The Legend of Makahiya

Once upon a time, there were a rich couple named Dondong and Iska. They had a 12 year old daughter named Maria whom they love deeply.

Maria was a responsible daughter, hard working and kindhearted. Because of her traits, everybody loved Maria.

Maria was also a shy young lady and because of her shyness, she was not fond of speaking with other people. She would blush every time somebody would greet her and she would just nod her head and wouldn’t utter a word. Because of this, she would often hide herself in her room so she wouldn’t have any chance of mingling with other people.

Maria loved taking of her flowers. She had a beautiful flower garden that was popular in their town. She took good care of the flowers in her garden. She loved it there; it’s in her garden that she found refuge and happiness.

One day, the townspeople heard horrifying news. A group of bandits came to a nearby town and killed all the people who tried to hide their money and other belongings from them. The next day, the group of bandits had reached the town where the family of Dondong, Iska and their daughter Maria lived. Dondong saw the group of bandits were heating towards them, so he decided to hide Maria in her flower garden to protect her from being killed by the bandits as well.

Iska and Dondong hid inside their house, frightened and shaken. She heard the bandits crushed their door and at that moment she silently prayed to protect them from whatever the bandits will do to them.

Iska cried out, “Oh Lord, my Lord, please save my daughter Maria.” At this time, the bandits had already broken down their door. They went in and hit Dondong on his head, he lost consciousness and fell down on the floor. Iska, on the other hand, tried to run and escape but she too was hit on her head and fell down and also lost consciousness.

The bandits knew they had a daughter and they searched the whole house to find the little girl but to no avail they couldn’t find Maria. They took all their money and jewelries and they left.

When Dondong and Iska regained consciousness, the bandits had already fled. They immediately ran towards the flower garden to find their young daughter Maria. Much to their surprise, Maria was gone! They tried to look for her everywhere but still they did not find Maria. They went back to the flower garden and searched on every corner but they didn’t find Maria.

“My daughter! They took away my daughter!” Iska was frantic and scared.

Suddenly, Dondong felt something pricked his foot. He was shocked with what he saw. He saw a small plant that quickly closes its leaves. It was the first time they ever saw such a unique plant. He stooped down to look at the plant more closely; Iska did the same thing too. They saw that the plant would open up and will close its leaves again once touched. Because of this, they believed that the plant was Maria. God made Maria into a plant to save her from those bandits.

Both Dondong and Iska couldn’t stop their tears from falling. As their tears dropped on the plant, they became little flowers that looked like little roses.

From then on, Dondong and Iska took good care of the plant. They believed and they knew that the plant was indeed their daughter Maria. Just like their daughter, the plant was also quite shy. Because of that, they called the plant “makahiya”, because they believe the plant was as shy as Maria. And from then on, the plant had been called “makahiya”.

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