This April 8, it appears that there will be a Solar Eclipse. A Total Solar Eclipse will grace North America, casting its celestial shadow across Mexico, the United States, and Canada. This awe-inspiring event occurs when the Moon gracefully positions itself between the Sun and our Earth, completely obscuring the Sun’s radiant face. As the Moon’s silhouette aligns perfectly, the sky will darken, akin to the magical transition between dawn and dusk.

In Filipino culture, the Sun holds a significant place, both mythologically and practically. In the collage of Filipino beliefs and culture it is undoubtedly striking that eclipses are significant. Myth and oral narratives abound and Filipinos like other peoples are unique in its beliefs.

Bathala, the supreme deity in Filipino mythology, is believed to have created the Sun and the Moon as guardians of the Earth. These cosmic siblings have distinct roles in maintaining balance and order in the universe1.

According to local myths, the Sun was initially meant to illuminate the Earth. However, it ended up in the sky, leaving the Earth in darkness. This myth reflects the idea that the Sun has a purpose and power beyond mere illumination.

Indigenous Beliefs: Before Spanish colonization, indigenous tribes had their own superstitions based on animistic beliefs. These revolved around nature spirits and objects Solar eclipses were often explained through myths involving creatures devouring the Sun:
The bakunawa, a sea serpent in Philippine mythology, was said to consume the Sun after being attracted to it.

The Chinese believed a dragon gobbled up the Sun, while the Vietnamese associated the frog with sun-eating.

As a young boy, whenever Lunar Eclipse comes we shout Ginkakaon nah an Bakunawa an Bulan! (The Moon is being eaten by the Monster!) It was a terrifying shout from kids like us, it was phenomena that mere mortals are awed.

For those who are familiar with the Movie Apocalypto, where there is a scene where a Mayan High Priest was about to pluck out the heart of a sacrificial man, the Solar Eclipse comes to mind. It was the Solar Eclipse Phenomena that stops the priest in killing the protagonist, because the eclipse signifies an opposition to the killing. Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico (where totality begins at 11:07 a.m. MST or 1:07 p.m. EDT, lasting for an impressive 4 minutes and 20 seconds, this place were once part of the Mayan Empire, where brutal sacrificial killings were done to appease the Sun, where Solar Eclipse like this happening in that area , prevents the execution. Solar Eclipse are rare occurrence happening only at least 52 times every year and On average, it takes about 375 years for a total solar eclipse to happen again at the same location, emphasizing their rarity and significance.

Sadly, many executions were not put to stop because Solar Eclipse never came, and for that we shout Bakunawa, Bakunawa!