Long ago, in the dense forests of the Philippines, there lived a race of “bird-men” called Mulawin, men and women with feathers and wings like an eagle’s. In those days, this noble and peace-loving race freely interacted with human beings, although they never moved too far away from the forest because it is from trees that bird-men draw their strength. But, as the human population grew in number, the people’s demand for territory and resources also increased. They deforested more and more of the lands that were the Mulawin’s home, and the bird-men were forced to seek refuge high in the mountains, away from greedy humans.
Despite what they suffered from the common people, the Mulawin would not harm them in return; they wanted only to preserve their way of life as best they could without coming into conflict with men. However, a splinter group soon formed with quite different intentions. This group broke away from the main tribe and became the Ravena, a fierce new race of bird-men with black and red plumage and a fearsome appearance. The Ravena’s sole ambition was and is to subdue both the Mulawin and human beings.
The Mulawin founded a new home for themselves, naming it Avila, whereas the Ravena called their own realm, Halconia. At this time, the Queen of the Diwata (fairies) presented the Mulawin with two gifts: the Molave tree and the bird, Balasik. The Molave tree is the most treasured possession of the Mulawin, for if it is lost or destroyed, Avila will also lose its power and be conquered by the Ravena. The Balasik is a magical bird. Like an oracle, it knows and always speaks the truth. What is more, it is like an alchemical elixir of life: it gives youth and strength to whoever owns it. Although the Balasik rightfully belongs to the Mulawin, this clever bird pledges allegiance to no one.
Time passed on, and human beings and Mulawin grew to distrust one another. The Mulawin, fearing their own extinction at the hands of men, saw the latter only as selfish and destructive to the environment. For their part, humans made no distinction between the Mulawin and the Ravena. They taught their children to fear and despise both races of bird-men, even though it was only the Ravena who would attack and prey upon humans. As humans encroached more and more into the territories of the bird-men, Mulawin and Ravena alike fled farther away and were seen less and less often. Hence, people came to regard the idea of bird-men as nothing more than a myth, an old wives’ tale to frighten naughty children.
Now, it was foretold by the Balasik bird that a savior was about to be born. One who would unite the races of men and the Mulawin against the forces of evil. But before the child could be identified, the Ravena stole the Balasik from the Mulawin. With Balasik went the knowledge of the savior’s identity to the kingdom of Halconia.
That is how our hero’s and heroine’s journey begin.
--NOTE: Comes with English Subtitle Features---
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