Once upon a time, there was a couple who lived in one of the many mountains of San Mateo, Rizal. The man and the woman were very poor and led a very hard life. But one day, amidst all their poverty and hardships, came a bundle of joy and happiness. The man and the woman were given the gift of the birth of a big, beautiful, and healthy baby boy. They named their newborn son Bernardo Carpio and he became his parents’ most precious treasure.
Like any other kid, Bernardo loved to play. But something was noticeably very different about Bernardo. Unlike the other kids, Bernardo had the power of extraordinary strength.
It was said that when Bernardo was still a baby crawling on all fours, all the floorboard nails that he hooked with his tiny fingernails were pulled out from their very places. When Bernardo was still learning how to walk, any railing that he used for support was destroyed and splintered into pieces. And anytime Bernardo’s parents gave him a new toy to play with, the toy would break and become crushed in the palms of his small hands.
As Bernardo grew up to be a handsome young man, his power doubled and increased even more. He soon became renowned not only for his power of extraordinary strength, but also for his dashing good looks. Furthermore, Bernardo possessed great courage and bravery that were second to none. Everyone knew that Bernardo could easily beat any man so no one would dare face Bernardo Carpio in a match of strength and bravery.
Not like other typical guys, Bernardo was not interested in merriment, social gatherings, and other festivities. The loveliness of all the beautiful young women in his town did not appeal to him. What really captivated Bernardo was the forest.
Bernardo found his real happiness in the forest. The part where the trees were the thickest and the densest is where he often stayed. There is where he spent time with and sought the company of his close friends, the animals of the forest.
In the forest that Bernardo frequented lived an enchanted creature. This enchanted creature was a very big and a very strong male. However, the creature also had the ugly manner of envying and causing harm to others. The enchanted creature had seen Bernardo many times during the innumerable visits that he had made to the forest.
It did not take long before the begrudging and hateful enchanted creature got wind of Bernardo’s fame for his extraordinary strength.
The enchanted creature was sure that the young man would be no match against his own power and strength. One day, the enchanted creature waited for Bernardo to come into the forest. As soon as he saw Bernardo, he immediately challenged him to a duel. Bernardo was not one to back down from any fight so he accepted the challenge right away.
And so the two fought. This was followed by many different battles in which both of them made use of their power of great strength. And in every single one of them, the enchanted creature lost.
They separated after a long and arduous battle. The enchanted creature left but not without hatred in his heart for the one that defeated him. He waited for the right time and the right opportunity to exact revenge on Bernardo for the loss and shame that he had suffered in his hands.
When the enchanted creature was able to chance upon Bernardo once again, he invited him to a hidden area of the forest. In that area were two enormous slabs of stone that were positioned on either side of the place. In the middle of those two stone slabs was where the enchanted creature dwelled. The creature told Bernardo to go ahead and enter the place. As soon as Bernardo reached the spot right in the center of the two stones, the enchanted creature vanished into thin air. And suddenly, the two stone slabs started to fall towards Bernardo. Using his extraordinary strength, Bernardo fought against the stones’ massive weight and size to prevent them from crushing him.
According to the elders, Bernardo Carpio is still in the same place, holding those two stones. And every time an earthquake occurs, it is said that it is because of Bernardo Carpio moving and wishing to break free.