The Legend of the Tawalis

--Informant Info--
Nationality:
Age:
Occupation:
Residence:
Date of Performance/Collection:
Primary Language:
Other Language(s):

Main piece: The story was about a naughty boy, named Tawi, who was crossing a lake. He was being chased by something, I can’t remember exactly and the people nearby saw him getting chased so they shouted: “Tawi bilis” which means “Tawi faster.” The boy disappeared and at the same time, a new fish was present in the lake. They then named that new fish after the boy who had to swim faster, Tawilis. This lake was Taal lake and the Tawalis is only found in that lake.

Context: The informant lived the majority of her life in the Philippines. She then immigrated to the United States when she was 24. She learned about the legend of the tawalis from her father who told her the story numerous times.

Thoughts: I find this story pretty interesting. It attributes a certain event to the naming of a fish which shows how superstitious Filipinos could be. It seems as though this could be a scary story when given the right context. It could be used as a scare tactic for kids who are naughty. The naughty element in Tawi could be a possible reason why he was being chased in something but since my informant didn’t know, it is up for speculation.