At the foot of Mt. Alindayat in Pampanga, Philippines, a beautiful maiden by the name of Ara Ayat lived. She was an orphan and is only living with her sick grandmother. Around their small nipa hut, various fruit-bearing trees grow. There are also numerous vegetables, rootcrops, and flowering plants. Ara Ayat patiently cares for these plants. She also tills the soil of their nearby farm regularly.
Since their house is far from civilization and Ara doesn’t go to town often because she can’t live her sick grandma, she’s not well-known to the townspeople.
One day, while Ara was gardening, an unknown young gentleman called her attention.
“Good day to you, lady. Can I ask for a favour?” asked the gentleman. “Good day to you to. What can I do for you?” answered Ara Ayat. “Can I ask for a glass of water? I am really thirsty,” said the gentleman. Ara lead him inside the house and gave him the water.
Meanwhile, she heard three knocks from her grandmother’s room. She went inside and was shocked by the paleness of her grandmother. Grandma summoned her to come closer and asked for her hand. Ara was more shocked by the coldness of her grandmother’s hand. Her grandma gave her one final blessing and closed her eyes and died. Ara broke down. She wailed upon the loss of her only relative. This loud cry made the gentleman panic so she knocked on the door and went inside the room. She was stunned by the dead body of the old lady. He pitied Ara and tried to console her. “I am really sorry for your loss, lady. If you will let me, I can help you bury her. I also understand that you are now alone. If you like, I shall marry you tomorrow,” proposed the gentleman.
Ara, having fancied the gentleman, agreed on one condition. That they will stay in that place because she can’t leave the death bed of her parents. The gentleman agreed and they were married the next day. Since then, the gentleman changed the name of Mt. Alindayat to Arayat as a tribute to his wife- Ara Ayat.
Sanchez Geisha, translator. Rene Alba’s “Mga Alamat Pilipino (Para sa Mag-aaral)”, published 1914 by Century Publications.