Maria Cacao is an enduring figure in Cebuano folklore. She is an archetype of the engkanto, a supernatural being that interacts with humans in rare circumstances. Whether for a benevolent or malicious reason, the interaction between humans and engkantos always follows game rules, and these are almost always violated resulting to a loss of relationship. This feeling of loss found in the story of Maria Cacao and other folk tales conveys a pervasive moral: take care of nature or it will disappear and never come back.
This online exhibit is based on the book “Maria Cacao sa Siglo 21.” The text is written by Haidee Palapar whose years of experience in documenting folklore and creative writing enabled her to synthesize this enigmatic, migratory tale. Josua Cabrera, on the other hand, an artist strongly informed by his profession as an editorial cartoonist, culled lyrical visuals out of the narrative.
The story of Maria Cacao is not just a fairy tale. It offers a glimpse into the Cebuano worldview that sees the supernatural as a given in reality. We invite you, visitor, to venture into our world through this online exhibit.
Casa Gorordo Museum
February 10, 2021