Cerita rakyat from Central Sulawesi
Legend of Batu Bagga
Long time ago in Sulawesi Island, lived a man named Intobu. He lived alone with his only son, named Impalak. They were poor. Everyday they work as fishermen. They went to the sea every night to catch fish, even in bad weather. Intobu always advised his son, “Being fishermen is our only income. Do not take the bad weather as our enemy.” Impalak nodded. “Yes, Father,” he replied.
Intobu and Impalak worked as fishermen for years. But, Impalak started to feel bored with the job. He wanted to try something new. He wanted to make a better living for his father and himself. One day, Impalak tried to talk to his father about his desire. “Father…, please forgives me,” Impalak felt hesitated. “What is it, my son?” Intobu was curious seeing his son’s strange attitude. “Father, actually I want to quit working as fisherman. I want to go abroad and try working something else,” explained Impalak.
Intobu was sad hearing his son’s decision, but he also wanted Impalak to be a successful person. “If that is your decision, I couldn’t do anything else but to allow you. I can only pray for your safety and success” said Intobu. “But I want you to always remember your homeland. Always remember your father,” he continued. “Yes, Father. I will remember. Thank you,” said Impalak happily.
In the next day, Impalak went to the harbor. He saw a bagga (sailboat) and went to see the owner. “Excuse me, Sir. I’m wondering if I can sail with you?” asked Impalak. The bagga’s owner was silent for a moment. “It’s not a problem for me. But why do you want to sail with me, and have you asked permission from your parents?” asked the bagga’s owner then. “I worked here as fishermen with my father, but I want to try my luck abroad. My father already agreed with my plan,” said Impalak. “All right, I will set sail tomorrow. Come met me here in the morning. And by the way, what’s your name?” asked the bagga’s owner. “Thank you, Sir. My name is Impalak, Sir,” Impalak answered happily.
Back in his house, Impalak told his father about the bagga boat. “When do you depart?” asked Intobu. “Tomorrow, Father,” answered Impalak. The next morning, impalak went to the harbor together with his father. The bagga was ready to set sail. “Hurry, Impalak!” shout the bagga’s owner. Impalak kissed his father’s hand, “I’m going, Father. Take care,” said Impalak. “Go, Son. My blessing is with you,” said Intobu. There were tears in his eyes as he saw the bagga leaving the harbor.
A few years passed. Every time Intobu saw a bagga boat, he always hoped that his son is coming home. But there’s no news at all from Impalak. One day, Intobu went fishing as usual. He used his small sampan and headed to the open water near the harbor. But then he saw a bagga heading to the harbor.
When the bagga was getting close to Intobu’s sampan, he saw a handsome young man standing in front of the bagga’s deck. The young man was accompanied by his beautiful wife. Intobu recognized the young man. He was Impalak, his son. “Impalak! Impalak, my son!” Intobu shout happily.
Impalak heard his father’s shouting, but he ignored him. “Honey, there’s someone down there calling your name. Is that your father?” asked his wife. “No, he’s not my father. Just ignore him, honey” Impalak was embarrassed to acknowledge his old father in front of his beautiful wife.
Intobu tried to row his sampan closer to the bagga, but suddenly there’s a big waves in the sea. Intobu’s sampan was hit by the waves and almost drowned. “Help… Help me… Impalak, help…!” Intobu was shouting, asking help from his son. But Impalak ignored his father. He even turned his bagga into the opposite direction from Intobu’s sampan.
Intobu’s heart was broken to see his son’s ignorance. His felling is mixed with sadness and anger. He looked into the sky and prayed, “Oh, God. Please hear my prayer. I curse that rebellious son’s bagga into stone.” Not long after Intobu said the prayer, a storm came and struck Impalak’s bagga. The wind blew so hard, pushing the bagga to the shore. Suddenly, the bagga and Impalak turned into stone. The stone still exist until now. People called it Batu Bagga (Bagga Stone).***