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A Legend of the Coconut Tree

(Maguindanaons)
I.

II.

DISCUSSION OF THE TYPE


A legend of the coconut tree is a fictional work, categorized as a short story and specified as a legend. Legends
are stories passed down from generation to generation. They usually talk about the origin of a place, thing,
traditions, belief, etc.
BACKGROUND OF THE AUTHOR
Maguindanaons
-part of wider Moro ethnic group, who constitute the sixth largest Filipino Ethnic Group
-literally, people of the flood plains, occupy the Basin of Pulangi River.
-(In the past) settled along the banks and in the valley regions of the river
-(Today) found in several provinces: Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, Cotabato, Zamboanga Del Sur and
Zamboanga Sibugay.
-The Maguindanaon language is a part of a subgroup of languages called the Danao languages
-the predominant religion among the Maguindanao is a form of folk Islam

III.
ANALYSIS
a. Setting
The story happened in a kingdom in ancient Mindanao known as Bangonan-sa-Pulangui (kingdom by the
river).
b. Characters
Protagonist
(FLAT-Personal/Individual) Putri Timbang-Namat- the princess or the sultans daughter; most beautiful and
charming woman of her time; her name alone signified lady of grace
(ROUND) Wata-Mama- the young and handsome gardener; secret lover of Putri; his real name is Tsemed-tsen-sa
Alongan
(FLAT)-Sultan- the one who ruled the kingdom
-Maid- the one who only knows about the love affair between Putri and Wata-Mama
Antagonist
(FLAT) Sultans general- one of the sultans generals; secretly in love with the princess; the one who struck Wata
Mama down
c. Plot
Exposition
The sultan was touched by the persistence of his daughters suitors who came from across the seven seas but
Putri did not care for any of them. So then one day, the sultan intervened in behalf of the seven suitors. He asked his
daughter to choose from among the suitors the man she would marry. He said that he needs a son to succeed him
when he dies. He also wishes to see her married before he close his eyes. But the princess was not moved by her
fathers pleas. So, months passed and the sultan finally summoned the suitors to a conference. They all agreed to
hold a tournament to determine who among them was worthy of the princess love.
Rising Action
The princess was stricken with fear when she learned about the tournament. Fuming with anger, she called her
trusted maid and asked her to lead her to the palace garden. There, she met Wata-Mama, whom she favored among
her suitors. Secretly, they spent some moments together and nobody knew about this except the maid. Wata-Mama
decided to reveal the truth about him when the princess told him about the tournament and fears about the results. He
said that he is a prince and his real name is, Tsemed-tsen-sa-Alongan. He was separated from his parents when he

was three. However, the princess didnt care about Wata-Mamas past, all she cares about is their present and future
lives as lovers.
Climax
The lovers then decided to flee to another land. However, one of the sultans generals learned about their plan as
they were preparing to escape. The general was secretly in love with the princess and was therefore concerned about
her fate. So at that time, in the dark corner of the palace, he and two of his trusted aides waited for the young lovers.
When the lovers were about to leave the palace grounds, the general emerged from the shadows, struck Wata-Mama
down with his bladed weapon, and severed his head. The princess did not allow herself to be overcome by fear. She
jumped to where the head of her beloved rolled, picked it up, and wrapped it tenderly with her veil.
Falling Action
The sultan and hundreds of palace guards appeared on the scene. The general was taken prisoner along with his
aides, while the princess, who stood there holding the severed head of her beloved, was brought back to her room.
For nine days and nights, the princess kept vigil beside the head which she placed on her bed. She locked herself up
in her room so that no one could take it from her. The sultan was worried. But one day, he convinced her to allow him
to enter her room and to bury the head of her loved one. The princess agreed and asked to bury the head beneath
her window where she can watch it every day and night.
Resolution
Early one morning, while the princess was watching the spot, she saw a tiny plant growing from the ground.
Suddenly, the once tiny bud grew into a tree until it reached the height of the window where the princess was sitting.
The strange incident aroused the princess curiosity. She went on watching the tree far into the night until her maid
persuaded her to go to bed. The next morning, the princess again watched the tall majestic tree. Wonder of wonders,
she noticed with great surprise that the tree already had a ripened fruit- a round fruit of the size of a mans head.
D. Conflict
Man vs. Society when Putri decided to flee from another place with Wata-Mama to escape from the possible
result of the tournament
Man vs. Man when the general struck Wata-Mama down
Man vs. Himself when Putri finds it hard to let go of her beloveds head and keeps it on her room instead of
burying it
E. Point of View
It is in the third person- omniscient point of view.
F. Subject Matter
The story is all about a king or a sultan, searching for the one who will took his place when he dies
It is also about the things that an individual can do for her love life.
G. Theme
Loving what he used to have
Doing everything for love
Doing crazy things just to keep your love or lover by your side
Greediness
Being loyal to a person no matter how many people are trying to win you
Sometimes, being attractive will bring you or your loved ones in danger

Jimenez, Jeanel Keith A.


BA-Psychology IIB

A Legend of the Coconut Tree


The Maguindanaons have a rich collection of folk stories which they call tudtol. One of these tells about the origin
of the coconut, and it goes this way:

One there was a kingdom in ancient Mindanao known as Bangonan-sa-Pulangui (kingdom by the river), which
was ruled by a just and kind sultan. Aside from its prosperity, the kingdom was known far and wide for the beauty of Putri
Timbang-Namat, the sultans daughter. She was the most beautiful and charming woman of her time. Her name alone
signified lady of grace.
The admirers of Putri Timbang-Namat came from across the seven seas, but she did not care for any of them.
The kind sultan, touched by their persistence, one day tried to intervene in behalf of the seven suitors, asking his daughter
to choose from among them the man she would marry.
My darling daughter, he said, I need a son to succeed me when I die. I wish that before I close my eyes I would
see you married. But the princess was not moved by her fathers pleas.
Months passed. The sultan finally summoned the suitors to a conference. They all agreed to hold a tournament to
determine who among them was worthy of the princess love.
When the princess learned about it, she was stricken with fear, but she said to herself, Nobody can decide my
future but myself and God.
Fuming with anger, she called her trusted maid and asked her to lead her to the palace garden. There, she met
the young and handsome gardener Wata-Mama, whom she favored among her suitors. Secretly, the two young lovers
spent some moments together. Nobody knew of this love affair except the princess maid.
When the princess told him about the tournament and her fears about the results, Wata-Mama decided to reveal
his past to her. I am a prince myself, he said, and my real name is Tsemed-tsen-sa-Alongan (he whose power could
eclipse the brightness of the sun). I was separated from my parents when I was three. Since then, I have not seen them.
The last news I heard about my father was that he was put to death by my greedy uncle who has taken over the
sultanate.
The princess covered her beloved mouth with her gentle hand and said, Whoever you are and wherever you
come from are not important to me. What is important is that we love each other.
The lovers decided at last to flee to another land. As they were preparing their escape, however, one of the
sultans generals learned about their plan. The general was secretly in love with the princess and was therefore
concerned about her fate. So, that night, in the dark corner of the palace, he and two of his trusted aides waited for the
young lovers.
When the lovers were about to leave the palace grounds, the general emerged from the shadows, struck WataMama down with his bladed weapon, and severed his head. The princess did not allow herself to be overcome by fear.
She jumped to where the head of her beloved rolled, picked it up, and wrapped it tenderly with her veil.
Moments later, the sultan and hundreds of palace guards appeared on the scene. The general was taken prisoner
along with his aides, while the princess, who stood there holding the severed head of her beloved, was brought back to
her room.
For nine days and nights, the princess kept vigil beside the head which she placed on her bed. She locked herself
up in her room so that no one could take it from her, not even his father.
The sultan was worried. One day, he convinced her to allow him to enter her room. Then he said, My daughter,
please allow me to bury the head of your loved one. He can never be at peace with God while you keep his head
unburied.
The princess finally agreed, saying, Father, I will allow you to bury it, but please bury it beneath my window
where I can watch it every day and night.
Thus, the severed head of Wata-Mama was finally interred. Early one morning, while the princess was watching
the spot, she saw a tiny plant growing from the ground. Suddenly, the once tiny bud grew into a tree until it reached the
height of the window where the princess was sitting. The strange incident aroused the princess curiosity. She went on
watching the tree far into the night until her maid persuaded her to go to bed.

The next morning, the princess again watched the tall majestic tree. Wonder of wonders, she noticed with great
surprise that the tree already had a ripened fruit- a round fruit of the size of a mans head.
The Cotabato ballad singers say that fruit was the first coconut on earth. When the coconut is unhusked, the shell
looks like the bald pate of a man with a pair of eyes and a prominent mouth. They say that the coconut shell does not
have hair because the people of long ago did not allow their hair to grow long. They shaved their hair close to the scalp.