The story of Maria Makiling and the magical painting

in OCDlast year

I have known Maria Makiling to be a diwata or fairy who protects Mount Makiling in Laguna province. That is according to our mythology during my elementary school days, by the way. It is not that I saw a fairy but I wish. 🧚‍♀️

Maria Makiling

... is the most widely known diwata in Philippine mythology[1] and was venerated in pre-colonial Philippines as a goddess known as Dayang Masalanta or Dian Masalanta who was invoked to stop deluges, storms, and earthquakes.


I mentioned on my quarantine challenge post, and also on one or two of my previous posts, that I hoarded sets of calendars from years ago because of the nice posters they have. I want to make those posters wall decors by framing them. For this particular poster, it came from a 2018 calendar.

I took the old calendar down from the wall at home in the province on the 31st of December 2018 when I replaced it with 2019 version. I kept the posters at home but then I did not have time with my framing plan every time I go home. I eventually decided to take the posters with me here in Metro Manila so I can work on them during my free time. Here now is my free time.


I thought of having the frame in gold tone so I went looking for such. However, there was no ready-mixed gold paint. I painstakingly checked with three hardware stores but no luck. I was looking spray acrylic paint back then. Out of nowhere I thought maybe I could try poster paints so I went to a National Bookstore branch. To my surprise, they have acrylic paint but not the spray version. And, there was also no gold mix. There was gold mix but was poster color, not acrylic paint. I quickly searched Google of what colors I need to mix to produce gold and the result, which I can no longer find now, said yellow and brown so that are what I bought. I also bought a small volume of gold poster color to be my baseline of the mix that I will prepare.


I was so excited whem I got home with the colors. I immediately mixed the yellow and brown colors. And guess what I got? Still brown! Only lighter but almost not noticeable as compared to the pure brown paint.

The next photo shows the differences. The first one from left was pure brown, the one on the middle is the mix of yellow and brown and the last one is the gold postee color. On first glance, do you spot any difference between the first two?

I thought of adding another bottle of yellow color to the mixture but haven't had the chance to go back to the book store until the quarantine was imposed. I have to live with what I have unless I delay the framing further. But no. The quarantine is my chance.


I recycle cardboards as frames. Aside from the convenience of cutting them up easily, the cardboards certainly make me save as compared to wooden frames. The challenge with cardboards though is it not as sturdy as wood. Add to that the corrugation in the middle because the cardboards are not solid. Due to the cardboarss being pliable, I thought of using two layers on the front and just one on the back. I ended up with two each.

The front frames are about 6.5 cm wide, the back ones are about 4.5 cm.

The corrugation in the middle of the cardboards must be closed up to be protected from dust and other particles over time. I thought of using putty but then again, I havem't had the time to buy one before the quarantine. There must be a way now.

I thought of covering the frames with colored paper. But I do not have colored papers too! In the middle of a quarantine. Again, there must be a way. Then viola! My old newspapers caught my attention. These will entail more work because I have to paint all over unlike colored paper that I can opt to keep it as is. However, the old newspapers will do. That is better than nothing and I do not make any progress during the quarantine.

Only one sheet of newspaper to cover the frames is not enough. I do not feel it proportional to the thickness of the cardboard so I used three sheets.


Painting comes next after the frame was covered. Here is the painted one. See my epic fail gold frame. It does not even look brown but dark chocolate. What surprised me is the wooden look outcome. I was not expecting it but I was so glad for the accidental but better result.


Attaching the clear plastic cover (glass cover can not be used with the cardboard) came next and was a real challenge. I used double-sided tape that was very sticky that the plastic got stuck even before I put it in the right place and angle. I thought I would tear the newspaper cover at the back when I was fixing the plastic cover. It is still a little misaligned as I was not able to stretch it well and the other side got really stuck. You may notice the wave due to the misalignment. I had to give in and leave it at that. Otherwise, I will ruin the cover big time!


By the way, I mentioned on my quarantine challenge that I will finish framing one of the calendar posters before this month ends. Now guess what? I was so challenged that I did not sleep the night after I wrote my challenge until I finished the major tasks of the project. Then I worked on finishing touches the following day.

Next is to fix the poster on the back plate of the frame. The plate is again a plain cardboard but I did not cover it with newspaper this time. I just covered all the sides with tapes to cover the corrugation.

Maria Makiling is the guardian spirit of the mountain, responsible for protecting its bounty and thus is also a benefactor for the townspeople who depend on the mountain's resources. In addition to being a guardian of the mountain, some legends also identify Laguna de Bay-and the fish caught from it-as part of her domain. She was sent by Bathala to aid the people of the area in their everyday life.[2]

Finally, I stuck the back plate to the frame. I was so excited to see the end result. But here is first the back side of the frame. I got stingy and did not paint it as consistently as the front side. No one will be watching that anyway.

And yes, I was yet to buy hook so I had to improvise something to hang the frame. I just stitched durable yarn loops in there.

It is often said that Mount Makiling resembles the profile of a woman, said to be Maria herself. This phenomenon is described as true from several different perspectives, so there is no single location associated with this claim. The mountain's various peaks are said to be Maria's face and two breasts, respectively, and her hair cascades downwards a gentle slope away from her body.[1]

Here now is what I thought as the final product. However, the dark theme struck me. The poster background is already dark. It looks darker with the dark brown frame. I have to do something nut certainly not repaint. I do not have enough volume of other colors anyway.


I dug into my sewing box and saw a roll of gold ribbon. Yay, perfect! I ran ribbon along the middle of the frame to accentuate it and at the same time lighten the poster's mood. I was pleased with the result. This certainly looks livelier and more colorful than without the ribbon.


Now you met one of our diwatas and learned the story of the magical painting. Oh well, isn't it magic that I was able to finish the remaining part of a project within 24 hours when my target is within 20 days? 😊

On to the next poster from the same calendar set. Who knows I may be able to finish the remaing five posters of the set before the quarantine ends...

How about you, peeps? What keeps you busy during a quarantine?

This is also posted here.