Tales of the Supernatural
Tales of Laughter
Tales of Heroism

Pilandok and Sabandar
( Maranao )

We all know how the prankster called Pilandok tricked the prince Sumusong-sa-Alongan into getting stung by bees until he almost died. Well, Pilandok just got himself into another fix. A relative of Sumusong-sa-Alongan, named Sabandar, went out searching for the man who had done the prince harm.

Sabandar came upon Pilandok as he was resting beneath a tree with a large black python coiled, asleep, in the branches. Sabandar asked if his name was Pilandok.

"I am Pilandok," the prankster answered truthfully.

Then Sabandar said that he would kill Pilandok, because the man had almost killed his relative Sumusong-sa-Alongan with a trick.

"No, wait," Pilandok said. "In this town where I live, there are two Pilandoks. One is called Pilandok-from-Upstream, and the other is Pilandok-from-Downstream. I am Pilandok-from-Downstream. The other Pilandok is blind in one eye, and I am not."

Sabandar was quieted. Yes, Sumusong-sa-Alongan had told him that the prankster he had encountered had one eye closed. This Pilandok-from-Downstream must be an honest man.

"Tell me what you are doing beneath this tree, Pilandok-from-Downstream."

"Ah! well," said Pilandok, "I am guarding the black belt of a queen."

Sabandar thought that the belt must be special indeed.

"Let me try the belt on, Pilandok," Sabangan said.

"No, the queen will be angry with me if I let just any man wear her special belt," Pilandok answered.

"Look…I’ll give you everything I have right now if only you will let me try the belt on, Pilandok."

Pilandok pretended to think. And after a while he said, "I’ll take everything you have. But, mind you, don’t wear the belt until I am far away, for the queen’s guards might catch me lending her special belt to a stranger."

Sabandar agreed to this. Pilandok took everything Sabandar had (which was a lot!) and ran away as fast as he could.

Sabandar took the sleeping python and wound it around his waist. The python, alarmed at being so rudely awakened, coiled itself tighter and tighter about Sabandar’s waist until the man died. And then it went up the tree again to sleep.

Pilandok lived happily with all of Sabandar’s possessions.