Monday, June 12, 2017

Foregrounding Myths and Legends in Cecilia Manguerra Brainard's "When the Rainbow Goddess Wept", Ruth S. Rimando - Thesis Paper


A Thesis Submitted to the
Faculty of Arts and Letters of the
University of Santo Tomas

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements
For the Degree of Bachelor of Arts
Major in Literature

Ruth S. Rimando
February 2006


Statement of the Problem 5
Significance of the Study 6
Scope and Limitation 7
Definition of Terms 7
Theoretical Framework 8
Research Methodology and Design 16



A. The Story of “Malakas at Maganda” 52
B. “Bongkatolan –the Woman Warrior” 54
C. “Epic of Tuwaang and the Maiden of the Buhong Sky” 57
D. “Tuwaang Saving the Maiden of Monawon From the Deathless Man” 60
E. “Epic of Lam-Ang” 63
F. “Tale of Banna” 65
G. “The Story of the Golden Rice from the Skyworld” 67
Summary 72
Conclusions 73
Recommendations 75

February 1, 2006

Asst. Prof. Ferdinand M. Lopez
Thesis Coordinator
AB Literature Program
Faculty of Arts and Letters


This thesis, Foregrounding Myths and Legends in Cecilia Manguerra-Brainard’s
“ When The Rainbow Goddess Wept”, prepared and submitted by Ruth S. Rimando in partial fulfillment for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Literature is hereby recommended for oral examination.

Professor John Jack G. Wigley
Thesis Adviser


Myths play a great role in the literature of the world. They give frameworks and guidelines to the other writers in constructing the stories of their own like Cecilia Manguerra-Brainard who includes myths in her works. The characteristics that the mythological heroes have such as courage, beauty, strength, power, intelligence and the like are what the writers of different ages want to incorporate to the qualities of the characters found in the stories that they have made.

In the Philippines, there are many myths and legends, which are considered part of its oral and written literature. Each of its regions has its own stories that reflect their cultural settings, beliefs and traditions like the Epic of Lam-Ang from the Ilocos Region and the legend of Mariang Makiling from the Central Luzon Region. Their supernatural beliefs are rooted from the primitive tales and stories of the ancient people that were preserved and transmitted to other generations through the use of oral tradition. Up to the present, the influences of these folktales are still evident to the lifestyle of the people particularly the tribal ones in such a way that they accept these stories as significant events that had truly happened at a certain point in their history like in some parts of Mindanao, the ritual of epic singing is still practiced by the people.

All of the myths are concerned with nature. The gods and goddesses are guardians of nature and their powers are derived from them. Claude Levi-Strauss on his “Structural Study of Myth” believes that the operational value of myth is given by its specific pattern being described as timeless; it explains the present and the past as well as the future. Northrop Frye on the other hand observes in his “Myth, Fiction and Displacement” that the things that happen in myths are only those events and situations that could happen in a story. They should not be accepted as historical events because no evidence can full justify their existence. Furthermore, Frye describes them as stories that can be found in their “self-contained literary world’ where reality and magic coexist.

One of the Filipino writers whose style in writing is to include myths into her narratives is the expatriate writer Cecilia Manguerra-Brainard. According to her Philippine folklore influenced her since childhood and that including them in her works serves as her way of going back to her homeland. Her works include “Acapulco at Sunset and Other Stories” (1995), “Cecilia’s Diary: 1962-1969” (2003), “Contemporary Fiction by Filipinos in America” (1997), “Fiction by Filipinos in America” (1993), “Growing Up Filipino” (2003), “Journey of 100 years”(1999), “Magdalena” (2002), “Philippine American Women Writers and Artists” (1992), “Philippine Woman in America” (1991), “Seven Stories from Seven Sisters: A Collection of Philippine Folktales” (1992) “The Beginning and Other Asian Folktales” (1995), “Song of Yvonne” (1991) which became “When The Rainbow Goddess Wept”(1994) in the American publication and “Woman With Thorns and Other Stories” (1987).

This study focuses on how Cecilia Manguerra-Brainard presented and configured Philippine myths and legends in her novel, “When The Rainbow Goddess Wept”. There are seven stories (myths, epics and legends) that are found in the novel. They are the epic of Lam-Ang, legend of “Malakas at Maganda”, tale of Bongkatolan, epic of Tuwaang and the Maiden of the Buhong Sky, story of Tuwaang saving the Maiden of Monawon from the deathless man, tale of Banna and the story about the golden rice from the skyworld. These stories resemble the hardships of the Filipinos during the Japanese period, which the novel is all about.

The novel is about the struggles of a Filipino family during Japanese occupation narrated by a ten-year old girl, Yvonne. She associates the situations that they were experiencing at that time and the people around her to the plot and characters of the myths and legends that she learned from their cook Laydan.

The archetypal psychology of Carl Jung and the myth theories and criticisms of Northrop Frye are used by the researcher in the analysis of the featured myths and legends and their connection with the novel.


This study investigates the foregrounding of Philippine myths and legends in Cecilia-Manguerra-Brainard’s “When The Rainbow Goddess Wept”. In the course of the investigation, the researcher aims at answering the following questions:
1. How does Cecilia Manguerra-Brainard foreground myths and legends in her novel, “When The Rainbow Goddess Wept”?
2. How does the interweaving of myths and legends contribute to the author’s plot/craft?
3. How do the author’s subjectivities as a writer and as a woman contribute to the depiction of myths and legends in her stories?


This study is another contribution to Literary Studies in the category of Filipino-American writings. Cecilia Manguerra-Brainard is an expatriate writer who is presently residing in California U.S.A. Despite her location, she still prefers to write about local myths, which are probably alien to the knowledge of non-Filipino readers. The author and her novel, “When the Rainbow Goddess Wept” were chosen by the researcher as subjects for this study because of the author’s style of incorporating native folktales to the reality of the story that the novel wants to convey. This is the first time that a study is conducted on how Philippine myths and legends are configured in Brainard’s first novel, “When the Rainbow Goddess Wept”. This paper also discusses how an Asian-American writer like Brainard struggles for visibility and recognition in a land different from her own.

This study aims to contribute to the field of literature by encouraging the use of archetypal psychology and myth criticism for critical reading and understanding of myths, legends, tales and the like. By knowing the origins of the tales and by reading the full text critically, this paper paves the way for better understanding of what they represent in reality, what they reflect in the society and of how significant they are in the Philippine cultural settings and beliefs.

This paper will benefit the future literature students in helping them understand and analyze mythological texts. This study will serve as a background to those students who wish to do related studies and wish to elaborate more about the topic.


This paper limits its study on one of the two novels of Cecilia Manguerra-Brainard entitled “When the Rainbow Goddess Wept”. The myths that are analyzed in this study are the seven stories that are incorporated on the said novel. These are the stories of Lam-Ang, “Maganda at Malakas”, the woman-warrior Bongkatolan, epic of Tuwaang and the Buhong Sky, the battle of Tuwaang against the deathless man, the tale of Banna and the story of the golden rice from the Skyland.


ARCHETYPE – “gives form to countless typical experiences of our ancestors {and are} the psychic residue of innumerable experiences of the same type, of joys and sorrows that have been repeated countless times in our ancestral history” (Jung 1969). It is “essentially an unconscious content that is altered by becoming conscious and by being perceived and it takes its color from the individual consciousness in which it happens to appear” (Jung 1959, 289). It “stirs profound emotions in the reader because it awakens images stored in the collective unconscious and thereby produce feelings or emotions over which the reader initially has little control” (Bressler 1999, 155).

COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS – It is the third part of Carl Jung’s model of human psyche. It is a “part of the psyche that houses the cumulative knowledge, experiences and images of the entire human race” (Bressler 1999, 154).

FOLKTALES – are simply abstract story-patterns, uncomplicated and easy to remember no more hampered by barriers of language and culture than migrating birds are by customs officers, and made up of interchangeable motifs that be counted and indexed. (Frye, 1959, 27)

LEGENDS – “are traditions, whether oral or written, which relate the fortunes of real people in the past, or which describe events not necessarily human, that are said to have occurred in place (Frazer 1994, 33).

MYTHS –“a story in which some of the chief characters are gods or other beings larger in power than humanity” (Frye 1959, 30). They “reveal the archetypes of the collective unconscious (Jung 1959).
MYTH CRITICISM – “pulls away from life toward a self contained and autonomous literary universe. It examines the theme or total design of a fiction by isolating the aspect of the fiction, which is conventional and holding in common, all other works of the same category (Frye 1957, 34, 38)


Northrop Frye in his “Myth, Fiction and Displacement”(1957) includes myth in literary criticism because he believes that myth has always been an integral or a constituent element of literature and that the interests of the poets and writers in myths and mythology have been remarkable ever since. He defines myth as a story consisting of gods and other beings larger in power than humanity as some of its chief characters. The things that happen in myth do not usually happen in reality and that myths belong in a “self-contained literary world”.

Carl Gustav Jung in his “Archetypes of Collective Unconscious” (1969) differentiates personal unconscious from collective unconscious by explaining that personal unconscious rests upon a deeper layer known as the collective unconscious which is inborn and which is not derived from personal experiences and personal acquisitions. He calls the contents of the personal unconscious as “feeling-toned complexes” that constitute the personal and the private side of psychic life. On the other hand, he calls the contents of the collective unconscious “archetypes” that are identical to all men and are said to be present in all individuals.

He finds myths and legends as the well-known expressions of the archetypes for they “deal with primordial types that is with universal images that have existed since the remotest times.” (Jung, 1969,5) In further connecting the significant role of archetypes in myths, esoteric teaching and fairytales, he elaborates:

The archetype is essentially an unconscious content that is altered by becoming conscious and by being perceived, and it takes its colour from the individual consciousness in which it happens to appear. (1969,5)

Both Frye and Jung agree that myths are stories of the past that are handed to other generations through the use of oral tradition. Myths as a type of story are forms of verbal art that deal with the world that man has created. Jung explains that these stories came out because of the attitudes of the primitive men not to be interested in the obvious explanations of things but rather finds a way for their unconscious psyche to associate all outer sense experiences to their inner psychic events.

Frye views the production of a highly conventionalized art or myth making process as a product of the uninhibited imagination. He says that psychologically imagination is the associative faculty is not the creative one and that is outside the province of judgment. In lieu with this, he affirms that the uninhibited imagination, in the structural sense is the one that is more likely to produce a highly conventionalized art. He further elaborates:

This rule implies, of course, that the main source of inhibitions is the need to produce a credible or plausible story, to come up to terms with things as they are and not as the storyteller would like them to be for his conve-nience. (Frye, 1957, 27)

In Jung’s other work, “The Psychology of the Child Archetype” (1956) he says that the archetypes that are found in myths and fairytales are the same with the archetypes that appear in dreams and in the products of the psychotic fantasy. According to him, the vital meaning of myths does not rest alone on its act of representing nature but on the fact that they are the psychic life of the primitive tribe serving as their living religion.

The protagonist in Brainard’s novel “When The Rainbow Goddess Wept” is a ten-year old child named Yvonne. This study uses the explanations of Carl Jung regarding the child archetype in the analysis of the said character. Jung says that the presence of a child archetype or the child motif itself represents the preconscious and the childhood aspect of the collective psyche for archetypes are images that belong to the whole human race and not to a single individual. The purpose of child motif is to “compensate or correct the inevitable one-sidedness and extravagances of the conscious mind” for according to Jung:

“Our differentiated consciousness is in continual danger of being uprooted;
hence it needs compensation through the still existing state of childhood.”
(Jung, 1969 ,82)
The child symbolizes potential future. The appearance of the child archetype shows anticipation of future developments. Jung emphasizes that the symbol of the child unites the opposites. It serves as “a mediator, bringer of healing, that is one who makes whole.” (Jung, 1969,83)
The common notions about myth that it is the human societies’ expression of the fundamental feelings similar to all men like love hatred or revenge and that they provide explanations for unusual phenomena are also considered by Claude Levi-Strauss in his “The Structural Study of Myth” (1963) . He supports Jung’s statements on myths being a product of collective unconscious by claiming that although mythology reflects social structures and social relations, its main purpose still lies in providing an outlet for repressed feelings. Like Frye, he also believes that in myth, there is no logic and no continuity. Any characteristic can be given to any subject. Therefore making everything in myth becomes possible and likely to happen. He connects the significance of myth to language by saying:

“ There is a very good reason why myth cannot simply be treated as language if its specific problems are to be solved; myth is language –to be known, myth has to be told; it is a part of human speech. In order to preserve its specificity we must be able to show that it is also the same thing as language, and also different from it.” (Levi-Strauss,1963,103)

Levi-Strauss uses the distinction of Saussure between langue as the structural side of language that belongs to the reversible time and parole as the statistical nonreversible aspect of language. He argues that if these two levels already exist in language, the third one can be conceivably isolated. Levi-Strauss believes that myth is the third referent that combines the qualities of the first two levels for it explains the present, the past and the future being the function of its operational value. He exemplifies:

“It is that double structure, altogether historical and ahistorical, which explains how myth while pertaining to the realm of parole and calling for an explanation as such, as well as to that of langue in which it is expressed, can also be an absolute entity on a third level which, though it remains
linguistic by nature, is nevertheless distinct from the other two.” (Levi-Strauss, 1963,103)

In justifying his belief that the mythical value of myth is still felt and preserved even through the worst translation, he affirms:
“Whatever our ignorance of the language and the culture of the people where it originate, a myth is still felt as a myth by any reader anywhere in the world. Its substance does not lie in its style, its original music, or its syntax, but in the story, which it tells. Myth is language, functioning on an especially high level where meaning succeeds practically at ‘taking off’ from the linguistic ground on which it keeps on rolling.” (Levi-Strauss,1963,104)
Levi-Strauss concludes his points in his essay by explaining that myths and more generally oral literature are oftentimes repeated in the same sequence because repetition renders their structure apparent. Myth exhibits a “slated” structure, which comes to the surface through the process of repetition. (levi-Strauss,1963,114). Levi-Strauss emphasizes that the growth of myth is a process whereas its structure remains discontinuous. In addition to the repetition of myths that make their structure apparent, Frye emphasizes that the meanings of myth can be found inside them particularly in the implications of their incidents.

“ No rendering of any myth into conceptual language can serve as a full equivalent of its meaning. A myth may be told and retold: it may be modified or elaborated, or different patterns may be discovered in it and its life is always the poetic life of a story, not the homiletic life of some illustrated truism.” (Frye 1957,32)

Frye says that when a story-teller concentrates more on the structure of the story rather than on the necessity of telling a credible one makes its characters turn into imaginative projections and assimilates them into their appropriate functions in the plot as being evident in the folk tales.
“ Folk tales tells us nothing credible about the life or manners of any society; so far from giving us dialogue, imagery or complex behavior… Folk tales are simply abstract story-patterns, uncomplicated and easy to remember, no more hampered by barriers of language and culture than migrating birds are by customs officers, and made up of interchangeable motifs that can be counted and indexed. (Frye , 1957,27)

Vladimir Propp analyzes and studies the components and the structures of the folktales by comparing their themes. The result of his comparison is a morphology or a “description of the tale according to its component parts and the relationship of the components to each other and to the whole”. (Propp,1927,28)

He observes that the names and the attributes of the dramatis personae change but not their actions and functions. This observation leads him to infer that tale often attributes identical actions to various personages making the study of the tale according to the functions of its dramatis personae possible. He explains:
“ Going further, it is possible to establish that characters of a tale, however varied they may be, often perform the same actions.

The actual means of the realization of functions can vary, and as such, it is variable…. The question of what a tale’s dramatis personae do is an important one for the study of the tale, but the questions of who does it and how it is done already fall within the province of accessory study.” (Propp,1929,29)
He formulates his observations on the morphology of the folktale in the following manner:
1) Functions of characters serve as stable, constant elements in a tale, independent of how and by whom they are fulfilled. They constitute the fundamental components of a tale. 2) The number of functions known to the fairy tale is limited. 3) The sequence of functions is always identical.. 4) All fairy tales are of one type in regard to their structure.. (Propp,1929, 30)

Propp observes that tales usually begin with some sort of initial situation. After the occurrence of that situation, he enumerates the sequences or the functions of the dramatis personae as being dictated by the tale itself that will follow accordingly: 1) Absentation wherein one of the members of a family absents himself from home. The usual forms of absentation are going to work, to forest, to war and the like. 2) Interdiction that is addressed to the hero. 3) Violation particularly the violation of the interdiction. At this point, a villain enters the scene with an aim of disturbing, harming and damaging the peaceful situation of the other characters in the story. 4) The attempt of the villain at reconnaissance or the aim of finding out the location of some precious objects etc. 5) Delivery wherein the villain receives information about his victim that directly gives him an answer to his question. 6) Trickery or the attempt of the villain to deceive his victim in order to take possession of his or her belongings. At first, the villain here assumes a disguise and then uses persuasion to achieve his goal. 7) Victim taken in by deception, unwittingly helping the enemy. 8) Victim causes harm/injury to family member. 9) Misfortune or lack is made known. 10) Seeker agrees to, or decides upon counter-action. 11) Hero leaves home. 12) Hero is tested. 13) Hero reacts to actions of future donor. 14) Hero acquires the use of a magical agent. 15) Hero is transferred, delivered or led to whereabouts of an object of the search. 16) Hero and villain join in direct combat. 17) Hero is branded or wounded. 18) Villain is defeated. 19) Initial misfortune or lack is resolved. 20) Hero returns. 21)Hero is pursued. 22)Hero is rescued from pursuit. 23) Hero unrecognized, arrives home or in another country. 24) False hero presents unfounded claims. 25) Difficult task proposed to the hero. 26)Task is resolved. 27) Hero is recognized. 28) False hero or villain is exposed. 29) Hero is given a new appearance. 30) Villain is punished. 31) Hero marries and ascends the throne.
Because of the fact that the functions of certain tale personages are only transferred to other personages, it is appropriate to say that there is lesser number of functions compared to the large number of the tale’s personages.

Northrop Frye explains the reason why some of the most intellectualized fiction today is based on folktales. According to him, folktales illustrate the essential principles of story telling. On the other hand, he believes that the reason why some of the modern writers are using or incorporating myths in their work is that myth already present them with a ‘ready-made framework, hoary with antiquity and allows them to devote all their energies to elaborate its design.” (Frye,1957,31)

He gives the term displacement to the writer’s indirect mythologizing or to the writer’s way of reconstructing the same mythical patterns in more ordinary words. He further elaborates:
“ By displacement I mean the techniques a writer uses to make his story credible, logically motivated or morally acceptable –lifelike in short. I call it displacement for many reasons, but one is that fidelity to the Credible is a feature of literature that can affect only content.” (Frye, 1957 ,36)

In myth criticism, Frye suggests that in examining the theme or the total design of a fiction, one must isolate the conventionalized aspect of it and held in common with all other works of the same category. He says that the main use of myth criticism is “to enable us to understand the corresponding place that a work of literature has in the context of literature as a whole.” (Frye 1957 ,37). Myth criticism therefore transcends us beyond the world or words or beyond literary structure making us realize the deeper meaning of myth, which is not self-contained and not autonomous after all.
By introducing myth criticism and by classifying myths and their archetypes, Northrop Frye is able to give us a better understanding of myths. He is also able to show how significant and powerful myths are particularly in the influence that they bring to the writers of today. His account on displacement is considered in this study particularly in Cecilia Manguerra-Brainard’s way of writing wherein she incorporates Philippine myths and legends into her fiction.

In the analysis of the myths and legends that are featured in Cecilia Manguerra-Brainard’s novel “When The Rainbow Goddess Wept” and on how they are connected to the story of the novel itself, the archetypal and myth theories of Northrop Frye, Carl Jung, Vladimir Propp and Claude Levi-Strauss are used in this study. The personalities of the characters in the novel will be observed in the context of their similarities to the qualities of the characters and to the archetypal images that are found in the narratives, which are incorporated in the novel. This study aims to show how literature serves as a way for the perpetuating of myths and legends that had originated since the primordial times and taking Jung’s words are the sources of the universal images that are similar and present in all of us.

This paper will discuss how myths and legends are foregrounded in Cecilia Manguerra-Brainard’s “When The Rainbow Goddess Wept” In analyzing the stories that are featured in the novel, the researcher makes use of Northrop Frye’s myth theories and criticisms that discuss why modern writers still use myths as their frameworks. It also uses Carl Jung’s accounts that consider myth as the well-known expressions of the archetypes of the collective unconscious; Vladimir Propp that study the functions of the dramatis personae and eventually come up with a sequence of functions based on the tale itself; and Claude Levi-Strauss that show that the meanings of myth are emphasized by its repetition.

In discussing about the subjectivities of Brainard as a woman and as a writer, this paper uses feminist theories and uses the discourses about immigration, diaspora and Filipino-American writings. It also uses the theses and studies that are related to the topic as well as the interviews of Cecilia Manguerra-Brainard for additional information. All these are possible through intensive research and critical analysis of the texts.

The thesis is divided as follows:
I - Problem and its Background – contains the Significance of the Study, Scope and
Limitation, Operational Definition of Terms, Research Methodology and Design and
Theoretical Framework
II –Review of Related Literature and Studies – a survey of published and unpublished studies, references and theories that are related to the topic.
III –The Storyteller –contains the life and works of Cecilia Manguerra-Brainard. This chapter discusses the subjectivities of Brainard as a writer and as a woman.
IV –The Featured Tales –contains the analysis of myths and legends that are found in the novel.
V- Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations –contains a brief summary of the ideas discussed in the whole study, concluding statements in response to the questions raised in the study and recommendation for future studies related to the topic.

The earliest forms of literature are the numerous myths and legends that are found all over the world and are passed to other generations through the use of either written or oral tradition. There have been many studies conducted regarding the functions and significance of these stories to the field of literature, society and to humanity. Among them is the essay “Myth as Literature”(1949) by Richard Chase that explains the function of myths in philosophically explaining nature, the origin of the world and the fundamental truth:
“ the word ‘myth’ means story: a myth is a tale, a narrative or a poem myth is literature and must be considered as an aesthetic creation of the human imagination.” (Chase,1949, 129)

The essay also explains that the whole groundwork of myth is magical because of the presence of the postulated spirits or gods and the personified forces and objects of nature in it. Chase says that the fundamental forms of literature among the primitive people are the songs and tales that are found all around the world. He emphasizes that myths refer to the past in such a way that they may be historically conceived. He lays on his essay the intermediating factor of myths taken after Prometheus’s function of being an intermediary between God and man or what he calls the Promethean function of myth:
“ I suggest that myth dramatizes in poetic form the disharmonies, the deep neurotic disturbances which may be occasioned by this clash of` inward and outward forces, and that by reconciling the opposing forces, by making them interact coercively toward a common end, myth performs a profoundly beneficial and life-giving act. This I call the Promethean function of myth.” (Chase,1949, 143)

This essay provided the researcher with observations on how functional the myths are in intermediating the real and the magical world and eventually coming out with a narrative concerning nature and at the same time unconsciously depicting man’s beliefs, fears and hopes in life. These observations are relevant in the analysis of the featured myths and legends in Brainard’s novel “When the Rainbow Goddess Wept” in such a way that they will broaden the understanding of the connection between the real world that the story of the novel portrays and the world of the supernatural where the said myths are found.

Northrop Frye’s “Fictional Modes” (1957) distinguishes and classifies the plots of the literary fictions by the hero or the protagonist’s power of action that varies according to its respective fictional modes. The superiority of the hero puts him to myth if it is kind to both other men and to the environment of other men and if it is a story about a god. The literary fiction becomes a legend or a folktale if the hero’s actions are great and marvelous but yet he is still identified as a human being. The legendary heroes possess the characteristics that are unnatural to others like invincible courage and endurance. Frye’s third fictional mode is Epic and Tragedy that has a heroic leader superior to other men but not to his natural environment that makes him subject to social criticism and to the order of nature. The fourth mode is the realistic fiction that has a hero who is who is neither superior to other men nor to his environment. He has the same qualities and experiences with the ordinary men. Last among Frye’s fictional modes is the ironic mode having a hero who is inferior in power or intelligence to others opening the possibility of frustration and absurdity towards him.

Frye’s another work “Archetypes of Literature” (1957) suggests that archetype “should not only be considered as a unifying category of criticism because it is a part of it and it leads us to the question of what sort of total form criticism can see in literature” (Frye 1957,151) He says that searching for archetypes is a kind of literary anthropology that is concerned on how literature is informed by pre-literary categories such as ritual, myth and folk tale. He affirms that the recurring theme or the rhythm of literature is the narrative that it has and its pattern is the its meaning and significance. In elaborating the archetypal nature of myth he says:

“ The myth is the central informing power that gives archetypal significance to the ritual and archetypal narrative to the oracle. Hence the myth is the archetype, though it might be convenient to say myth only when referring to narrative, and archetype when speaking of significance.” (Frye, 1957,155)

Frye classifies myths into his four mythical phases: 1) Dawn, spring and birth phase. This is about the birth of the hero, of revival and of resurrection. The archetype that can be found here is that of romance and of most dithyrambic and rhapsodic poetry. 2) Zenith, summer, and marriage or triumph phase having the archetypes of comedy, pastoral and idyll. Usually the myths in this phase are about apotheosis, sacred marriage and entrance into Paradise. 3) Sunset, autumn and death. These are myths of fall, dying god, violent death, sacrifice and of the isolation of the hero. The archetypes of tragedy and elegy are present in this phase. 4) Darkness, winter and dissolution phase. They are myths that are about the triumph of the power of darkness having the archetypes of satire.

He observes the central pattern of the comic and tragic visions and eventually gives us the archetypes and images that can be found within them. In the comic vision, the human world is a community or a hero who represents the wish fulfillment of the reader whereas in the tragic vision the human world is seen as a tyranny or an anarchy. The animal world in the comic vision is composed of a community of domesticated animals like sheep, lambs, birds usually a dove while in the tragic vision the animal world is seen in terms of beasts, dragons, wolves and the like. The vegetable world in the comic vision is a garden while in the tragic vision it is a sinister forest. In the comic vision, the mineral world is a city, temple or a glowing stone while in the tragic vision it is a desert or a rock. Lastly, the unformed world in the comic vision is a river while in the tragic vision it becomes the sea, as the narrative myth of dissolution is so often a flood myth. (Frye, 1957 ,161)

Frye’s five fictional modes and his designated archetypes are used in this study in putting the incorporated stories in the novel to each and own appropriate labels. By knowing where they must be properly placed, the researcher was able to know the things that must be considered like the plot and the hero’s position and actions in the story prior to their analysis.

Carl Gustav Jung’s “Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious” (1969) explains the collective unconscious as a part of the unconscious that is universal having contents and modes of behavior that are more or less similar in all individuals. These contents are also known as the archetypes, which he defines:

“ an unconscious content that is altered by becoming conscious and by being perceived, and it takes its colour from the individual consciousness
in which it happens to appear. ( 1969, 5)

He says that myth and fairytale are another well-known expressions of the archetypes that have been handed down through long periods of time because they are concerned with the universal images that have existed since the remotest time. Because of the stories that the primitive men have formulated, the concept of these images such as the mythologized processes of nature like winter and summer, phases of the moon, paradise, heaven and others are established and eventually become similar to all of us. In the study of these images and of the myth itself, Jung suggests the use of psychology and archetypal criticism since myth is considered as an unconscious psychic process and that:
“ the psyche contains all the images that have ever given rise to myths, and that our unconscious is an acting and suffering subject with an inner drama which primitive man rediscovers, by means of analogy, in the processes of nature both great and small.” (Jung, 1969,7)

The archetypal criticism of Carl Jung is applied in this study regarding the explanations of the incorporated myths, epic and legends in the novel. The qualities of the said archetypes like the strength and courage of the woman warrior as she fights with her enemies and others are sought within the characteristics of the characters in the novel like Angeling who remained strong after being harassed by a Japanese soldier during her trip to home and the rest in order for the researcher to know and understand the reasons why Yvonne, the protagonist and the narrator of the story unconsciously associates them with one another as she goes on sharing how her family, friends, Ubecan residents and the Filipino people struggle for life during the bloody and abusive Japanese occupation.
One of the well-known myth critics/scholars is Joseph Campbell. His work, “The Hero With A Thousand Faces” (1968) defines myth “as a living inspiration of things that may have appeared out of the activities of human body and mind.” (Campbell 1968, 63) He says that the symbols of mythology are not manufactured or invented because they are the spontaneous products of the psyche, which cannot be ordered or permanently suppressed. He believes that the prime function of mythology is to:
“supply the symbols that carry the human spirit forward in counteraction
to those other constant human fantasies that tend to tie it back.”
(Campbell 1968,63)

Campbell believes that the business of mythology and tale is to represent psychological` and not physical triumphs especially in depicting fantastic and unreal incidents. The essence of these stories lie on how they are going to be accepted by the people based on the influences that they are going to leave to them. Whenever the hero wins a battle, what matter most are his intentions, ways and means of doing it because they serve as his motivations for achieving victory or whatever it is that he was fighting for. In relation with the psychological significance of the symbolism of mythology, Campbell cites Jung’s archetypal images:

“as those that have inspired, throughout the annals of human creature, the basic images of ritual, mythology and vision.” (Campbell ,1968,72)

He defends that myths are not comparable to dreams because although their figures originate from the same source, which the unconscious wells of fantasy, myths can never be considered as spontaneous products of sleep. He notes that the function of myths is to serve as a powerful picture language for the communication of traditional wisdom. To emphasize the psychological aspect of the mythological symbolism, he further elaborates:

“ According to this view through the wonder tales –pretend to describe the lives of the legendary heroes, the powers of divinities of nature, the spirit of the dead, and the totem ancestors of the group symbolic expression is given to the unconscious desires, fears and tensions that underlie the conscious pattern of human behavior. (Campbell,1968, 75)

Campbell’s accounts on the symbolism of mythology are used in this study to support Carl Jung’s archetypal theory in the analysis and interpretation of the narratives featured in the novel.
G.S. Kirk’s “Tales, Dream and Symbols: Towards a fuller understanding of Myths” (1970), tells us that myth possesses significance through their structure, which on the other hand may unconsciously represent the structural elements in the society from which they are believed to have originated. Kirk observes that myth reflects specific human preoccupations like those things caused by contradictions between instincts, wishes and realities of nature and society. He suggests three simplified working typology of mythical functions towards a fuller, better and easier understanding of myths. The first among them is the narrative and entertaining function of myth for he believes that all myths are stories that heavily depend on their narrative qualities for their creation and preservation. Second, myths are operative, iterative and validatory in function since they are usually repeated regularly on ritual and ceremonies for the purpose of confirming, reaffirming and institutionalizing tribal beliefs. Lastly, myths are speculative and explanatory because they are able to emphasize the mythical relationship among the story despite the little length that they have. He recognizes Jung’s archetypal theory and agrees with him that all human beings have the tendencies of forming general symbols that manifest themselves through the unconscious mind in myths, dreams, delusions and folklore. In the possible origin of myths, he figures out that myths originated from the tales that have been passed down from generation to generation that have become traditional.

Kirk’s explanations on the functions of myths are considered in this study especially in finding the importance of the inclusion of myths and legends in the novel. Based on their functions, these narratives do not only tell stories but also at the same time reflect the environment or the culture of the society where they came from.

G.S. Kirk also made a critique on Levi-Strauss’s “Structural Study of Myth” entitled “Levi-Strauss and the Structural Approach” (1970). He states the essence of Levi-Strauss’s belief that myth is one mode of human communication that is part of language together with music also forms an auditory mode. He also believes that the narrative formation is not significant because the real meaning of myth lies on its underlying relations just as it is the underlying structure of a language that gives it significance as a means of communication. There may be many versions of myth that may change its surface meaning but its structure and basic relationship will always remain constant.
Kirk raises two questions regarding Levi-Strauss’s structural approach on myths which are the following: 1) Is structuralism either significant or useful in the study of myths? 2) Has the particular structure that Levi-Strauss professes to find in all myths namely one that offers a series of mediations of contradictions any validity?, which he rephrases to, Is it indeed the purpose of all myths to construct a model by which contradictions in men’s view of the world can be mediated? In answering these questions he consults the ideas of certain authors like Mary Douglas who answers the first question by saying:

The Structuralist approach to myth, even if it cannot constitute the kind of scientific approach that Levi-Strauss claims for it is always worth adopting among other approaches. (Kirk,1970,78)

The second question is answered by W.G. Runciman outside his concern with structuralism, but nevertheless observes that:
human thought is essentially binary, and that this fact can in turn be related to the binary neuropsychological mechanisms operating in the brain.. is neither a necessary nor, for that matter, a very significant assumption. (Kirk,1970,78).

Kirk says that the system of myths that Levi-Strauss failed to cover reflects some tendency to binary analysis and also reflects a continuous concern with the problems of kinship and communal living. He believes that Levi-Strauss’s success is his being able of demonstrating that some myths in some cultures can have a kind of explanatory function that was not suspected before. He recommends the consideration of the possibility that any myth may provide a model for mediating a contradiction, in terms of structure as well as content.

This essay serves as background and a helpful guideline for the researcher in fully understanding Levi-Strauss’s theory on myths, which is one of the frameworks of this study.
It was shown in Harry Levin’s “Some Meanings of Myth” (1946) the different meanings of myth according to the different myth scholars. One common factor among them is their belief that language plays an important role in the existence and formation of myth. Paul Valery’s belief that the very essence of myth was talk or language is somehow similar to the hypothesis of Max Muller that all myths were originally derived from words. Kirk also bears resemblance with them when he says that the story telling of myth follows upon the development of language and it actually begun with the singing of the oral epics done by the epic singers.

Levin suggests two ways of looking at a fiction: as a deviation from fact and as an approximation to fact. His observation that we look upon myths as symbolic answers to unexplainable questions raised by the man’s curiosity of causes is related to his second suggestion in a way that we utilize fiction or myth to explain the unexplainable by some sort of approximating fact to it. According to him, the events of myth are all raw materials, which can be the stuff of literature that imply a collective fantasy, which must be shared Levin strongly believes that modernity had not yet dispensed with the sociocultural processes behind folklore. To justify his belief he quotes Mircea Eliade’s footnote on his “Images et Symboles”:

“What an exalting enterprise it would be to disclose the true cultural role of the 19th c. novel, which in spite of all the scientific and social formulas –has been the great reservoir of debased myths!”(Levin,1946,113)

He further concludes that the novel being the most individualized artistic form and the faithful mirror of actualities contains the elements and continues the functions of myth.

The traditional singing of the epics was shown in the novel through the characters of Laydan who acquired the technique from her mentor and ancestor Inuk and Yvonne who happened to be influenced by Laydan as she was listening to the latter’s stories. The changing of these epic singers shows how the narratives are being preserved through time and passed down to the next generation just like what G.S. Kirk was explaining about regarding myth’s existence. Harry Levin’s accounts regarding the presence of myth in a certain work of art particularly the novel can be observed in Cecilia Manguerra-Brainard’s novels, “Magdalena” and “When The Rainbow Goddess Wept”.
Clyde Kluckhohn starts his essay “Recurrent Themes in Myths and Mythmaking” (1946) with the paper’s purpose:

“ to draw together some information on and interpretation of certain features of mythology that are apparently universal or that have such wide distribution in space and time that their generality may be presumed to result from recurrent reaction of the human psyche to situations and stimuli of the same general order.” (Kluckhohn, 1946,46)

He says that anthropologists of today would agree with Claude Levi-Strauss in saying that myths around the world are similar to one another to an extraordinary degree. He believes that the plots and details of myths had sufficient psychological meaning to be preserved through the centuries. He enumerates the recurrent themes of myths namely the flood, slaying of monsters, incest, sibling rivalry, castration and androgynous deities. He compares several myths and arrives at the observation of certain similarities of them which are the following: 1) The hero stories include adventures and achievements of them of extraordinary kind. 2) There is something special about the birth of the hero. 3) Help from animals is a frequent motif. 4) There is usually an incident of separation from one or both parent. 5) There is an antagonism and violence. 6) Eventual return and recognition with honor. Regarding the process of mythmaking, he figures out four constant tendencies about it. The first one is the duplication, triplication and quadruplication of elements following Levi-Strauss’s suggestions that the function of this repetition is to make the structure of the myth apparent or evident. The second one is the reinterpretation of borrowed myths to fit pre-existing cultural emphases. Third, the endless variations upon central themes and lastly the involution-elaboration of myths. He agrees with Levi-Strauss in suggesting that mythical thought always works from binary oppositions towards their progressive mediation. He concludes his points by stating that the contribution of mythology is that of “providing a logical model capable of overcoming contradictions in a people’s view of the world and what they have deduced from their experience.” (Kluckhohn,1946,58). He emphasizes that there are detectable and observable trends toward regularities both in myth and mythmaking that may represent recurrent fantasies out of the imaginations of many.

This essay supports Claude Levi-Strauss’s theory on the “Structural Study of Myth”, which is applied in this study. He also on one hand recommends the use of psychoanalysis in the study of myth by suggesting the students of myth to elaborate and to exert more effort in knowing the psychological meaning that the stories of myths seem to have that have been preserved through time.
Richard M. Dorson’s “Theories of Myth and the Folklorist”(1950) talks about the different theories and approaches of the theorists on mythologies and folklores. Dorson recognizes Edward Clodd’s examination on the relationship between myth and the new study of folklore in his “Myths and Dreams”(1885):

“ Clodd saw in the concept of “myth” not merely the label for a narrative of the gods or the creation of the universe, but also the designation of an entire period in the stage of man’s intellectual development”(Dorson,1950,54 ).

He says that during man’s intellectual development, the pre-historic man takes dream for reality, endows inanimate objects with life and credits animals with the power of speech. Dorson also considers Max Muller’s “Comparative Mythology”(1856) in his essay particularly the discussion of the latter concerning the principles governing the proper explication of myths. Dorson agrees with Muller in saying that because of the decline of language, the original meanings of myths were forgotten and barbarous new myths appeared. Another theory sprung from Freud’s psychoanalytic interpretation of myths that “finds natural acts and fantasies from the unconscious succeeding each other in dream-myths.” (Dorson , 80). Freud’s theory asserts that mythmakers reconstruct their own childhood fantasies in the stories that they make.

Dorson somehow traces the development of the study of myths through the theories that he discussed on his essay. This study recognizes the fact that myths originated from primitive time and that they may have undergone changes but it rests on the theory that the study of myth concerns the images of the unconscious and the structure of the story that they have.

Myths and legends are not only the primary concern of this study because it also deals on how the subjectivities of Cecilia Manguerra-Brainard as a woman and as a writer contribute to the depiction of myths and legends in her stories. It wishes to understand the factors (location and background) that affect her writings. It aims to know how an expatriate Filipina writer like her is struggling to achieve recognition through her works in a foreign land. It also wishes to find out how she represents women in her works and on how her own writings reflect her concept of home.

One of the Feminist writings that would best discuss woman as a woman and as a writer is Terry Lovell’s “Writing Like a Woman: A Question of Politics’ The Politics of Theory”(1983). The essay talks about novel writing as something that is so ambivalent, dominated by men yet frequently seen as ‘feminine’ rather than ‘masculine’. Lovell claims that the gender ambiguity of literary production made it easier for the women to breach it. He raises points on the gender ambiguity of literary production which are the following: 1) There is no strong association of creative writing with manliness. 2) The study of literature and languages is highly dominated by female students. 3) Women gained access to novel writing and to other forms of literary work at a time when they were excluded from all other professions except governessing. 4) Novel writing is a form of domestic production. 5) The fundamental development of the novel has been closely bound up with the social and political position of women. Lovell believes that in the novel women are prisoners of feelings and private life because:

“there is a fundamental continuity which firmly places them in a private
domestic world where emotions and personal relationships are at once
the focus of moral value and the core of women’s experience.”
(Lovell ,1983,119)

This essay gives the researcher the idea of the female’s role in literature particularly the feminine nature of writing. Lovell himself clears that all kind of creativity is always linked with femininity. Writing, according to Lovell is the only occupation that women can achieve independence and financial parity with men. Therefore, writing gives chance to women to express them and to be heard and recognized especially in a highly male-dominated society.

Juliet Mitchell on her “Femininity, Narrative and Psychoanalysis Women: The Longest Revolution” (1984) focuses on the novel as the pre-eminent form of literary narrative. She believes that novels started with autobiographies written by women in the seventeenth century. The early novels were written by women who were trying to establish what the critics call “the subject in process” and who were also trying to create a history from a state of flux. These women writers describe their lives under capitalism in the dominant social group, which is the bourgeoisie. Mitchell affirms, “novel is that creation by the woman of the woman, or by the subject who is in the process of becoming woman, of woman under capitalism” (1984,155) She asks the question, why women have to write the novel to emphasize her hypothesis on the women’s role in novel writing. She answers her question by agreeing with Julia Kristeva’s “discourse of the hysteric”:

“I believe that it has to be the discourse of the hysteric. The woman novelist
must be a hysteric. Hysteria is the woman’s simultaneous acceptance and
refusal of the organization of sexuality under patriarchal capitalist
(Mitchell, 1984,155)

Mitchell does not believe in a thing called the “woman voice” because for her it is rather the hysteric voice which is the woman’s masculine language that talks about feminine experience in a novel. She further elaborates the hysteric notion of women in writing a novel by saying:
“I think the novel arose as the form in which women had to construct themselves
as women within new social structures; the woman novelist is necessarily the
hysteric wanting to repudiate the symbolic definition of sexual difference under patriarchal law, because without madness we are all unable to do so. (Mitchell, 1884, 158)

Women indeed have a place in writing a novel. A woman’s work (novel) entails her stand in the society. She cannot be considered as subordinate to men for she finds ways to detach herself from being called such by speaking out loud through her works and making herself heard by the rest of the society.

Trinh T. Minh-ha makes a very strong statement that women can never be defined in her essay, “Woman, Native, Other: Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism” (1989). The term woman for the others means the lesser man and sometimes used as an insult to men On the other hand, Trinh T. Minh-ha defines “Third World”:

“ Third World therefore belongs to a category apart, a “special” one that is meant to be both complimentary and complementary, for First and Second went out of fashion, leaving a serious Lack behind to be filed. (Minh-ha, 1989, 396)

She says that “Third World” has negative and positive connotations. It is negative when viewed on a vertical ranking system making it appear as the “underdeveloped” as against the “over-industrialized”. The term becomes positive when it is understood and accepted socio-politically as a subversive, “non-aligned’ force. These ‘non-aligned’ forces include the states in Africa, Asia and Latin America which are neither affiliated with the Western’s capitalist thinking nor with the Eastern’s communist power blocs. She observes that the usual reactions of the First World people when dealing with “Third World Women” particularly in U.S. are that of annoyance, irritation and vexation. She rejects the alternative terms like “Western” and “non, Western” or “Euro-American” and “non-Euro-American” for they still emphasize the domination of the Western people. She notes that the colonialist creed “Divine and Conquer” is once again present:
“ Often ill at ease with the outspoken educated natives who represent the Third World in debates and paternalistically scornful of those who remain reserved, the dominant thus decides to weaken this term of solidarity, both by invalidating it as empowering tool and by inciting decisiveness within the Third World – a Third World Within a Third World.”(Minh-ha,1989, 398)
The essay both empowers women and the “Third World” people by encouraging them to disregard the negative notions that are attached to them and continue to find ways to prove their critics wrong. Cecilia Manguerra-Brainard is an example of a Filipino-American writer or the so-called “Third World Woman in U.S.” who strives hard to be recognized by the people including those who belong to the First World in such a way that she will be regarded as a woman of dignity and talent and as a woman who is independent from the dominating forces that are around her.
Chandra Talpalde Mohanty wishes to analyze the production of the “third world woman” as a singular monolithic subject in some of the recent (Western) feminist texts in her essay, “Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses’ Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism” (1991).
Mohanty says that there are two ways in which the discussion of the intellectual and political construction of “third world women” must be addressed to namely the internal critique of hegemonic “Western” feminisms which is an act of deconstructing and dismantling and the second one which is “the formulation of autonomous, geographically, historically, and culturally grounded feminist concerns and strategies” (1991,388). She explains that although these two ways are contradictory, if they are addressed simultaneously the “third world” feminisms become prone to the risk of marginalization or ‘ghettoization’ from the right and left mainstreams and from the Western feminist discourses as well. Politically speaking, she emphasizes the term “colonization” as something that denotes a variety of phenomena in contemporary feminist writings. She further elaborates:
“ colonization has been used to characterize everything from the most evident economic and political hierarchies to production of a particular cultural discourse about what is called the “third world”. However sophisticated or problematical its use as an explanatory construct, colonization almost invariably implies a relation of structural domination, and a suppression –often violent –of the heterogeneity of the subject(s) in question.”(Mohanty 1991, 389)

She directs her critique at three basic analytic principles that are present in Western feminist writings on women in the third world. She makes it clear that she is not making a culturalist argument about ethnocentrism but she is trying to uncover how ethnocentric universalism is produced in certain analyses. Her first analytical presupposition concerns about the strategic location of the category “women” along side with the context of analysis:
“The assumption of women as an already constituted, coherent group with identical interests and desires, regardless of class ethnic or racial location, or contradictions, implies a notion of gender or sexual difference or even patriarchy which can be applied universally and cross-culturally. (Mohanty,1991,392)

Her second analytic principle “is evident on the methodological level, in the uncritical way “proof” of universality and cross-cultural validity are provided” (1991,392). The third principle underlies the methodologies and the analytic strategies such as the model of power and struggle they imply and suggest. She argues that the result of the two modes of analysis is a homogenous notion of the oppression of women as a group that produces the image of an “average third world woman” that leads to a truncated life based on her feminine gender as sexually constrained and her being “third world” or her being ignorant, poor, uneducated, tradition-bound, etc. She says that the distinction between Western feminist re-presentation of women in the third world and Western feminist self-presentation is a distinction of the same order as that of the characterization by the third world’s developmentalists as being engaged in the lesser production of “raw materials” in contrast to the first world’s “real” productive activity based on the privileging of a particular group as a norm or referent.

She concludes:

“ Men involved in wage labor, first world producers, and, I suggest, Western feminists who sometimes cast third world women in terms of “ourselves undressed”, all construct themselves as the normative referent in such a binary analytic.” (Mohanty,1991,392)
Mohanty empowers and challenges the women of the third world countries like Cecilia Manguerra-Brainard to get away from the negative notions that are attached to them such as being inferior and unnoticed compared to the first world women by raising out the points in which they are being shown, written or characterized in the discourses and writings of the Western feminist writers.
Lisa Lowe recognizes Mohanty’s observations of the narratives of the third world women in her essay, “Work, Immigration, Gender: Asian “American” Women” that emphasizes on the fact that the way in which they are read, understood and located institutionally is actually what is important in avoiding the occurrence of certain biases and preconceptions. She starts her essay with a testimony of an Asian-American worker in U.S. named Fu Lee who was not paid accordingly by her employer despite the services that she has done for the company. With Fu Lee’s testimony, she agrees with Mohanty by saying that the kind of reading that must be applied to third world women’s narratives must aim to displace “the categorizing drive of disciplinary formations that would delimit the transgressive force of articulations within regulative or epistemological or evaluative boundaries” ( ,155). She further exemplifies that in reading the narratives of the third world women, it must:
“ seek to understand Asian-American cultural production critically and broadly and to interpret the interconnections between testimony, personal narrative, oral history, literature, film, visual arts and other
cultural forms as sites through which subject, community and struggle are signified and mediated” (Lowe, ,155)
This essay provided the researcher with ideas on how to approach the writings of Cecilia Manguerra-Brainard with her identity of being an Asian-American writer in such a way that this study will consider Asian-American culture as a medium though which critical subjects of struggles and consciousness are situated and mediated.
Shirley Geok-Lin Lim’s essay “Immigration and Diaspora” deals with two categories in Asian American literature that problematize the reifications of U.S. canonical and U.S. minority literature and cosmopolitan, metropolitan literature which is the writing classified as immigrant and diasporic produced by either first-generation American writers or those writers who consider themselves with a non-U.S. culture and society ( ,290). She says that ethnic scholars like Sucheta Mazumdar used to read Asian American writing as immigrant writing and that the shift from the “writing produced by U.S. writers of Asian descent” to “writing produced by members of a diasporic group” like the Chinese and the Filipinos carries the consequences that are ideologically, politically and institutionally addressed to them by certain critics and writers. She notes that the conflict that is being privatized in U.S. mainstream literature is on the other hand socialized in the context of Asian and U.S. cultural values considered as the immigrant memory and history.
She observes the common trajectories in Asian-American literature and enumerates as the following: family, home, community, origin, loss, dislocation, relocation, racial differences, cross-cultural resistance, second-generation Americanization and assimilation, identity destabilization and formulation in many American ethnic texts. She explains that the conditions of exile and diaspora are produced when the relationship between the affiliative order or the socialized self and filiative place or the homeland is reified. She clears the notion of the exilic experience and further exemplifies:
“ The exilic experience is the condition of the voluntary or involuntary separation from one’s place of birth: but, unlike immigration, this physical separation is offset by continued bonds to the lost homeland, together with nonintegration into the affiliative order in which the exilic subject is contingently placed.” (Geok-lin Lim, 296)
The common trajectories of Asian-American literature as being observed by Shirley Geok-lin Lim can be said as the ones that mirror the situation of the Asian-American writers as they struggle for recognition in a land totally different from their own. In dealing with Asian-American writers particularly of the Filipino-American writers, it is best to consider what Geok-lin Lim quotes from Bienvenido Santos’s words:
“Home was always a bit of the faraway land of their birth. No matter
how long they stayed in America, they were still Filipinos.”
(Santos, 1983,12)
Geok-lin Lim ends her essay by exemplifying her conclusion:
“Indeed, the intersecting discontinuous trajectories of immigrant and
diasporic constructions of race, class, and gender identities call into
question any hegemonizing theorization or orthodoxies, suggesting
instead that these works need to be interpreted as individually negotia-
ting the contestations and the cooperations of the filiative and the
affiliative in the historical context of the subjects’ particular diaspo-
ric/ethnic cultures.” (, 307)
Philippine Myths and Legends reflect the early beliefs and ways of living of the Filipinos. The writings about the significance of myths, which are used in this study help explain the structure, nature and characteristics in relation to Cecilia Manguerra-Brainard’s consideration of including them in her style of writing. The feminist readings that are used here talk about the place/role of women in literature specifically in novel writing. The accounts regarding women in the Third World and immigration tackle Brainard’s situation as Asian American writer. There are still other numerous writings that are related to the study but the ones that are mentioned here are sufficient enough to formulate its stand.

Cecilia Manguerra-Brainard was born on November 21, 1947 in Cebu City. Her native place appears in her stories as Ubec. (Cebu spelled backwards). She started writing in a lock and key diary that was given to her by her sister when she was eight years old. Her father died when she was nine and in order to cope with his loss, she wrote letters to him updating him or her life. She also wrote poems and stories in her diary all throughout her high school and college life. Her diary was later on published by Anvil as “Cecilia’s Diary: 1962-1969 (2003). In an interview done by Biuraj of India, Brainard said:
Since my family life (after my father died) was chaotic, writing was
an important form of self expression. My diary was something like
a non-judgmental friend and I could say whatever I wanted.
After graduating and receiving her degree of B.A. Communication Arts at Maryknoll college, Brainard went to the United States to study film at UCLA Graduate School. Her reason for leaving the country was to get away from the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. During her stay in the United States, she experienced certain difficulties and discrimination but was able to overcome them. She again saw Lauren Brainard who she first met in the Philippines serving in the Peace Corps. They got married and stayed in Sta. Monica. They were blessed with three sons namely Christopher, Alexander and Andrew.
She was a full time housewife not until she realized to take writing seriously. She had the time to write she was pregnant with her third son and was always left at home with her two sons. She started writing essays and stories on an electric typewriter that was given to her by her husband when on one Christmas day. In 1981, she took writing classes at UCLA Extension where she is now teaching.
From 1969 to 1981, she worked as a documentary scriptwriter and as a fundraiser` for a non-profit organization. She also wrote a bi-monthly column, “Filipina American perspective,” from 1982 to 1988 for the Philippine American News, which is now a non-defunct newspaper published in Los Angeles. Her essays were collected and published as Philippine Woman in America. This is also the time when she started to publish short stories and essays in magazines, first in the Philippines and then in America. The periodicals where her works can be found are the following: “Focus Philippines”, “Philippine Graphic”, “Mr. and Mr. Magazine”, “Katipunan”, “Amerasia Journal”, “Bamboo Ridge Journal”, “The California Examiner”, etc. The anthologies that included her stories are “Making Waves” (1989), “Forbidden Fruit” (1992), “Songs of Ourselves” (1994) and “On a Bed of Rice” (1995).
Cecilia Manguerra-Brainard wrote two novels namely “Song of Yvonne” (1991) when published in America became “When the Rainbow Goddess Wept” (1994) and her second novel, “Magdalena” (2002). Her collections of essay and non-fiction include “Cecilia’s Diary: 1962-1969” (2003), “Journey of 100 Years: reflections on the Centennial of Philippine Independence” (1999) and “Philippine Woman in America” (1991). Her short story collections are “Growing Up Filipino: Stories for Young Adults” (2003), “Contemporary Fiction by Filipinos in America” (1997), “The Beginning and Other Asian Folktales” (1995), “Acapulco at sunset and Other Stories” (!995), “Fiction by Filipinos in America” (1993), “Philippine American Women Writers and Artists” (1992), “Seven Stories from Seven Sisters: A Collection of Philippine Folktales” (1992) and “Woman With Horns and Other Stories” (1987
It is observable in her works that incorporates in them the native traditions, folktales and superstitions that she had heard and seen when she was a child. Since the elements of myths and legends are universal and archival, her style of including them in her stories perpetuates its appeal to readers of all ages. In her novel, “When the Rainbow Goddess Wept”, she presents folktales in an arena of ideal thoughts where one could find comfort and pleasure amidst the chaos of war and the pain of suffering.
By splicing together folktale, family anecdotes, and the realities
of slaughter mitigated by the possibility of humaneness. Brainard
has herself become Yvonne: has become singer of the songstress
who commemorates a people at their finest, in times at their
worst: and Brainard has managed that singularity-rising-from
complexity by finally finding the proper form for the images
from her earlier work. (Casper, 1993, 79)

By migrating and staying in United States, Brainard seemed to have acquired the American way of life. But thus did not stop her from expressing herself as a Filipina and from looking back to the land she came from. In an interview done by the researcher, Brainard explains how her location affects her writing.
Living in America for as long as I have (since 1969); I've learned to look at the Philippines with some objectivity, which affects my writing. I learned the craft of writing in the U.S. and have American "critiquers," which has also affected my writing. I've had to choose a way of writing that can be understood by Americans/non-Filipinos, while maintaining a Filipino voice. (interview date Jan. 26, 2006)
The category “Third World” is given to those countries found in Asia, Africa and Latin America. This term is taken more on its negative aspect because it allows the superior nations to look down to these countries and treat them as their subordinates. Trinh t. Minh-ha explains in her “Woman, Native Other: Writing postcoloniality and feminism” that the term “Third World” brings a negative connotation in such a way that it emphasizes the idea of “underestimated” as against the “over industrialized”. By being so writers from the “third World” would definitely find hard to achieve visibility and recognition, for they have already been misjudged not according to their works but according to their origin and race.
Cecilia Manguerra Brainard being an expatriate writer can be regarded as a "third world Woman in US”. She can be regarded as such because of her roots (the Philippines), which is a third world country. Brainard knows this fact but ion the contrary. she opposes the idea of considering herself as a ‘Third World Woman”
I don't think of myself as a Third World woman. I may refer to the Philippines as Third World, but to say I'm a third world person feels as if I'm marginalizing myself in a big way. It's a mentality that I don't want to have. The term "Third World" has euro-centric roots; it's a category that wealthier countries have created - and it seems to me that "Third World" has a lot of negative connotations. (dated Jan. 26, 2006)
Brainard is a perfect example of a writer who wants to get away from being labeled as inferior. She wants to prove her critics wrong by bringing in to her works Philippine history, culture and experience that would reflect the beauty of her homeland. This style of writing helps her to present the Philippines to her non-Filipino readers in a different perspective. She gives emphasis on the rich cultural background of the Philippines and the Filipino way of life even before the colonizers came. Her writing shows her independence from the influences of the dominating forces around her. This is said because despite her location, her loyalty still lingers on the side of her homeland and also by materializing through her works the hope of the Philippines to be represented.
The women characters in Brainard’s stories are usually strong. They do not full entrust themselves to the opposite sex. Taking Angeling (Yvonne’s mother in “When the Rainbow Goddess Wept”) as an example, in spite of her husband’s absence due to war, she was still able to handle things out. She respects her husband’s decision but her being a woman does hinder her from expressing her thoughts and desires. Angeling is one of the women characters in Brainard’s stories who possess the characteristics (strength, courage, intelligence, will and determination) of an independent woman. She like the others are capable of thinking and fighting for what they believe is right. Brainard shares the possible reason for her strong depiction of women in an interview done by Biuraj of India:
The only reason I can come up with is that the household I grew up in was dominated by women. In fact, Philippine society is matriarchal so some of this shows in my writing. Of course as a woman, I am able to consider the problems that women go through and this may also show in my writings.
One of the problems that Filipino writers in other countries face is their struggle towards visibility and recognition. Though their works may be good, there is still this possibility that foreign publishers may not be interested to their craft. This particular situation is what Brainard considered as a disadvantage of being a Filipina writer writing in America.
There are fewer magazines/journals/periodicals interest in my subject matter, so it is very difficult to get work published. (Jan. 26, 2006)
On the other hand, she says that the advantage of being an Asian American writer lies on the quality of his or her work. According to her, as long as the work is good, it can stand out as there are less people writing about the subject matter.
As opposed to what others might have been thinking, Brainard does not consider her life in America as an exilic one. But there are times when she still feels like an outsider. It is not a painful experience for her but rather a chance to look at America with some objectivity.
Storytelling has been a great factor in the production of Philippine literature. Brainard supports this claim by saying in Biuraj’s interview that Filipinos have always been storytellers; that is they have always had an oral tradition. The attitude of always liking to talk by the Filipinos helped them to come up with a story that they could share to everyone. Therefore the quality of being a storyteller can be accepted as something that innate to the Filipinos and it is through literature where they can preserve their stories and eventually disseminate to everyone.
Writers of contemporary age do not focus on the events about the past. Their interest is more on depicting the present and predicting the future. Cecilia Manguerra Brainard, on the other hand look back to the stories of the past, uses them to update the present to foresee the future. When asked by the researcher, what does she think is the place of myths and legends in Philippine literature today, she answered:
I heard not too long ago that myths and legends are not so popular now, that Philippine publishers are not publishing them. I think that it helps Filipino writers if they read Philippine folklore (myths, legends, etc.) because this can enhance their work; this can deepen their work. (Jan. 26, 2006)
Her statement reveals the significance of myths and legends to her writing, they help her to enhance her creativity and deepen her understanding regarding her roots and identity. By going back to the past, she was able to trace the development of the culture, society and its people. When asked by Biuraj about Filipino-American writings she said:
The Philippines has had a literary boom in recent years. There are
many, many new writers. It is the same for Philippine American
writers, there are many of them. When I started writing, there were
Very few Filipino published writers and it was very difficult to get
work published… It is still difficult now, but at least the writers can support one another. The internet allows them venues for their work.
Cecilia Manguerra Brainard continues to establish her literary identity as an emerging writer who wishes to bring Filipino culture in the understanding of others particularly of her non-Filipino readers. Like her, many Filipino American writers are not only striving for visibility in the United States but also for correct recognition of their works and talents which are mere representations of them being a Filipino and of the entire Philippines as well.

The setting of the novel, “When The Rainbow Goddess Wept” is during the Japanese occupation in the Philippines when abuses and maltreatment of the Filipino people by the Japanese were at large. One of the Filipino families who were very much affected by the coming of these colonizers was the family of Yvonne Macaraig, a ten-year old girl whose father works as an engineering teacher at Ubec University who later on became the leader of a guerrilla movement against the Japanese. When the news about the fall of Corregidor and Bataan broke out, Nando (Yvonne’s father) immediately decided to take his family out of Ubec and bring them to Mindanao, thinking that they will be more okay and safer there.
Before the arrival of the Japanese, the Macaraigs and the rest of the Ubecan people used to have normal and worry-free lives. Like other children, Yvonne and her cousin Esperanza normally go to school and joyously play afterwards. The grown-ups on the other hand, do not worry much about the news regarding war that is about to happen between the Japanese and the Americans for the reason that they believe that USAFFE is ready for it and that the Armed Forces have modern planes that can be used against their enemies.
The only person who does not trust the Americans is Yvonne’s grandfather, Lolo Peping. He believes that the Americans will not be able to pay much attention to the Philippines once the war broke out because they are more concentrated in the war that is going on in Europe. He warns Nando that the Japanese might look after him because he is an engineering professor who was trained in America, who can make new roads and bridges for them. He was the one who suggested Nando that if things start to turn out bad, he must bring his family to Mindanao because that place will be the last stronghold against the Japanese because he believes that Japan will take over the Northern part of Asia while America will hold on the Southern part of it . Nando says that if the Japanese come, the guerilla regiment will be ready to face them. Lolo Peping was glad to hear that but he again warned him that he must not give his full trust to the Americans because they have once betrayed the Filipino people when they turned against them after having gotten rid from the Spaniards.
The people of Ubec moved into the reality of the seriousness of the war when the first casualty happened concerning the burning of Sanny’s store. Sanny is a Japanese at around twenty-five years of age. She has a six month-old baby girl named Sumi. The fire killed both Sanny and Sumi turning their bodies into ashes. The firemen found an empty kerosene can near the store making them conclude that the fire was made on purpose. The reason behind the burning of Sanny’s store would be that of the hearsay that Sanny’s husband is a Japanese spy.
Esperanza’s father Mario is staying with his another woman named Tecla. Her mother Lourdes knows this and had long accepted that his husband is a womanizer. The day after the burning of Sanny’s store, Tecla came to visit Lourdes at their house and informed her that Mario is in Corregidor with MacArthur. She also tells them that the Japanese has occupied Manila and that MacArthur and the USAFFE were running out of supplies and were starving. According to Tecla, the Japanese in Manila were everywhere; they had taken over desk jobs at city hall and that the Japanese teachers were starting to teach the children Nippongo. The news that was brought by Tecla scared everybody but Esperanza felt more bad on the coming of her father’s another woman rather than the terrifying stories that she told them.
Laydan is the family’s cook who Yvonne describes as ancient and older than her grandfather. She used to be an epic singer but according to her she was punished by the gods and goddesses making her speak only in a lifeless voice. She always tells stories of myths and legends that she acquired from her ancestor Inuk.
One night, she dreamt that she was in a forest and that she drunk spring water that flows from the sideways of the cliffs of the mountain spring. She was surprised when a mouth appeared in her hands singing the epic about the hero Tuwaang. The mouth told her that she has been waiting for her long enough. When she shared her dream to the two young girls, Yvonne asked her what could it possibly mean. She answers by saying that:
“ Dreams are messages from the gods. My dream feels like a good omen. The deities are telling me that I will come across something important. I will discover something.”(42)

For Laydan discovering something means learning something. She remembers what the great epic singer Inuk used to tell her, which is for her to become an epic. She wishes to understand his words but she does not know how to become an epic.
“ Perhaps because of my pride, I did not allow myself to become the epic. I was too busy being the epic singer. And perhaps because I could sing a few epics, I thought I was important. I became vain -vanity is a sin.” (42)
The myths and legends that are incorporated in the novel are the stories that Yvonne learned from Laydan. Yvonne memorizes them all by heart and unconsciously associates them to the situations that they were facing like the comparison that she did between the woman warrior Bongkatolan and to her mother who remained strong after being confronted by a Japanese soldier. During the mass and obvious abuses of the Japanese to the Filipinos, Yvonne finds comfort, hope and strength from the stories that were shared to her by their cook Laydan.
“Like Laydan, Yvonne has become the spine and flesh of her people.
They are her song. She is their future; the past recreated, recovered;
her song is the spirit of healing, the resilience of tribal/national me-
mory that will not let essence die.” (Casper,1996,79)
When President Quezon left Corregidor and General Douglas McArthur left for Australia, Nando decided to finally bring his family to Mindanao. Yvonne’s grandfather refused to come with them as well as Esperanza and her mother. Together with them were Nida and her husband Max, Laydan and their helper Bitong. Angeling, Yvonne’s mother was finding a hard time traveling because of her condition. She was pregnant then. As they were hiding from the Japanese, Angeling accidentally gave birth in the mountains. Since the baby is stillborn, he did not last for a long time. They did not have other choice but to bury the baby right away. Yvonne felt sorry for her brother and was worried that he may be put in purgatory for his soul was not cleansed by baptism.
Although Angeling was still bleeding, Yvonne’s family decided to continue their journey towards the house of Doc Mendez. They were shocked when they saw Doc Mendez picking up the body pieces of his family. Doc Mendez’s place was full of blood and was surrounded by the dead bodies of his family. It was the Japanese soldiers who killed his family. They did it as a revenge against the doctor who was helping the guerilleros. For a couple of weeks, Doc Mendez was really out of his mind. And when his consciousness went back, he decided to accept his destiny and to crucify himself on Good Friday.
On one of their trips, Angeling and Nida decided to put the bullions to Yvonne’s bag to deceive the Japanese soldiers. They were going to deliver them to the other guerilleros in the nearby town. At the time of the inspection, the Japanese inspector seemed to have noticed that something was hidden in Yvonne’s bag. To save them from sure punishment, Nida seduced the soldier and offered herself to him. Eventually, Nida became pregnant and was not happy about it. It was hard for her to reveal the truth to her husband but Max was understanding enough to accept her and the baby.
With the war getting worse, Nando and the rest of the men decided to leave their family to join the war. They were not sure of what could actually happen to them. All they wanted was to liberate themselves from the oppression that the Japanese are causing them. Gil Alvarez, the former governor of Ubec and whose wife and four children were killed by the Japanese was shot dead in one of their encounters with the Japanese.
Everyone was excited upon hearing the coming of the Americans. They were expecting the help that these white people will do for them. The guerilleros and the Americans joined forces in defeating the Japanese and bringing them away from the country. Soon after the liberation of Ubec, Yvonne’s family went back to their native place. They realized that things were not the same anymore and that Ubec was very much devastated. With all of the things that had happen to Yvonne’s life, she tried to gather strength from the stories that Laydan used to tell her. Laydan’s stories helped her to see the positive side of all the unfavorable things around her such as her baby brother’s death, her separation to her father and the ruins of war. Yvonne was able to forget her problems and hope for the best by allowing the myths to transcend her to their magical and “self-contained” literary world.
From this point, this chapter will analyze the tales that are found in the novel and on how they are presented, configured and foregrounded. The theories of Northrop Frye and Carl Jung on archetypes and myth criticism will be highly observed in finding the connection of the myths to the stories of the novel itself. The accounts of Vladimir Propp and Claude Levi-Strauss on the structure of myths and folktales will also be considered in the structural analysis of the novel’s featured tales. The character of Yvonne is analyzed through Carl Jung’s psychological explanations of the child archetype being the mediator or the one who unites the opposites.
A. The Story of “Malakas at Maganda”
After sharing her dream about the mouth in her hands singing the epic about the hero Tuwaang, Laydan as being requested by Yvonne and Esperanza tells the story of “Malakas at Maganda.”
The story says that in the beginning, there existed the Sky, Water and a magnificent bird. The bird had to fly constantly because they were no islands and continents then. After flying endlessly, the bird grew tired and longed for a place to rest on.
The bird flew to the Sky and told him that Water is angry at him and that he wants to swallow him up. After doing so, he also went to the Water and told him that the Sky wants to destroy him. Upon hearing this, the Water became so angry and lashed his powerful waves upward against the Sky. The Sky hurled islands and continents at the foaming Water. They fought until the Sky ran out of soil and rocks. When they both stopped, the bird was delighted to see islands and continents formed by the battle between the Water and the Sky. It flew all around the beautiful island and afterwards rested on its colorful plumes.
The bird saw a bamboo at about two nodes long floating at the shore. As the bird goes nearer to the bamboo, the angry water pushed the bamboo against it. The bamboo struck its legs repeatedly, in order to get rid from it, the magnificent bird pecked violently at the bamboo nodes. After a while, the bamboo split open. The bird looked inside and saw a man who was a fine creature and who has strong limbs sleeping. The bird does not like the man and thought of him as a nuisance. It lifted its head to peck the man but just then the bamboo node split open. The woman with a brown skin and long hair came out of that bamboo. When the woman opened her eyes, she saw the bird attacking the man. She quickly pulled the bird’s tail to stop it from its evil aim. The bird yelled in pain, flew away and did not return to the island since then. The woman and the man stayed in the beautiful and eventually became the parents of all people.
The tale about “Malakas at Maganda” is a well-known story of creation in the Philippines. Malakas and Maganda or the man and the woman who came out of the bamboo can be considered as the Filipino version of Adam and Eve being the roots and parents of all people. This story could have been formulated by the primitive Filipino people to come up with an explanation of the evolution of man and of the existence of the islands and continent in the world. This statement is justified by Jung’s account that primitive men are not interested with the obvious explanations of things and that they find means to associate them into inner psyche events.
The presence of personified objects of nature such as the Sky, Water and the bird is observable in this story. The fact that they are being personified makes the story magical. The mythical characteristic of being magical is what Richard Chase considers in his “Myth as Literature” as the groundwork of myth. This magical quality gives myth the power to give any characteristic to its subjects, therefore making everything in myth becomes possible. (Levi-Strauss,1963,103)
B. “Bongkatolan” –the Woman Warrior
Bongkatolan is a woman warrior with dark hair reaching her ankles. During her battles, she wears clothes that are woven and beaded by the goddesses who loved her. She has bamboo shield and sword in her hands. When her brother Agyu was captured by the enemies, she rescued him alone. She killed a dozen men, helping her and her brother to escape.
Bongkatolan belonged to the Ilianon tribe that used to live at the mouth of Ayuman River, until the oppressive Magindanaos drove them away. The tribe, being led by Bongkatolan moved to the mountains but the Magindanaos drove them even deeper to the mountain range. At first, the tribe learned to adjust to their new environment and accept it but being river people, they longed for their home at the mouth of the Ayuman River. When they returned to the river, they felt so disappointed after finding out that the Magindanaos destroyed their homes even their ancestral graves.
Because of their pain and disappointment, the people from the Ilianon tribe prayed to the deities who have seen their hardships and desperation. The gods and goddesses blessed them` and poured golden rice on them. They promised them a land called Nalandagan, which would have everything that they wish like balete trees and bamboos lining the river banks, tigbaws laden with golden flowers rippling under the hot sun, betel nut groves in nearby valleys.
The Ilianons could build reefs to keep away the sharks; they could
line the river bottom with porcelain plates so their women would
not lose the rings that might accidentally slip off their fingers while
bathing; they could decorate their homes with inscribed brass;they
could fortify their homes and never again would they be subjugated by another people. (64)
Yvonne remembered Laydan’s story of Bongkatolan after knowing the tragedy that had happened to the family of Doc Mendez. His wife and his three children were massacred and torn into pieces by the Japanese. They did the crime as a revenge to Doc Mendez for helping the guerrilleros. The night before the crime happened, Doc Mendez was up in the other mountain helping a woman to give birth. Doc Mendez had to wait for hours until the woman’s bag of waters broke out. She had hard labor and finally gave birth after midnight. Doc Mendez didn’t have to be there since the woman was able to give birth well but he does not have any regret about it and bore no ill feelings as he rode the three hours back home.
When he arrived at their home, he found a bloodied machete glistening on the floor. He saw the body parts of his family.
Doc was confused; his mind could not comprehend what the limbs and
blood were all about. As the truth sifted into his brain, he grew frantic
and ran about collecting the parts and trying to piece them together.(57)

Yvonne and her family were shocked upon discovering the massacre of Doc Mendez’s family. They found him holding the head of her wife not knowing what to do. Nando decided to pack Doc Mendez’s things and bring him with them because the Japanese might still look after him.
While resting at the nipa hut where the Macaraigs and their companion stayed, Doc Mendez saw Yvonne and thought of her as her daughter Amalia. He told her to call his wife Jesusa. Yvonne asked helped from Nida regarding the doctor’s behavior. The doctor got mad when he saw Nida and angrily told her to get out and call his wife. Nida insisted that his family was murdered by the Japanese and that he must accept that they are all dead.
It took days for Doc Mendez to cope up from the greatest tragedy of his life. He prayed so hard looking for the answers on his questions regarding the death of his family. He finally decided to continue living and asked God for help and guidance. He surprised everybody when he announced the promise that he had made to God.
What promise, Doc? Nida asked.
I’ll have myself crucified, Nida, just like Christ. (68)

One day when the men were away, the women were left squeezing coconut milk from the grated coconut meat. Yvonne was chasing the chickens around when a Japanese soldier went towards them. He spoke in Japanese and presented them a paper. Angeling told him that they cannot understand his language by tapping her ear. The soldier spoke in English and told them that he needs food for the captain. Angeling handed to him the basket with six eggs but he insisted to get the chickens that Yvonne was playing a while ago. Angeling refused to give them to him, the soldier told her to call the chicken and he will catch them. Angeling had a stubborn expression and called the chicken different from her regular call. The soldier became impatient because the chickens do not go near Angeling. He got mad and without saying any word, he stomped away and walked out.
When the night came, Angeling and Nida slept with .45 calibers under their pillows while Yvonne and Laydan slept with machetes nearby. When Nando came back he told them that the Japanese soldier was a part of a patrol passing through and that they were very lucky that he did not kill them.
The Ilianon tribe are like the Macaraigs, Doc Mendez and the Filipino people who suffered much because of the invasion of the Japanese (in case of the tribe, the Magindanaos). They used to have a peaceful and normal lives not until these invaders came. The courage of Angeling is admirable especially in the confrontation that she had with the Japanese soldier. Her character is like that of Bongkatolan who is not afraid to face her enemy and to fight for what she believes is right. The courage that the characters showed is comparable to the courage that the Ilianons had in such a way that they are able to handle their situations and move on with their lives despite the abuses that they had from their oppressors. The faith of Doc Mendez that God will help him get through with his life is similar to the faith of the Ilianons that the gods and goddesses will give justice to their land.
C. Epic of “Tuwaang and the Maiden of the Buhong Sky”
The Giant of Pangamanon was a horrible creature that stomped about the Skyworld burning castles and vegetation with his ire-shooting wand. He was about to burn down the castle at the Buhong Sky when he saw a beautiful maiden spinning rainbows. The Giant hid behind the trees and watched the maiden do her task.
He fell in love with her and was desperate to take her away and eventually marry him. The maiden knows the wicked character of the Giant that is why she immediately made herself invisible and fled. The Giant became angry and destroy the entire Buhong Sky. Nothing was left except for the layers of ashes and burning embers. He did not give up looking for the Maiden, he even stomped through the different layers of the Skyworld just to find her.
The deities became weary and desperate to the aftermaths of the destruction of the Buhong Sky. The world became dingy, gray and rainbow less. The heavens and earth are preoccupied by dreariness and hopelessness. The deities wanted to punish the Giant but they were not supposed to interfere directly. They decided to seek the help of Tuwaang –the mortal whom they most loved.
They prepared gifts for Tuwaang like the magic betel nut, the magic skein of gold, and the special clothes beaded by the goddesses. They dispatched the wind with their gifts to Kuaman Mountain where Tuwaang lived. After receiving the gifts, Tuwaang prepared for the battle. While he was putting the clothes made by the goddesses, he remembered his mother pointing the sky and showing him the rainbow. His mother told him that the Maiden of the Buhong Sky promised that the rain will always stop and things will get better. She also promised that as long as the rainbow appears in the sky, the sun would surely shine after a rainfall.
After what the Giant has done to the Skyworld, the Maiden of the Buhong Sky had taken refuge on earth. She astonished Lord Batooy and his people when one day she appeared clothed in spun fragments of the rainbow. She continued to weep, made her invisible and hid in the castle. They could not find her but they heard her sobbing all day and all night.
Tuwaang arrived at the kingdom of Lord Batooy. He looked for the Maiden and told her that he meant no harm and that he was there to help her. He fought with the Giant and eventually killed him through the use of the gifts that the deities had given to him. Tuwaang used the juice of the betel nut to restore the devastated kingdoms of Lord Batooy and of the Skyworld.
“Now I can spin rainbows,” the Maiden said joyously as she surveyed
her land that was emerald green and vibrant once more.
The sky soon lost its grayness and the deities were pleased that the
Maiden resumed spinning her vivid rainbows. They smiled happily
at the arching colors, the symbol that the sun will shine after a
rainfall. (p. 86)

The epic of Tuwaang saving the Maiden of the Skyworld is the favorite and most beloved epic of Laydan. Yvonne told this story to comfort and to ease her grief upon the death of Laydan and to honor her soul as well. Before Laydan died, she let Yvonne promised her that she will never forget her stories. She gave Yvonne a beaded vest, which is one of her most cherished possession that belonged to Inuk..
Laydan confessed to Yvonne how much she idolizes Inuk. She remembered the first time she saw Inuk. She was six years old then, attending the funeral of Datu Ambian’s first wife. He listened carefully to the way Inuk sung the epics.
That night, he ended his song by pointing to the comet. “Tuwaang ascend
into the skyworld on a sky-boat like that star”, he said. I stared at the
heavens and saw gods and goddesses, giants and beautiful maidens,
and I knew I wanted to be an epic singer like Inuk. (p.82)

The day when Laydan was about to sing in Inuk’s place at Datu Ambian’s second wedding, she woke up with a rusty throat and could not even say a single word. She left because she had no face to show to Inuk.
Laydan is a very important person in Yvonne’s life. She helped her accept things positively through the stories that she shares with her. One particular instance is that when Yvonne’s mother gave birth to a stillborn child in the mountains, Laydan explained to Yvonne that she must not worry about her brother for he is now in a place better than where they are. She also answers her questions in a way that she will understand them easily and would take their misfortunes as a part of life that can be overcome by faith and by the intervention of a superior being or by Laydan’s gods and goddesses.
She lives near the underworld river, do you recall? She has breasts all
over her body. You see, she is a kind goddess, and she nurses the infants
who are too young to cross the river to the land of the souls. I am sure
that Meybuyan is taking care of your brother and the doctor’s children.
Her words were calm and soothing. (p.55)

D. “Tuwaang Saving the Maiden of Monawon from the Deathless Man”

Tuwaang set off to rescue the Maiden of Monawon who had been tricked into betrothal with Deathless Man. He rode on lightning and found himself on a grassy resting place where he heard the crowing of the rooster. The rooster was sent by the deities to accompany him. The rooster gave him three musical instruments –gong, flute, and guitar that he must add to the Maiden’s dowry. The deities want Tuwaang to know that there is something in the flute that he will only understand when the right time comes.
When Tuwaang and the rooster arrived at the hall of Monawon, the earth trembled and a roaring sound filled into the room. Deathless Man and his one hundred fieriest warriors arrived. The Deathless Man ordered the host to get rid of Tuwaang, Tuwaang did not like such discourteous act so he told the Deathless Man
He who asks our host commit such a discourteous is committing
A far graver offense. (p.107)
The Deathless Man got offended but the Lord of Monawon mediated and ordered to proceed to the engagement ritual. When dowries that Tuwaang had brought were presented, the Deathless Man could not match anything to them. According to the custom law if the prospective groom is not able to match the dowry, no wedding is going to happen. The Maiden of Monawon let her magic betel box decide if she is going to marry the Deathless Man or not, the box stopped at him without offering any betel meaning that the box does not like him to be her husband. The Deathless Man could not accept it, he together with his warrior went out and killed the warriors of Monawon. Tuwaang and the rooster went and fought with them. The Deathless Man flung Tuwaang into the Underworld. Tuwaang found himself near the Underworld River where the goddess Meybuyan lived.
Tuwaang asked the goddess to help him go back to earth. The goddess agreed and reminded him of the deities’ words about the flute. When he faced the Deathless Man again, he lifted the flute where the soul of the Deathless Man is and smashed it into the ground. The Deathless Man shook and shuddered then became still. Finally the Maiden of Monawon is now free from the clutches of the Deathless Man.
Because of Nida’s problem Yvonne imagined her as the Maiden of Monawon under the evil clutches of the Deathless Man. Nida was impregnated by a Japanese soldier during their trip to Taytayan. She seduced him to shift her attention to her because the soldier was about to look at Yvonne’s bag where four bullions were put.
Yvonne wished to become the Giant in Laydan’s stories so that she could step on the soldier and watch his guts spill out. Angeling was grateful for what Nida did to save them but she pitied her when they found out that Nida is going to have a baby. Nida wanted the baby to be aborted because she does not like it and she was thinking of what would be the reaction of her husband Max. She even consulted Doc Mendez about the process of aborting the child but the doctor was more interested in his upcoming crucifixion. Nida talked to Angeling and informed her about her plan of taking the service of the midwife.
Angeling said: “Not that woman , Nida. She looks like a witch…
“She has remedies”, Nida said.
“What sort of remedies? Those papayas and massages are no good,
Nida, I’ve heard about them.”
“I’m not going to have the child.”
“It’s dangerous, Nida. And sinful. Besides, women die from those
“Sometimes death is better.” (105).
Nida like the Maiden of Monawon is longing for someone to save her from the dilemma that she is having. She was put into a situation wherein she has no power to choose at all. She has to sacrifice and give herself to the Japanese soldier to prevent the greater harm that the man would and could possibly do against them.
Considering Jung’s account, the baby in Nida’s womb can be taken as a symbol of a potential future. The coming of this future developments rests upon Nida’s decision of having the baby or not. The child according to Jung is the bringer of healing and the one that makes whole. Therefore, the baby in Nida’s womb has the capability of helping her find herself again because if she decided to raise the child, she will be able to know how it is to become a mother, which every woman is entitled to be. A child is what she and Max have been waiting for but since this child does not belong to Max, it pains her to reveal everything.
If Max would accept her and the baby, he will be like Tuwaang who freed the Maiden of Monawon from the evil doings of the Deathless Man or in Nida’s case from her fear of being rejected, traumas, worries and pains.
E. “Epic of Lam-Ang”
Lam-Ang is a full-grown when he was born. It was believed that before his umbilical cord had dried, he was able to avenge the murder of his father by the tattooed headhunters. He killed a total of 25 headhunters and after killing them, he later on buried his father’s remains.
When he grew older, he fell in love with Ines Kannoyan, a woman from another town. Ines loves him too but her parents were possessive of her. They told Lam-Ang that he must provide a gold clothesline, solid gold figures of two roosters, four hens, and two lobsters as dowry. Lam-Ang was able to give them their requests and was later on married to Ines.
Ines became pregnant and craved for all sorts of food. When he craved for a fish called rarang, Lam-Ang dived into the sea to get it. Unfortunately, an enormous monster fish swallowed him. The townspeople believed that Lam-Ang is dead. But his mother told them that he is unusual. She ordered them to look for his remains. When they have gathered his bones, Lam-Ang’s mother covered them with her apron. As she pulled her apron away, Lam-Ang appeared peacefully sleeping. Everybody rejoiced when they saw him alive. They are now all convinced that Lam-Ang is indeed the most unusual human being.
Yvonne kept her imaginings and Laydan’s stories to herself. She misses the old woman so much and her stories are the only way for her to be with her again. With the chaotic environment of the war, her stories are she only treasures that no one can even the Japanese could take away from her.
And so in the silence of my imagination, I brought Laydan and her stories
back to life. But I was careful to keep all these secret. These imaginings
were the one thing that no one could ever take from me, and I guarded
them jealously. The Japanese could storm into our house and kill every-
body, including me –there was nothing definite in our lives; life was
riddled with uncertainties –but Laydan’s beautiful stories and her memory
will be with me. No one, not the cruelest Japanese, could ever take them
away, ever destroy them. (p.128)
The epic of Lam-Ang came into Yvonne’s mind when the Japanese plane crashed into their place. They found the dead bodies of these Japanese scattered around. The children even played with them. She, on the other hand was used seeing dead bodies but she felt sad when she saw the body of the dead man. She wondered if that man also has a daughter like her. She wondered if the man’s daughter also feels the same whenever she waited for her father to come back. She hates the man for being a Japanese but she admits that she can’t help thinking about him.
Lam-Ang is a very strong man with unusual characteristics such as invincibility, resurrecting from death, etc. Yvonne wishes that Lam-Ang’s characteristics will also be given to her father and to the other guerrilleros during those times so that they will be able to win the battle and that no wives and children will be abandoned because these men will be able to resurrect themselves from death. Comparing his father to Lam-Ang, it is safe to say that Yvonne sees his father as an unusual man who will do everything for the sake of his loved ones. She knows the possibility that her father might not return from the battle that is why she lingers onto the idea that if only her father is like Lam-Ang, he will not need to suffer much and no matter what happens he will still be able to escape death.
Northrop Frye’s third fictional mode is Epic or Tragedy that has a heroic leader superior to other men but not to his natural environment. The epic of Lam-Ang falls into this category because although Lam-Ang is superior to other men and he is considered as an unusual human being, he was not able to defeat the monster fish that swallowed him. This only shows that the unusual characteristic of Lam-Ang does not get him away from his nature of being a human being who is subject to social criticism and to the order of nature.
F. “The Tale of Banna”
Banna was about to marry the beautiful maiden, Laggunawa. As a celebration, Banna’s friends invited him to go to the bamboo grove to cut lime tubes for their betel chew. Banna’s father does not want him to go there because that place is inhabited by evil spirits. Banna ignored his father’s warning and went with his friends to the bamboo grove. He swung his ax to the tallest bamboo, but after doing so, a blood flowed from it and soaked his feet. He cried for help as his feet turn into a tail of a python. Banna’s body changed into a snake. His friends brought him home as a python.
One day, the Giant Gittam attacked their village and stole the people’s gold rings. Banna disappeared in the midst of all the commotion. He went to the house of Gittam and strangled him. He looked for the people’s gold rings, swallowed them and left.
As he was going home, he got lost in the woods. He met a man who was so afraid of him. The man accidentally spat out the betel juice from Gowa to Banna’s head. Surprisingly, Banna’s snakehead turned human. Banna asked the man to pour some more juice to his body. The man did it and he became completely human.
When he returned home, everybody was delighted to see him and to have their golden rings back. Laggunawa and Banna got married and the wedding feast lasted for days. They were blessed with many children and grandchildren and lived happily ever after.
Yvonne shared Banna’s tale to Cris who is the son of his father’s friend and the former governor of Ubec, Gil Alvarez. She intended to tell the story to him because Cris always disobeys his father and many times give headaches to him. Cris does not like the story and in fact considered it as a dumb one. Yvonne got offended and wished Cris to turn into a snake.
The intentions of Yvonne to teach Cris a lesson by telling one of Laydan’s stories shows that in a way those stories also formulate Yvonne’s values and perception of things. The tale of Banna tells her that disobedience would give bad results and that obedience per se to her parents is a virtue that she must follow for her own sake.
The tale of Banna corresponds to the sequences of the tales that Vladimir Propp observed in his “Morphology of the Folktale”. The first function, which is absentation, is observed in the tale when Banna left their home and went to the bamboo grove. His father interdicted him (interdiction) not to go there because it is haunted by the evil spirits. He violated that interdiction and pursued on his plan and eventually turned into a snake. The villain which is the Giant caused harm and injury to family members (eight function) by taking away their golden rings. Banna during the attack left home (eleventh function), defeated the Giant (eighteenth function) and acquired the use of a magical agent to transform into his normal self (fourteenth function). Banna returned home (twentieth function) and married the maiden Laggunawa (thirty-first function).
F. “The Story of the Golden Rice from the SkyWorld”
The Ilianon people living at the mouth of the Ayuman River bartered their goods for cloth, coconut oil, metal implements, porcelain plates, and betel nut and lime containers. They were blessed by the gods and goddesses with bountiful gifts of fishes, crabs, honeys, beeswaxes, etc.
One day the messenger of the Datu of Magindanaos came and presented them five wooden chests filled with salt and dried fish. He said that they are the gifts from their Datu and that their Datu wants the Ilianon people to give them 1000 lumps of beeswax in return. Agyu refused to accept their gifts because they are sea-faring people and that they have lots of them. The messenger raised his voice and insisted that they must comply to his Datu’s command including his order to the Ilianons to abandon their faith to their numerous deities and worship only the god of Magindanaos.
The leader of the Ilianon warriors Datu Tabunaway stopped them as they drew their daggers against the messenger. He said that if they kill him, the Datu of Magindanaos will castigate them ten-fold. Bongkatolan reminded them that the forces of the Magindanaos are larger than they are. They all decided to sent Agyu and Kuyasu to the datu of Magindanaos with nine lumps of beeswax to show that the Ilianons will not be enslaved.
The Datu of Magindanaos got mad, Kuyasu stabbed and killed him. The Magindanao warriors hacked him into pieces. Agyu, fortunately was able to escape and returned home. He told the others about the incident and warned them that they must ready for the coming of their enemies. The Ilianon people went to the top of the Ilian Mountain. When the Magindanaos arrived at the mouth of the Ayuman River they burned the houses of the Ilianon and tortured the people who were left there to know where the rest of the tribe went. An old man whose eyes had been gouged out finally confessed. The Magindanaos beheaded their prisoners and sailed upstream until they spotted the Ilianon fort on the mountaintop.
The people grew tired of transferring from one place to the other, some of them grew so homesick and returned to the Ayuman River. They felt bad upon seeing their homes burned. They gathered and prayed to the deities and asked them why they have betrayed them. The gods and goddesses heard their weeping and rained golden rice and golden betel nuts on them, which the Ilianons gathered and ate.
The Ilianons turned golden, a sign that they were beloved by the
deities. They rubbed the juice of the golden betel nuts on their
dead who miraculously came back to life. (p.175)
The others who turned gold went to the mountain to tell the rest of their people that the deities have not forsaken them. It was then when the deities promised them the land Nalandagan. They told them that Agyu would accompany them as they search for that place.
On and on they traveled and just when they thought they would
never reach Nalandagan, Agyu spotted two enormous boulders
banging fiercely against each other. When the boulders were
apart , the ship floated through with ease. Beyond, the Ilianons
saw a river with lush bamboos and balete trees lining the banks.
Then they knew that the deities had not forsaken them, that they
have arrived at Nalandagan. (p.176)

The fierce attitudes of the Japanese to the Filipinos are like that of the Magindanaos’ towards the Ilianon tribe. Yvonne remembered this story when they have returned to their homeland Ubec after the war. They were surprised to see how devastated Ubec was. The story helped her to accept that what had happed to Ubec is a part of its history and just like the land of Nalandagan that served as an ideal place for the Ilianons, Ubec will soon rise to regain its dignity.
Ubec would grow like a mollusk, growing in layers outward, with the new growth approaching the hills and mountains. I saw people living in Ubec centuries before me and centuries after me –an endless parade of humanity through time. And I knew that invaders could not really destroy Ubec, could never destroy its people. (p.178)
Aside from including myths and legends in her stories, Brainard also tries to re-tell the history through the narratives of her works. In this novel, Brainard goes back to the time when the dignities and self-esteems of the Filipinos were at its lowest due to the abusive treatments of the Japanese. The novel was able to give a clear picture of the damages caused by war like the casualties in Ubec and Taytayan wherein many persons died and numerous properties were damaged. This novel can be considered as a realistic fiction because it showcases events and situations that do happen in reality .
Yvonne’s fondness in myths (Laydan’s stories) corresponds to Jung’s account that these kinds of stories provide an outlet for repressed feelings. Since she can’t do anything to stop the war or to at least prevent bad things to happen, she unconsciously express her wishes and desires by hoping for these stories to be real.
The importance of repetition in emphasizing the meaning of myths is shown in the characters of Yvonne and Laydan. At first, it was Laydan who narrates the stories repeatedly to Yvonne, who later on took Laydan’s place in becoming a story teller. As these stories are repeated, their fixed structure becomes more evident.
In myths, the psychological triumph is more important than the physical one especially in depicting fantastic and unreal incidents. (Campbell,1968,30). Their essence lies on how they are going to be accepted by the people based on their influence in them. With these statements, it is logical to say that myths play a significant role in Yvonne's life for they have greatly influenced her thinking and her own perceptions of things. In Laydan's case, myths are actually her life. She is in fact living for her hope of becoming an epic like what her ancestor Inuk is expecting her to be. Even Laydan does not know what "becoming an epic" actually means. What she only knows and loves to do is to sing and spread the story of her origin and the stories of her gods and goddesses, which no one could ever have imagined.
Laydan's singing of the epic shows the necessity of these stories to be told and shared with others so that they will be preserved and will continue to exist through time. The act of repetition in telling them rests on the singer's purpose of confirming, reaffirming and institutionalizing their tribal beliefs.
It is observable in the stories of the past that they are also trying to impose values. The stories about punishments on a wrong thing done like in "The Tale of Banna" serve as a warning to those who are committing or are about to commit sin. On the other hand, the stories on good will and rewards like "Epic of Tuwaang Saving the Maiden of the Buhong Sky", Epic of Lam-Ang" and others encourage the practice of doing good as a way of receiving something better in return. This is how these stories shape the minds of the people. They present to them the possible consequences of their actions and as a result, the people unconsciously favor the better and avoid the evil ones.
For Cecilia Manguerra-Brainard, the use of myth makes her work deeper and better. It helps her to understand Philippine culture and ways of life. By interweaving them in her stories, she is not only able to present a narrative but she is also able to produce a work that is more reflective of its origin. Northrop Frye explains this preference of writers in mythology by saying that these stories have always been integral in literature and that they illustrate the essential principles of storytelling.
Hence, like folktale, it is an abstract story-pattern. The characters do what they like, which means what the story-teller likes: there is no need to be plausible or logical in motivation. The things that happen in myth are things that happen only in stories… hence myth would naturally have the same kind of appeal for the fiction writer that folk tales have. It presents him with a ready-made framework, hoary with antiquity, and allows him to devote all energies to elaborate its design. (Frye, 1957,31)
Since the archetypes and images in myths are universal and archival, it is easy for the readers to relate to what their story wants to convey. It is easy as well for the writers like Brainard to use their imagination and talent in incorporating these stories to their craft, therefore making them able to produce a highly conventionalized art.


There are many definitions of myth according to different persons but it can be summarized as stories made by the primitive men to explain certain phenomenon in such a way that they can be associated to their inner psyche. These stories have been handed down to other generations through the use of oral tradition The Philippines is rich in mythology and in fact, up to this age, there are still epic singers that can be found particularly in Mindanao region, singing and celebrating the stories of their heroes.

A lot of studies have been conducted about Philippine myths and legends but this is the first time that a study is made to know how local myths and legends are fore grounded in a novel done by a Filipino-American writer. There are seven stories (myth, epics and legends) that are incorporated in the novel of Cecilia Manguerra-Brainard titled, “When the Rainbow Goddess Wept”. These stories are the following: The story of “Malakas at Maganda”,“Bongkatolan –the woman warrior, “Epic of Tuwaang Saving the Maiden of the Buhong Sky”, “Tuwaang Saving the Maiden of Monawon from the Deathless Man”, “Epic of Lam-Ang”, “Tale of Banna” and “The Story of the Golden Rice from the Skyworld.”

The first chapter of this study gave an introduction of what the study is all about. It presented the terms that are defined for further understanding of the thesis, scope and limitation of the study, significance of the study, the ways and means in which the study is conducted and the theories that are used in its analysis.

The second chapter gathered the literary sources that are related to the study. It gave the researcher ideas and additional knowledge on the nature of myths and their place in literature. The references were arranged in thematic order starting with the discourses on myths by different authors and myth critics like Richard Chase, Northrop Frye, Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell and the rest, followed by feminist readings that discussed women’s role in literature and touched the issue of being a third-world woman and finally studies concerning immigration and diaspora.

The third chapter discussed the life and works of the author, Cecilia Manguerra-Brainard. It featured the interviews that were conducted to her by Biuraj in India and others.

The fourth chapter contains the analysis. This chapter summarized the narratives found in the novel and connected them to the incidents that made the one telling the story remember them. The theories were also applied to analyze and understand them well.

The fifth chapter summarizes the processes that were done in making this study. It also contains the conclusions that answer the questions that are raised in the study and the researcher’s recommendations for further elaboration of the topic.


In answer to the question raised in the study, the following findings were arranged and formulated.
a. How does Cecilia Manguerra-Brainard foreground myths and legends in her novel, “When the Rainbow Goddess Wept?

Cecilia Manguerra-Brainard included in her novel myths and legends that are somehow similar to the story of the novel itself. Some of them deal with the struggle and hardships of the people from their invaders that equaled the sufferings of the Filipinos from the Japanese. The incorporated tales appear exactly after Yvonne narrates an incident that resembles them making them more noticeable and convincing. The use of a child as the protagonist makes myths and legends more appealing because her innocence moves her to compare the characters of the tales to her mother, to herself, to the Japanese and others.

b. How does the interweaving of myths and legends contribute to the author’s plot/craft?

The novel is about how a family struggles during the war. Their struggles were narrated by a child who is inspired by the stories that she learned from their cook Laydan. The presence of myths and legends intensifies the message of the story in a way that it gives the readers a picture of a beautiful and peaceful world totally different from the chaotic world of war that the novel is describing about. The novel as a realistic fiction depicts things as they are and it is concerned with places of everyday lives among the middle and lower class.

c. How do the author’s subjectivities as a writer and as a woman contribute to the depiction of myths and legends in her stories?

Cecilia Manguerra-Brainard has a rich background on Philippine folklore. She incorporates them in her writing to show her values, thoughts and priorities. Being an expatriate writer, her style of bringing back Philippine myths and legends into life through her writings is her way of going back to her homeland. Being a woman, she is also preoccupied with the problems concerning women, motivating her to make her women characters strong that can be observed through her female heroines Bongkatolan, Maiden of Monawon, Maiden of Buhong Sky and through the other women characters in her other stories.


In the context of the aforementioned conclusions of the study, the following are recommended:
- Studies on Philippine Myths and Legends and on how they influence other writers
- That the stories of Cecilia Manguerra-Brainard be given more exposure in Philippine literature courses
- Comparative analysis of Cecilia Manguerra-Brainard’s works to other Filipino-American writers to find out how they Philippine culture in the works despite of their location.


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