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The Myth on the Gracious Maria Makiling

Makiling is a mountain between Laguna and Quezon and towers all over most major towns of Laguna. According to myths, it is guarded by a local nymph-god named Maria Makiling. Ever met her yet?

A lot of local and foreign poets have been inspired by the myth on Maria Makiling. One of them was the national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. There are countless myths and tales on her, and one of them is her kind disposition on both good and bad people.

This myth has it that Maria Mikiling, in earlier days, would be often seen roaming the forests of the mountain, or even visiting nearby towns around the foothills disguised as an old lady or teenage girl. She would dole out wealth to town folks who were in need by sending fruit baskets stashed with gold nuggets or pieces of expensive jewelry. The myth avers that she often sent newly weds precious stones as wedding gift. But as modernity became more pronounced in the nearby localities, the myth alleges that she had stopped doing so.

There were countless times when foreign hunters out to trace her tracks actually came face to face with her, says this myth, and had a sampling of her awesome fiery stares which were a mixture of angst, wrath, and gentleness. At times, says this myth, she would just let her vapory figure be felt or glimpsed as she crossed over shrubberies or fields with speed and grace. People would often see her gliding past, long hair waving in a mysterious wind, and her soft violin music filling the air with sweet serenity—another one of her liberality. According to this myth, her music and presence usually repaired the mountain forest after a fierce storm had passed by.

Once, the myth says, a hunter was after a wild bore which ran and hid under an old sagging hut deep in the forest. Suddenly a beautiful young lady came out of the hut and declared ownership of every wild creature in the mountain forest. The lady was said to be of native brown skin color, tall, long haired, with delicate hands and feet, and a serious but gentle countenance. She was visibly annoyed, and yet she treated the hunter with abundance of food, natural refreshment, and later sent him home with some jewelry.

The Philippine myth on the graciousness and liberality of Maria Makiling also reflects the legendary traits of a cultured and pure Filipina.

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