This video is the second entry (here’s #1 and #2) for the Live The Backpacker Life Contest, one of several contests I run throughout the year. The winner will get a free week of travel to anywhere in the world, including round-trip fare and hostel accommodations. For more travel videos check out my YouTube page and consider subscribing for email updates, RSS feed, or following me on Twitter.
Contest Video And Post By Dansk Santos
Now that I am based in Palau, an island in the Pacific, I’m seeing more unique and rich cultures which I would have never known in my entire life if I haven’t gone here. The Pacific Islands, like Palau, are not that popular to the majority. Or at least, from where I came from. This part of my road trip diary is centered on a cultured-based story, specifically a folklore.
Palau has a lot of interesting folklore stories but these stone monoliths stand out from the rest. Maybe because it is tangible unlike the others, but nevertheless, similar in each others wonders. The mystery behind this is said to be that these basalt-rock monoliths can only be found on certain places of the island and that they are actually miles and miles away from where the monoliths are standing. They are two thousand years old and although up to now no one really knows the real story on how they came to be, their ancestors believed in several things.
The stone monoliths were thought of as stands for the Bai house (gathering house) that was supposedly made for the demigods. The nocturnal workers kept it as secret as possible, only working at night and avoiding daylight but, when the sun rose upon them, they stopped and left the work unfinished. And so the stone monoliths came to be.
I was surprised to hear about the story and actually see the stones because they resemble those monoliths in the Eastern Island in Chile, the Maoi. Except that those stones came from a volcanic eruption and people decided to carve faces on them. However, in other places like England, they also have an unexplained story about the Stonehenge which is quite similar in Badrulchau Stone Monoliths. It’s a blissful experience coming across an ancient mystery in a very tiny island, almost unknown and hidden to the world, yet having such rich vast culture and preserved traditions.
From what I’ve seen so far, Palau is not just a tourist attraction because of its well known dive spots, rather, it’s a place where one can also look back to old tribal civilization and have time to reflect and understand the history of its own people, a civilization that has been long gone and historical imprints that are soon dying out.
These Badrulchau Stone Monoliths are not mere things for one to come and see, but to be looked at for what it is– its sense and its mystery. I have once again realized that mysteries are like magic, there is always an explanation for everything that is here in this universe, but mysteries can be delightful stories only when the mind can finally understand that imagination is more powerful than reason.