The Quixotic Myth of Mayon Volcano

World famous for its perfect cone, Mayon is a world wonder tourists worldwide respect. But how did the famous volcano come to be?

In olden days, a myth says there lived a lovely woman named Daragang Magayon. Her pulchritude fascinated many suitors from various tribes. Among them was the arrogant Pagtuga, a great hunter and authoritative tribal chief from Iriga.

The myth says, however, that Daragang Magayon did not love Pagtuga. She had given her heart to Panganoron, the brave son of Rajah Karilaya of the distant Tagalog region. The myth says that he had saved her from death in the river once. She had gone to bathe in the Yaw River which was swollen after a night of heavy rain. Balancing herself on the stones, the myth says, she had slipped and fell into the water. The myth says she did not know how to swim, and she would have been carried away by the swift current if not for Panganoron arriving just in time.

Then he courted her. The myth says Daragang Magayon accepted his proposal. This gave the young man courage to ask her hand from the girl’s father, Rajah Makusog. Makusog consented. But, the myth says that Pagtuga heard the news and was very angry. So, one day, he accosted Rajah Makusog on a mountain and took him captive. He would be released if his daughter consented to marrying Pagtuga, the myth adds.

Daragang Magayon was brought before Pagtuga. The myth says she tearfully consented to marrying him. On learning of the situation, Panganoron assembled his brave warriors and went after Pagtuga. The myth says that in the battle that ensued, Panganoron slew Pagtuga. But while Magaron was rushing joyously to meet her beloved victor, a stray arrow pierced her back. Panganoron, too, was struck dead by a spear hurled by Linog, Pagtuga’s captain. Seeing this, the myth says Makusog rushed and killed Linog.

According to the myth, Rajah Makusog himself dug the grave where he tenderly laid the bodies of the lovers. After a few days, the people saw the grave rise. The myth says that as it grew higher, it roared and trembled violently. The grave turned into a huge land form and the myth says that people started calling it Mayon, short for Magayon.

They say a long and lasting love will always manifest its intensity even in the hereafter. This myth says that eruptions of Mayon are signs of the ongoing love affair of Magayon and Panganoron.

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