Costume Candidate for 2013: Maria Makiling

Backers of our Kickstarter project will get to vote on which new costumes we do for 2013. This series of posts is designed to briefly introduce the many notable women and legendary figures we’ll be considering.

Maria Makiling is the most widely known and beloved diwata (fairy or nymph) of the Philippines. As the guardian spirit of Mount Makiling, she is depicted as a beautiful young woman in radiant white clothing, surrounded by the natural flora and fauna. She is shy but gracious and generous, often helping the local people. Stories abound of her giving away baskets of ginger that turn into gold. Other stories tell of her falling in love with mortal men. But she will not tolerate abuse, either of herself or her mountain, and punishes evil-doers by playing tricks on them.

It’s very likely that Maria Makiling is the modern folkloric version of a pre-Christian deity. Diyan Masalanta was the ancient Tagalog goddess of love, whose home was in the forest. When the Spanish arrived, it seems that Diyan Masalanta was renamed Maria Makiling (meaning, in the local parlance, “the woman of Makiling”) and recast as a fairy. And so she lives on, as enchanting as ever.

Think we should add a Maria Makiling costume to Take Back Halloween? Make sure you join our Kickstarter project so you can vote!

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2 Comments → “Costume Candidate for 2013: Maria Makiling”


  1. Jean Martin

    5yearsago

    Thanks Suzanne for adding a Filipina costume to your list of candidates! I’m Filipina and our culture is not often thought about in general outside of our community, and especially when it comes to costuming. The Filipino culture is very rich in folklore, traditions, etc. and is a wonderful and interesting mix of Eastern and Western influences. I will definitely vote for this one and am hoping to do this costume myself at some point. Thanks for the inspiration!


  2. Suzanne

    5yearsago

    Oh, Jean, I’m just sorry we don’t already have at least one Filipina costume in our catalog. We’ve received a number of requests. Maria Makiling is the most popular, but we also have Mayari, Tala, and Aman Sinaya on our list, as well as Urduja, Tandang Sora, and Gabriela Silang.

    I would love to see your Maria Makiling costume. Your outfits are always so beautifully done!