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In Philippine mythology, a diwata or encantada is a mythological figure similar to fairy creatures.


Diwata comes from the Indonesian Dewata which originates in the Hindu Devata. A male diwata is called engkanto (sometimes spelled as Encanto, Encantado, or Encantada) and resides primarily in the sea.


Diwara are usually described as beautiful and seemingly ageless humanoids. This may take the form of not having a philtrum or having continuously smooth and supple skin that somehow resemble fingernails, without any wrinkled parts as in the elbows and knees. They also tend to be fairer than average, as pale skin has been associated with the supernatural even during pre-colonial times (for example, the "white lady" belief is prevalent in the East and Southeast Asian regions), though the characteristics of having nose bridges and blonde hair are suspiciously colonial in nature.


Diwata are said to reside in large trees, such as acacia and balete. They are the guardian spirits of nature, bringing blessing or curses upon those who bring benefits or harm to the forests and mountains. One such famous Diwata is Maria Makiling, guardian of the Mount Makiling in Laguna province.

It is a customary way for Filipino fishermen to offer meat and other delicacies to the engkanto by throwing it onto the sea, after a day of bountiful harvest.


In the Tagbanua mythology, the diwatas are considered equivalent to other creation gods such as, Bathala and Kan-Laon, in the sense that, they are also creators of the world and of the human beings. Although Mangindusa is considered their supreme being, he was traditionally more of a punisher of crime (dusa) rather than the sole "creator" of the world.

Some prominent diwatas include:

  • Maria Makiling, guardian of Mount Makiling in Laguna province
  • Maria Sinukuan, guardian of Mount Arayat in Pampanga province
  • Maria Cacao, guardian of Mount Lantoy in Argao, Cebu
  • Maria Magayon , guardian of Mount Mayon in Albay

In other parts of the Philippines, diwata is analogous to the Greek gods and goddesses. Some of the famous Diwata are:

  • Apolake (or Adlaw), god of the sun
  • Amanikable, the ruler of the seas
  • Anitan, the guardian of lightning.
  • Bathala (also known as Kabunian, Malayari, Apo, and Lumawig) the ruler of the heavens
  • Dian Masalanta the goddess of love,
  • Mayari (or Bulan in other areas), the goddess of the moon,
  • Tala, goddess of the stars



In the comics character created by Gener Pedrina for the Sandman Universe, Diwata is a half-human and half-encantada whose real name is Maria Klarissa Valiente.


In the television sitcom Okay ka, Fairy Ko created by MZET productions, diwatas live in a mythical world named Enkantasya where Ina Magenta is the Queen of the Diwatas. Ina Magenta's daughter, Fey, is married to Enteng Kabisote, a human.

In the GMA Network's fantasy television series Encantadia and Mulawin, Diwatas are a race of supernatural being living in Encantadia, a dimension beyond the human world. Some diwatas have pointed ears like elves, one of them is Cassiopeia and some resemble fairies, like Muyak, but many of them are human-like. All diwatas and encantados reside in the Kingdom of Lireo.

A diwata or an encantado that has a royal blood is called Sang'gre (probably coined from Dan Brown's The Davinci Code, which can be distinguished by their markings on their back, the nga character from the Baybayin script. The Queen of the Diwatas in Lireo carries the title of Ynang Reyna. Lirean society is matriarchal and only a Sangg're in the matriarch line may ascend the throne.

The term, lambana, an old Tagalog word for a drawing symbol or picture that represents a deity of the ancient pagan religion of the Tagalog people was recently used in fantasy-themed television shows such as ABS-CBN's Pedro Penduko as a term for "small fairies".


Diwata is a Filipino singer-comedienne who made a mark with the Tagalog remake of the English song "Sincerely" and became well known with "Sisirin Mo," a naughty song with double meaning that titillated the masses' imagination from her self titled album "Diwata". This album launched a whole new genre of songs that shocked the sensibilities of the predominantly Catholic Philippines in the year 2001.


Diwata is the primary character in the play Speech and Debate written in 2007 by Stephen Karam. The character constitutes an ironic representation of the Diwata, as an awkward, socially rejected high school student intent on creating her own club to catalyze the downfall of her closed-minded drama teacher.

In the comics character created by Gener Pedrina for the Sandman Universe, Diwata is a half-human and half-encantada whose real name is Maria Klarissa Valiente.