Mount Makiling has been a s staple destination for mountaineers and adventure seekers alike.
Trails from UPLB and Sto. Tomas, Batangas have been trekked and enjoyed by people of various races.
Also, legend has it that this strato volcano has long been identified as a place with a “guardian fairy”.
There are many stories woven about this guardian spirit. Most of them deal with her helping the poor and the sick, in the guise of a peasant girl. The precious things she lend the country folk are said to be returned to her, along with the offering of a young pullet with feathers white as milk.
A hunter has recounted a face-to-face encounter with the enigma herself. He was hunting a wild boar, he said, deep into the forest where Mariang Makiling lived. The boar suddenly crashed into some bushes and the hunter, fearing that he would not find it again, dived in after it. When he came to his feet he saw a small hut, and witnessed his prey entering it. He followed the boar into the hut, thinking it deserted, and then he came face to face with a beautiful maiden standing by the boar, who was meek in her presence. The maiden said “This boar is mine and you must not harm it. But I see that you are tired and hurt. Come in, eat, and then go your way.”
The hunter felt compelled to obey her. He sat down at her table, and she served him a porridge that he found was unlike anything he had ever tasted. It invigorated him, and after eating, he felt healed. As a parting gift, Mariang Makiling filled his peasant hat, called a salakot, with yellow ginger.
The hunter, on his way home from the forest, found that his salakot was growing heavier and heavier, and so he broke a few pieces of ginger in half and threw some bits away. Upon coming home, he handed Maria Makiling’s gifts to his wife, who found that the salakot, instead of containing ginger, as her husband claimed, contained gold. The hunter regretted having thrown away a few bits of ginger/gold along the way.
Mariang Makiling is said to be more than compassionate. Once, there lived a young farmer who always seemed to be blessed. His fields were never touched by any calamity, and his livestock were always in good health. The people of his village say he is endowed with a charm, or mutya, as it is called, that protected him and his from harm. The young man himself was good at heart and simple in spirit. But he was quiet and secretive, and would not say much of his stranger activities, which included frequent visits into the wood of Mariang Makiling.
But there came a terrible time for him and his family. War had come to his fair land, and army officers came, recruiting unmarried young men who were in perfect health. So that the young man would stay safely in the village, his mother arranged for him a marriage with a most beauteous daughter of a wealthy family. Upon finding this out, the young man became more sullen than ever.
He visited Mariang Makiling’s wood one last time, a few days before his marriage. Mariang Makiling lent him a dress and some jewelry, for his wife to wear on their wedding day. “I would that you were consecrated to me,” she said sadly, “but you need an earthly love, and you do not have enough faith in me besides. I could have protected you and your family.” This having been said, she disappeared. The young man went back to his village with Mariang Makiling’s gifts, and presented them at once to the girl he would marry.
But the girl did not care for Mariang Makiling’s gifts. Instead she wore the pearls and dresses her mother had handed down.
Mariang Makiling was never seen by the peasants again, nor was her humble hut ever rediscovered.
images from: community-2.webtv.net