Maria of Calaba: Bangued, Abra Philippines

Posted by queenmadison


A long time ago, there once roamed a beautiful lady named "Maria" in search of a place to stay. The old folk tell us that she had a beautiful face, with long flowing blond hair and wearing a white dress. Some people call her "Maria Clara" or "Maria Karamot" (because she had long nails), while others simply called her the "Sirena" or mermaid. It is believed that she has chosen the big rock by the Calaba River as her home.
Legend tells us that her nails could extend and reach far across the river to wrap around humans she wished to play with.
Like ordinary people, Maria is playful and knows how to love. Unfortunately, the people she loves or plays with often end up drowning in the river.
People living by Calaba River often strange sounds coming from the big rock. Sometimes they hear the Sirena singing, when she is in a good mood. There are also times when they hear her in the middle of the night washing clothes using the local "pakpak." The "pakpak" is like a small paddle used to pound clothes while washing. But what the people fear the most is when they hear the mermaid cry. This only means that another person will soon drown in the river.She cries because she is lonely and is in search of someone to be with, thus taking a human to join her in the deep. It has been told that she is usually heard crying when the river swells especially after a typhoon.
Some people claim that Maria sometimes walks around the town of Bangued, going to market or joining the procession during Holy Week right beside the image of the Blessed Virgin Mother.
By the big rock people have discovered a cave submerged in the water. They believe this is where she actually lives but no one dares enter.
To this day, many still believe she is there. Every year, a life is sacrificed in the Calaba River believed to be the doings of the legendary mermaid named Maria of Calaba.