Diwata is inspired by the legend of Maria Makiling, goddess, forest nymph, and protector of the environment. This volume is divided into two parts – Part I features classic Filipino blooms like the sampaguita and kalachuchi, while Part II is all about our rare endemic plants like the waling-waling and jade vine. Explore the collections below:
The third volume for Una Artesana, titled "Diwata", is inspired by the legend of Maria Makiling.
In popular retellings, Maria Makiling was once the Tagalog Diwata (goddess) Dian Masalanta. As Dian Masalanta, she was revered as the goddess of love, childbirth and peace. Dian Masalanta loved humanity, so much so that she fell in love with a mortal man. This sacrilege angered the gods, and they banished her to earth. This did not trouble the goddess and she eventually came to settle on Mount Makiling.
During the Spanish colonial period she became known as Maria Makiling, a diwata, which in modern Filipino means "forest nymph" or "fairy" rather than "goddess". She is the protector of Mount Makiling, a dormant volcano in Luzon. To this day there are still stories and superstitions told of Maria Makiling by the folk who live by her domain.
In most stories, Maria Makiling is said to be a classic Filipina beauty with long black hair and a morena complexion, clad all in white. Sometimes she falls in love with the men who roam her forest. Those who get lost on the mountain are said to have been lured by the diwata and taken to her home to live the rest of their days in matrimonial bliss.
More than a beauty, Maria Makiling is also known to be kind and generous. The trees in her forest bear large fruits, which she allows those who are hungry to eat. In olden days villagers would also ask her for remedies for ailments, and she would gift them ginger from her garden which would later turn to gold.
As protector of her mountain domain she can be fierce and does not look kindly on those who are greedy and cruel. Even now, those who visit Mount Makiling are warned not to harm wildlife, steal plants, or litter. Those who do will be cursed by the diwata to roam the forest, lost forever. It is this aspect of Maria Makiling as nature spirit and protector that inspired this collection.