Bandar Seri Begawan - The legends surrounding Bukit Tempayan Pisang can be promoted to attract tourists.
This suggestion was yesterday made by Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Awg Othman when he officially launched the Bukit Tempayan Pisang Recreational Park in Kg Kapok.
The hill (bukit) and the caves in the area are a source of interesting folk tales, which he said, could be researched and told to tourists and also young children.
According to local legend, Bukit Tempayan Pisang in Kampong Kapok was once believed to be the home of Bunian princesses, the supernatural beings who on the 14th day and 15th day of every month and during full moon, played with 'kemala' stones that emitted a bright light and held 'celestial' powers.
It was because of the supernatural powers of the stones that a feud broke out between the Bunian princesses and the guardian of Mount Kinabalu.
According to legend, in the battle to possess the mystical stones, the guardian of Mount Kinabalu used a mortar, while the Bunian princesses fought back using only banana stems which were placed in large earthen jars (tempayan).
It was the Bunian princesses' use of the banana stems and earthen jars that led to the hill being named 'Tempayan Pisang'.
The princesses only managed to keep two of the stones, while the remaining five were seized by the guardian of Mount Kinabalu. Despite that, the princesses continued to play with the two remaining stones during full moon.
Legend has it that up till the 1940s, residents living in the vicinity could see lights coming from the Bukit Tempayan Pisang every full moon.
The two caves - Radat Cave and Harimau Cave - located somewhere at the top of the hill are also associated with myths.
Radat Cave was named after Awang Radat, a resident of Kampong Serasa, known for his bravery and supernatural powers. It was believed he often, particularly during the full moon, went to the cave to meet a Bunian princess, who he later married.
Harimau (tiger) cave, as its name suggests, was once believed to be a home to two tigers. According to the legend, a newly-wed couple, Awang Mawar and Dayang Mawar were heading towards Tanjung Kemuning in Kampong Kapok from Kampong Serasa on foot, crossing the Tempayan Pisang Hill. During their journey, the wife had to make a stop but she insisted that the husband continue and that she would follow suit.
But after a while, after noticing that his wife had failed, to catch up, the man back-tracked, only to find his wife's shredded clothes, droplets of blood and tiger paw prints on the ground. The paw prints led him to the cave where he saw two tigers devouring his already lifeless wife.
Although he succeeded in the killing the tigers, his shame and guilt over his wife's death eventually led to his suicide.
Transformation works on the Bukit Tempayan Pisang Recreational Park started in November 2011 and were completed in June last year.
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