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The Center for Southeast Asian Studies > Ub-ufok Ad Fiallig Overview > Teaching Modules > Module 9. Kopkoppatti: Analyzing Greed: How a Babaylan taught a greedy man a lesson

Module 9. Kopkoppatti: Analyzing Greed: How a Babaylan taught a greedy man a lesson

Video coming soon


This story is about an old man named Wawwus who encountered an old woman with magical powers.  Derived from the narrative of Arfonso Nacleo.





Greed is a selfish and excessive desire for more of something, such as money, food, power, than is needed. In this lesson plan, students will be discuss greedy characters in this story and drawing parallels to current events.


  1. Students discuss the story. What did they think of Wawwus? How about Kopkoppatti? What did they find interesting about the story? Who do you think was Kopkopatti? Do you think she  a babaylan (Shaman)?

What is a Babaylan?

Most indigenous communities across the Philippines have at least one babaylan (visayan term for shaman) in their clan or community. They have many names such as baglan, djin, mananambal (healer) and babaylanes, among others. Her strength lies in healing, wisdom and performing sacred tasks such as planting, weaving, dancing, and chanting. Her greatest strength lies in her ability to mediate between people and spirits especially those who control nature.

Since nature is unconquerable, those who have the ability to concentrate this force are believed to possess great powers. According to Cacayan, the “shaman woman who was once considered superior, may be equal to her male counterpart in status, but she is special in that she renders her gift not only through healing, but also through hard work, child-rearing, creation, and peacekeeping.”

2. Students discuss what Greed means.

3. Have them analyze each character. Who are the greedy characters? How did each greedy character’s behavior affect the other characters?  Are there stories about greed in your culture? If so, please share with your classmates. How did Kopkoppatti teach Wawwus a lesson?

CRITICAL THINKING: Greed in the Cordilleras

Have students read the following articles:

1.Cordillera Peoples Alliance. “Indigenous Peoples Rights”

2. Cordillera Peoples Alliance. “Mining”

3.(UPDATE) Arroyo, Mining And Greed are Culprits of Landslides and Flooding by ABS-CBN Reporter Jenny Reyes.

Have them reflect on the following questions as they read the articles.

1.What is the Cordillera Peoples Alliance? What is their stance on Indigenous Peoples Rights? How about on Mining?

2.Where did the landslides and flooding take place? How far is it from Barlig?

3. Why are people angry at the government?

4. How does mining cause landslides and flooding? (Hint: The roots of trees keep the soil in place and prevent erosion during heavy rain. Trees are uprooted and the soil are dug out during mining as minerals are extracted from the earth).

5. Students identity the greedy people in this news article.

6. Students reflect and discuss the effects of mining on indigenous land.

7. What should the government have done to protect the people? 


Students draw parallels to their culture. What are examples of greed that they have seen in their own communities? What are some of the ways they can do to confront this type of problem? What are the lessons they can learn from Kopkopatti’s story?