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Filipino Myths and Legends: The Legend of the Firefly

A Visayan story about the origin of the firefly.

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There was once a young man who was as handsome as he was vain. He had the habit of derisively pointing out the physical defects of those around him.

One day, on his way to the forest, he saw a maiden clothed in silk. He was struck by her beauty and thought that, certainly, this was the loveliest woman in the world.

Entranced, he started to come near her, but she turned and fled. He combed the forest all day searching for her, but she was nowhere to be found.

Finally, tired and irritated, he burst out aloud, “You are not really beautiful! Your nose is flat and your ears are too wide.” He then settled down against a tree and slept.

He awoke with a start later to find the woman staring down at him. He also discovered that he had been transformed into an insect. The young woman, who was a fairy, told him that he would be cursed to remain thus until he finds a maiden who could exceed her in beauty.

To this day, the enchanted young man continues his search, carrying a flickering light at night to help him in his quest (From The Insular Life Assurance Company 2009 Planner).

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