The Legend Of Maria Cristina Falls
Known as "the twin falls," Maria Cristina Falls has always been an attraction to locals and tourist alike. Located in Iligan City in the Mindanao region of the Philippines, the falls has been the source of the province hydroelectric, 70% of it is generated from the falls that is 320 feet high.
The city has been known as "City of Majestic" waterfalls because of its more than 20 falls that can be found in the city. But of all those, there's one waterfall that stands out, and that is the Maria Cristina Falls.
There are more than one legend that goes on how the beautiful waterfall came to be, but here's one of the legend that I wanted to share. What's this legend about the Maria Cristina waterfall?
There was once a Sultan who gained fame because of his daughter's beauty. The maiden's name is Maria Cristina. But Maria Cristina was adopted, the said Sultan wasn't her real father, instead her biological father was a fisherman from the province of Romblon. Yes, they were poor but they were contented, as long as they were all together, that's all that matters. Every rainy season, Cristina would eagerly help her father on planting in their small piece of land.
(What is a Sultan? A Sultan is a ruler in the Islamic region of the country.)
But how did the beautiful Maria Cristina got into the territory of the Sultan?
That happened when one day the Sultan raided their town. All the people scattered and went up the hill to hide. Cristina was so little back then that she wasn't aware, or it hadn't sink in to her what was going on around her. The Sultan's underlings saw her and abducted her but Cristina's father saw it and gave a good fight. Sadly, her father got killed and she was taken away.
The Sultan's underlings presented their captive, the poor little girl to the Sultan. Maria Cristina was so beautiful that the Sultan decided to adopt her. He treated her like as if she's his own child. The Sultan became even more popular to villages near and far because of Cristina's beauty. She became the most beautiful maiden and suitors influx from neighboring villages.
One of Maria Cristina's avid suitor was the son of another Sultan, a well-built and handsome nobleman. And know what? Of all her suitors, he is the lucky one that had captured the heart of the beautiful Maria Cristina. Later on, the young man decided to ask for Cristina's hand, and soon after that a big wedding was set.
The two are so happy and looking forward to their married life. They went to a creek which is their favorite spot and there, they set their plans and imagined all the things they want to do in their future.
But concealed to them, there was a witch who was envious of Maria Cristina, of her beauty and fate with the young nobleman. She vowed that the oncoming wedding would not happen.
Maria Cristina remembered her mother few nights before her wedding day. She hadn't seen her mother since she was abducted, and that was a long time ago. Feeling sad with all the thoughts of her mother, Maria Cristina went to the creek, on the big rocks which is her favorite spot, there she sit and she cried all the sadness inside. Her fiancé had promised her that they would go to Romblon, her province, to reunite with her mother after their wedding. She closed her eyes and reminisced the days where she was still a young child. Those happy days with her mother and father.
She was in such a state when the ugly witch came from behind her. She thought it was her fiancé and it surprised her to see the ugly maiden instead.
"I loved him before he even came to know you. He's mine and your wedding will never happen!" said the witch to her. "Go ahead and cry yourself out."
Hearing this made Maria Cristina cry even more. She didn't know that despite her happiness with her beloved fiancé, there was a raging heart she wasn't even aware of.
"You will never have the man I love. You just took him away from me. You are going to turn into a mountain before your wedding day! And your tears will flow to the town, heading to the sea," said the raging witch.
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At last, the long awaited day arrived, the wedding day. Everyone wondered as Maria Cristina didn't show up. And it was even a surprised when they saw a mountain that as if it was in tears. Water falls from atop flowing into the town and formed a river.
"This fall just showed up out of nowhere. And it wasn't here before," murmured the people to their amazement. "And where could Cristina be? Today's her day."
The witch burst out in laughter and answered. "See that falls? That's Maria Cristina. So you don't have to look for her. Her tears would flow to the town, and form a river to Iligan City."
The witch who cursed Cristina hadn't been seen again. And that's the legend of Maria Cristina Falls. The twin falls looks like tears flowing from the eyes of the beautiful maiden, and so the people named it after her, Maria Cristina.
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- Ang mga Alamat - Gintong Aral
For those who might be looking or wanting to read the legend in Filipino version, you can visit gintongaral website.