So: Goodbye, Snow White; Hello, Maria Cacao

ONCE upon a time, the stories of Leon Kilat and Maria Cacao were told by word of mouth. The thing with oral stories, you could smell the sour breath of the storyteller.

In the new millennium, Sun.Star Superbalita [Cebu] and Smart took care of the unwanted smell, not by giving mouthwash to the storyteller but by compiling selected Cebuano folklore in one Bisaya storybook.

The storybook “Matod Pa sa Lola ni Noy Kulas” is as Bisdak as it can be. The folklore is about a place in Cebu or a Bisaya character, written in the Bisaya language by a Bisaya and illustrated by a Bisaya.

Snow White is not in the book; neither are Hansel and Gretel. There is no mention of castles or cherry blossom or fireplace, which kids in many of Cebu’s public schools have never seen or can identify with. The book does mention pigs, carabaos, chickens, rivers and trees such as manga, acacia and bolbolan and other stuff familiar to anyone living in Cebu.

“Matod Pa sa Lola ni Noy Kulas” is a Bisaya storybook. Its 11 stories are easy to read; all are written in simple and conversational Bisaya, illustrated in color, and thankfully short.

Some, like “Ang Buaya ug ang Bitin” that tells about the legend of Buayahan in Medellin, are humorous. Others, like “Ang Kahoy nga Bolbolan,” have a scary plot. (more)

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