One of the myths told of the Hundred Islands in Alaminos, Pangasinan is a tragic story about a hundred promiscuous men who started out right but ended up wrong.
A seafaring people of a coastal town in the north, the myth says, were brave and industrious men. They were also devoted husbands and fathers who cared well for their wives and families, and were legendary in their strict adherence to the town code of being one-woman men. The myth goes on that because of their exceptional marital faithfulness, one day they were divinely endowed with a tremendous power to overcome any sea disaster or calamity.
So daily, whatever the mood of the sea, the myth tells of every brave fisherman from the town of Ala-manos, young and old, going out at dawn and coming back in the afternoon with an astounding catch. Fish supply was aplenty. Even with the stockpile being sold to nearby towns, leftovers were still abundant and exported overseas.
The myth says that when the seas were high and rough and fish was scarce, fishermen of other adjacent coastal towns found fishing difficult; but not Ala-manos fishermen. Regardless of the sea condition, they brought home tons of fish daily and nothing untoward happened to any of them in the sea—all 100 fishing boats. The supernatural exploits reached the ears of the towns nearby and soon it was believed that Ala-manos fishermen worked “with the hands” of “Bathala” or God, the myth adds.
With more fish supply came more fortune, more so when the other towns faced fish scarcity. But the myth points out that with more wealth the men of Ala-manos became lax on their avowed marital faithfulness and soon had concubines from neighboring towns. The thing became scandalously unmitigated, until one day, when the 100 boats had set out to sea on a stormy morning, roaring angry waves swallowed them up in an instant. No boat returned that afternoon. Daily the families would wait on the shore for a sign of the boats, to no avail.
One morning, the people of Ala-manos saw 100 new islands on the sea. Bathala warned them that each time an unfaithful fisherman sets out to sea, another island would be added until the sea was no more. Since then, Ala-manos men became more faithful husbands, the myth concludes.
This myth shows that it’s not lack of wealth that’s really the problem, but what wealth could do to its possessor.