he knew that this, too, was the work of Sulayman.
Still searching for his brother, he arrived at Mt. Bita, where the dead bird lay on the ground, and when he lifted the severed wing he beheld the bones of Sulayman with his sword biy his side. His grief now so overwhelmed Indarapatra that he wept for some time. Upon looking up, he beheld a small jar of water by his side. This, he knew had been sent from the heaven, and he poured the water over the bones, and Sulayman, came to life again. They greeted each other and talked animatedly for great length of time. Sulayman declared that he had not been dead but asleep, and their hearts were full of joy.
After some time Sulayman returned his distant home, but Indarapatra continued his journey to Mt. Gurayan where killed the dreadful bird with the seven heads. After these monsters had all been killed, peace and safety had been restored to the land: Indarapatra began searching everywhere to see if some of the people who hid in the earth were still alive.
One day, in the course of his search, he caught sight of a beautiful woman at a distance. When he hastened toward her she disappeared through a hole in the ground where she stood. Disappointed and tried, he sat down on a rock to rest when, looking about, he saw near him a pot uncooked rice with a big fire on the ground in front of it. This revived him and he proceeded to cook the rice. As he did so, however, he heard someone laugh near by, and turning he beheld an old woman watching him. As he greeted her, she drew near and talked to him while he ate the rice.
Of all the people in the land, the woman told him, only few were left, and they hid in a cave in the ground from whence they never ventured to come out. As for herself and her old husband, she went on, they had hidden in a hollow tree, and this they had never dared to leave until Sulayman killed the voracious bird Pah.
At Indarapatra's request, the old woman led him to one such cave. There he met the headmen with his family and some people. They all gathered about the stranger, asking many questions, for this was the first time they had heard about the death of the monsters. When they found out what Indarapatra had done for them, the headman gave his daughter to him in marriage, and she proved to be beautiful girl whom Indarapatra had seen at the mouth of the cave.
Then the people all came out of their hiding places and returned to their homes where they lived in peace and happiness. And the sea withdrew from the land and gave the lowlands to the people.