Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Abadeha The Philippine Cinderella

Abadeha: The Philippine Cinderellais based on a story from pre-colonial Philippine tradition.

In this version Abadeha, calls on a native spirit, Mother Bathala, Creator of the Earth when she is unable to meet the challenges of her cruel and demanding stepmother and help is provided.

She does share the challenging family life presented in many of the Cinderella tales. Her father, devastated at the loss of her mother remarries providing Abadeha with a stepmother and stepsisters. The stepmother not only works her hard, but also provides her with impossible tasks, like changing the colors of hankies without dye or fixing a mat that has been destroyed beyond repair. Each time she prays, she is provided with assistance.

When a beloved pet that the forest spirit provides her with is killed, she is advised to bury the remains at her mother's grave. A tree grows up that provides her with beautiful jewels. There is a somewhat similar Grimm's version of the father bringing a branch that grows into a tree that showers Cinderella with gowns and outfits for her to wear to several of the balls.

The prince in this tale is the son of an island chieftain. He leaves an offering at the tree and tries on one of the rings. The ring will not come off and makes his finger swell. A dream reveals that there is a beautiful girl will release his finger from pain. No shoe or anklet in this story, but the Prince does find his Cinderella and all is well.

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