“The Story of Maru and Ilaw is part historical and part local folktale in the fishing town of Hagonoy, Bulacan.
Prior to the arrival of the Spanish, when the land of Bulacan was still ruled by various Muslim Datu’s (Chieftain). There was once a Fisherman named MARU, who lived his life, harvesting the rich bounty of the rivers of Hagonoy.
He was in love and betrothed to the Local Datu’s daughter named ILAW. But during these days, to be worthy of such a matchup, the man had to prove his worth with bravery and blood on his steel. So when the Datu called his bannerman and rang the horns of war, Maru without any hesitation joined his brethren and heeded their Datu’s call.
So on the riverbanks amidst the war boats and men preparing for war, MARU and ILAW professed their love and fidelity. As they say their final goodbyes, MARU asked his beloved to wait for him.
So day and night, ILAW kept waiting for MARU, her eyes weeping, eagerly awaiting his return. As days turned to weeks, weeks turned to month, and months turned to years.
ILAW kept vigil and waited, till her dying days. – End –
So from that “Legend” they derived the name of MARULAO RIVER and place of MARULAO (now known as Sta. Elena).”