Sunday, August 28, 2016

155. Notes on a Trip to Taal: #6 Hai Bing

Hai Bing was a Chinese settler in Taal who once vowed to build a church for the virgin mother of Caysasay. After the Sangley Revolt, a time when the Chinese settlers rebelled against the oppression  of the Spaniards, the Chinese were rounded up, brought to Taal Lake, and massacred. Hai Bing was one of the victims; his body riddled with holes and his head almost decapitated. But the story goes that soon after Hai Bing appeared in Caysasay on the shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mother. The waters of the shrine were known to heal any ailment, and its waters flowed through Hai Bing's wounds. 

With his resurrection, Hai Bing continued his work in building the Church of Caysasay, which was subsequently completed.

 Hai Bing died later on by the thorns of his carabao, an undramatic ending to an otherwise amazing story, but our tour guide said, it was probably because he broke his vow and became a bad person. Nonetheless, this is the first time I heard the story, but apparently, it is a well-known myth and the kids selling candles at the shrine could tell it from memory. The massacre of the Chinese, which brought about Hai Bing's first death, was the reason why Taal's participation in the revolution was downplayed, the Taaleno's obtaining a reputation of being the Spanish Khmer Rouge. 

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