Maria Cacao

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Maria Cacao
Title Maria Cacao
Description Philippine diwata
Gender Female
Region Mount Lantoy, Argao, Cebu
Equivalent Maria Makiling
Maria Sinukuan

Maria Cacao is the diwata (fairy) or mountain goddess associated with Mount Kanlaon in Argao, Cebu, Philippines, similar to Maria Makiling of Los Baños and Maria Sinukuan of Mount Arayat.

The basic form of the legend is that whenever rains flood the river that comes from Mount Lantoy, or a bridge is broken, this is a sign that Maria Cacao and her husband Mangao have either traveled down the river in their golden ship so that they can export their crops, or traveled up the river on their way back.[1] She is supposed to live inside a cave in the mountain and the Cacao plants outside it are supposed to be her plantation.[2] While the story is obviously mythical in nature, it is cited as evidence of how long the production of tableya, has been going on in the area.[1] Tableya is Cebuano for round, unsweetened chocolate tablets made from cacao beans. It is a crucial ingredient in the Filipino delicacies sikwate (chocolate) and champorado.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Argao: A Portrait of a Town
  2. ^ Maria Cacao: Ang Diwata ng Cebu (Maria Cacao: The Fairy of Cebu) Rene O. Villanueva
  3. ^ "How Tableya is made in Argao, Cebu". Retrieved 2008-07-17.