Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ang Alamat ni Mariang Makiling

Everytime we go home to Lukban, Quezon. We pass upon two huge mountains, Mt. Makiling along Los Banos, Laguna and Mt. Banahaw, in Quezon. If the kids get impatient and rowdy, as usual asking the proverbial question, "Are we there yet?" It's time for Mommy to concoct tales from the passenger seats, and entertain her listening public of 3 boys (Baby Ivan, Kuya Hans and Daddy Ted).

One of these stories is the Alamat ni Mariang Makiling (in reference to the beautiful slopes of Bundok ng Susong Dalaga, which we were passing through), of course, I could not talk about the Maiden's Breast to the kids. They're content with the Mariang Makiling legend.

And so it goes,
" Once upon a time, in the mountains of Mt. Makiling, there lived a beautiful fairy called Mariang Makiling. She is kind-hearted lady, a friend of all the birds, animals and people of the land. She's also very generous, and the townsfolks go to her, when they needed to borrow things for their events like weddings, christenings, etc.
But as the years passed by, the people changed. Instead of being thankful for all the kindness of Mariang Makiling. They abused her kindness, by not returning the things they borrow, by hunting the animals in the forest and throwing their trash in the forest.
Because of man's activities, the fairy shied away from the people. She went deeper into the forest, not bothering to associate with the townsfolks again.

Coming from New Year Celebration in my hubby's hometown Lukban, Quezon, we decided to drop by UP Los BaƱos and have a picnic at the Makiling Botanical Garden. I know Makiling Botanical Garden during our courtship days. Ted and I visited it once and we were amazed at the huge old trees still preserved.

We bought lunch at KFC outside UPLB. One pays only 10 Php /person to get inside the park. It was 2 days after New Year, we had the park to ourselves! The scene was quiet and serene. The greenery was refreshing. Like in any picsnics, huge ants want to share your food.

We followed the cemented trails inside the park. We saw huge Narra, Yakal and Molave Trees. We also passed thru a small stream. We could have gone deeper into the forest but we were pressed for time.

Inside the park, we also saw the beautiful flower Medenilla Magnifica. I recall that Myra, my former colleague in ABS-CBN did a segment or something about this flower. I can't recall what makes it special, either it is endemic locally or was developed by a local scientist. I knew we've seen it somewhere in the mountains during our mountain climbing days.

If you want a cheap and fun day getaway. I highly recommend Makiling Botanical Park. The kids can run around, learn a thing or two about nature. You yourself will also get refreshed. Best of all, it doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

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