The Legend of Makahiya

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Makahiya (Sensitive plant)

Once upon a time, there was a couple named Mang Dondong and Aling Iska from Barangay Masagana (Pampanga today) who wanted to have a daughter. Their wish was granted when the wife gave birth to a baby girl. They called her Maria. Maria grew up to be a very beautiful, responsible, industrious and kindhearted girl. However, she was very shy, a characteristic which restricted her from going out of the house. Talking to people seemed a great burden to her.

Maria had a flower garden where she takes care of the plants patiently and tenderly. The plants were beautifully tendered since these flower plants are a source of her enjoyment and happiness.

News spread that a group of bandits had been raiding the nearby village, killing every man they found and stealing money from the residents. Until one day, the bandits came and plundered the whole town where Mang Dondong and Aling Iska live. Fearing their daughter's safety, they hid Maria in the garden while Aling Iska hid herself in the house. Mang Dondong was hit in the head and lost consciousness. Aling Iska tried to escape but was also hit in the head. After they had both regained consciousness, they immediately looked for their daughter. Unfortunately, the couple couldn't find Maria, instead thy found a little plant that is very sensitive that when you touch it, its leaves would immediately close.

The couple looked at it for quite some time and came to the belief that it was their daughter, Maria. They called the plant "makahiya" which means, "touch me not," like their daughter who was very shy.

Aling Iska wept uncontrollably and to Mang Dondong's amazement, every tear was transformed into a small and rosy flower of the new plant they found in the garden.

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