Many who have lived in Los Baños, Laguna have a special place in their heart for THE mountain. Bundok Makiling. Mt. Makiling. The cradle where Los Baños lies. Where mossy forests stand strong, and hot springs abound. The home of the lady Maria Makiling.
Who is she, this woman for whom the mountain was named? She’s a legend. She’s a story. She’s a well-known figure of Filipino folklore.
According to eyewitness, she was a young woman, tall and graceful with big black eyes and long and abundant hair. Her color was a clear pure brown, the kayumangging kaligatan, as the Tagalog say. Her hands and feet were small and delicate and the expression of her countenance always grave and serious. She was a fantastic creature, half nymph, halves sylph, born under the moonbeams of Filipinas, in the mystery of its ancient woods, to the murmur of the waves on the neighboring shore. According to general belief, and contrary to the reputation imputed to the nymphs and goddesses, Mariang Makiling always remained pure, simple, and mysterious as the genius of the mountain. An old maid servant we had, an Amazon who defended her house against the outlaws and once killed once of them with a lance thrust, assured me that she had in her childhood seen her passing in the distance over the reed grass so lightly and airily that she did not even make the flexible blades bend.
There are many tales told about her. Do you know of any more stories about Maria Makiling?
credit: as retold by Dr. Jose Rizal