The Legend Of The Dama De Noche Flower (Lady Of The Night)
Dama de noche is a shrub that bears white flowers when in full bloom that gives off a sweet aroma at night.
And while making this hub, I could just close my eyes and imagine those nights I came from my night class 6 years ago, walking toward the front porch on a quiet night, I could smell the sweet fragrance of dama de noche, my aunt, (who now passed away) had planted. Now, we had moved to a different location and had our own dama de noche my uncle had given my mom. The shrub was growing healthy and had already bloomed last year and we just love the smell of it. It is just simply peaceful and romantic with the plant spreading its sweet smell on a moonlit night.
And speaking of the legend of the dama de noche, here is a beautiful story I wanted to share about how did the dama de noche came to be the fragrant flower we now love.
A long time ago, the communities and small villages in the Philippines were ruled by sultan's and datu's (tribal chief.) These leaders were loved, served and very well respected by their people. These rulers can do whatever they wish and that includes the woman they intended to marry as they can choose whoever they want to be their wife.
Just like the status of Datu Makisig. He was already well built and elegant even at a young age which is why a lot of maiden's by the neighboring villages wanted to be his wife. And this wasn't just ordinary maidens, these are the daughters of other rulers. But no one of the maidens had captured the heart of the Datu Makisig.
One day, the young datu visited the farthest part of his region and he spotted a beautiful maiden. Her name was Dama. Although being poor, Dama was a real beauty. Datu Makisig courted Dama, even showing to the parents of the lovely maiden how much he loves the lady. He won her heart and not long after that, they got married.
Dama made a good, caring wife to the datu. And her presence beautified the small village of Datu Makisig. Not only that, she keeps the datu's place neat and tidy and she makes decorations to put in. Dama always prepare delicious foods for her husband and even to his visitors.
"You are so lucky about your wife, datu. She's not only a beauty and kind-hearted woman. She cooks well too," the people praises the couple.
And for her husband to have a good sleep, Dama would spray perfume on their room.
The couple had been happy for many years. But there's one happiness Dama couldn't give her husband, a heir. And this has been the reason why Datu Makisig had changed toward his wife, Dama. He would no longer eat meals Dama cooks and he wouldn't come home at night on some occasions. He rarely talks to his wife now.
Dama had been sorrowful on how her beloved husband had changed, but instead, she worked harder to served and pleased her husband. There are nights Dama wouldn't eat and sleep just to wait for his husband to come home. This weakened her body. Few days later, Dama was ill.
At last, one night the datu came home, and as usual he smelled the sweet perfume his wife Dama used to spray on their room. But this time, as he entered the room he saw Dama lying on their bed, badly ill.
"Our beloved ruler, your wife was severely ill," said the healers of the village as they sit and watch over the sick Dama.
Datu Makisig felt sorry to what happened to his ill wife. He caressed her cheek, hugged and kissed her and asked for forgiveness.
Dama was so happy the datu came home. She opened her eyes and look at her beloved husband with a smile in her lips.
"Thank you for coming home my love. I want to serve you more but God wants to take me away now," she whispered to her husband in a weak voice. "Goodbye my beloved datu."
The whole village mourned. Datu Makisig repented to what he had done, as he realized he loved his wife dearly. The lonely datu found a strange, green plant sprouting to the grave of his beautiful wife. He took real good care of the plant and he prayed to God to keep the small plant in Dama's grave healthy and green.
Days and weeks went by. The green plant he was taking care of grew and prospered to be a shrub and it developed flowers.
" I thank you Creator for keeping this plant alive and verdant," he whispered. " Thank you for listening to my prayers and leaving me a memory of my beloved Dama."
That very night as the datu entered the room to retire for the night, he smelled Dama's perfume that she used to spray on their room for him to have a good rest. It was as if Dama was there. He looked everywhere on his room to find where the sweet perfume was coming from, but he can't find it.
And there, he can smell the fragrance again, from the open window. And it seems like it was coming from the grave of his wife, Dama. He hurriedly went out the yard and headed to the tomb of Dama where the shrub is growing.
Since then, every night Datu Makisig can be found sitting beside the strange plant, smelling the sweet fragrant flowers her beloved Dama had left him as a token.
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Years went by and the Spaniards arrived to the Philippines. They got into the small village Datu Makisig was ruling. And what did they noticed? They noticed the verdant shrub surrounding the residence of the datu. As they asked the villagers, the Spaniards learned the love story behind the flowers which sweet fragrance can only be smelled at night.
And because the aroma can only be smelled starting at dusk, and that because it sprouted in the grave of Dama and it smells like the perfume she used, they started calling the shrub Dama de noche.
Books of legends, folklore, and myths
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