BIOGRAPHY AND CHARACTERIZATION
Diwa Herrera was born on 6 November 2003. She is the daughter of social workers Jericho and Lilliana Herrera, and the twin of Tala Herrera. Their fictional home of Pule, Quezon is a town slowly experiencing urbanization, but remains filled with untouched lands and natural greenscapes.
Diwa grew up alongside her twin sister, the charismatic and talented Tala, with whom she shares a unique birthmark. As young children, Tala was often fawned over while Diwa was content with staying on the sidelines. Despite their differences, they remain each other’s best friends. Growing up near lush forests, the twins are passionate lovers of nature.
When Diwa moves to Manila for university, she adopts a stray black cat whom she names Ningning.
Diwa is an average student who is gifted in the arts. She is the bassist and songwriter of an indie alternative rock group. Embodying her star sign Scorpio, she is also quite reserved, mysterious, and complex.
However, when faced with cruelty or injustice, Diwa quickly becomes a stalwart protector who quickly acts to defend those in need.
The origin issue takes place in 2016.
Teenagers Diwa and Tala Herrera are in high school, exploring their separate identities as students. At the end of each day, they walk home and stop by their “secret spot” — a beautiful patch of foliage tucked away by the nearby cliff.
One day, news of Mayor Bermudez entering into a building contract with real estate giant Corazon Developers shakes up the town. The company’s CEO, Mercedes “Mercy” Corazon, is eyeing Pule as the latest site for a large dam construction project. This would mean great destruction of and damage to natural lands, including the twins’ sanctuary.
Diwa and Tala inadvertently stumble upon the initiation of the project that was carried out under the cover of night, away from the eyes of concerned citizens and activists.
Moved with overwhelming emotion, Tala accosts a henchman overseeing the project. She is murdered on the spot.
In her extreme anger and grief, Diwa levitates and glows, as the Karapatana anting-anting materializes in her hands and marks her as its rightful wielder.
WEAPONS AND POWERS
Diwa is trained in the Philippine martial art of arnis. She is an excellent hand-to-hand combatant who prefers a defensive style and never deals lethal blows. With her arnis sticks, Diwa can masterfully block attacks, disarm weapons, and even stun her opponents.
Anito’s anting-anting grants several mystical powers which vary depending on its wielder. Diwa was granted the following superhuman abilities:
Flight – Diwa can levitate up to several hundreds of feet in the air and can fly up to 50 miles per hour. Her body has also adapted to these conditions.
Enhanced Senses – Diwa’s eyesight and hearing extend several meters beyond the ordinary human’s. These allow her to predict attacks and sense distant danger.
Super Durability – While Diwa can still feel physical pain at a lower intensity, her body has been enhanced to withstand trauma at a level that gives her an apparent invulnerability.
Empathic Touch – Through physical touch, Diwa can psychically pick up the memories and emotions of any person. Conversely, she can also use this ability to let others feel hope and stoke their inner light (or “conscience” as some might call it).
Barrier Generation – Diwa eventually develops the ability to summon energy fields around people and objects that instantaneously solidify as barriers. These are impenetrable to most physical attacks. The durability of the barriers is tied to Diwa’s own stamina and disposition.
Diwata Form – Diwa transforms into a divine being of light when her emotions reach their peak intensity. In this form, all her abilities are further enhanced, and she can generate and manipulate light, mainly in the form of powerful energy blasts.
Super Human Hearing – Karapatana has the ability to listen to people’s struggles and plights wherever they are.
DESIGN OF THE NEW KARAPATANA
In the 2022 edition of Karapatana, Diwa often sports an off-shoulder long-sleeved breathable top, shorts, and sandals for mobility. Anito’s ancient anting-anting always rests around her neck. She prefers to tie her long hair into twin braids.
Upon entering Diwata Form, Diwa’s appearance changes to resemble a babaylan with glowing tattoos across her skin while anything she is wearing turns into woven fabric draped across her body and various gold jewelry. Similarly, her eyes turn into a solid and luminescent white.
When trying to avoid catching attention with her flight, Diwa travels using a bike.