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Tala is the name of the goddess of stars in Tagalog mythology. Her origins are varied depending on region.

In one story, the sun god Arao and the moon goddess Buan both had large families of stars, but Buan believed her stars could not survive the heat of Arao's. They both agreed to destroy their stars. While Arao devoured his, Buan hid hers in the clouds, where they would occasionally emerge. Upon seeing this, Arao was filled with rage and is eternally in pursuit of the Buan, trying to destroy her. Eclipses are explained by Arao getting close enough to bite her. At dawn, Buan hides the stars and brings them forth only when her eldest daughter, Tala (the Venus and evening & morning star) says the sun is too far away to pursue them.

Derived from this myth are the Tagalog words tala, which means "bright star", araw (sun) and buwan (moon).

This story has very close parallels to stories among non-Filipino cultures such as the Bihari people (Bihar, Semang, and Sora tribes), Savara and the Bhuiya tribes.

In another myth, Tala is the daughter of Bathala and the sister of moon goddess Mayari, and Adlaw, the god of the sun.


  • Hill, Percy. A. Philippine Short Stories, 1934.
  • Rahamann, R. Quarrels and Enmity between the Sun and the Moon: A Contribution to the Mythologies of the Philippines, India, and the Malay Peninsula. Folklore Studies, 1955.

See also

  • Philippine Mythology