One of our popular local myths involves Maria Makiling, the resident diwata (fairy) of the namesake mountain in Laguna. She once walked among humans but was distraught by the environmental destruction they’ve caused and was never seen since. I like to think of the possibility of her return via our collective effort in rehabilitating the forests of her mountain home. As she offers some fruits to a child in this idealized future, she gestures that it must be kept a secret – lest we repeat the mistakes of the past. We ought to not just reconnect with our roots, but also nurture them better, as Philippine mythology provides a vast world for environmental education.

Prompt by: Pachi パチ . Metro Manila, Philippines