Mayon boasts of the world’s most perfect cone-shaped volcano crater. How did this came to be? This myth on Mayon Volcano tells us how.
The myth on Mayon is composed of three epic stories. The story of Batlog, Handiong, and Bantong; all fierce epic warriors battling evil mystical creatures out to grab the whole of Bicol. This is how the stories go.
The first warrior, Batlog, accidentally stumbled upon a vast area of land rich with vegetation and forest because of its fertile soil. Batlog, according to this myth, fell in love with the land and decided to settle there. He moved his people from Batavara to this new found land called Ibalon. His kingdom greatly prospered in Ibalon, but it was far from living happily ever after. Soon, evil mystical creatures attacked them to grab Ibalon from their possession. The myth says, a giant man-eating wild boar was the first to try out Batlog’s mettle.
The myth says the monstrous wild boar ravaged the land, destroying much of the crops and killing so many people. But eventually, the myth says Batlog easily wrestled the giant wild boar to death. Some years of peace and prosperity reigned again, but not for long. Soon huge wild water buffalos or carabaos, winged sharks, and giant crocodiles and other crazy-loking creatures lined up the siege of Ibalon. Batlog could manage the fights a while, but the myth says age eventually caught up with him.
Then entered Handiong. The myth says Handiong and company came to rescue old Batlog. According to the myth, Handiong proved a violent warrior, fiercely defeating the huge creatures. Soon, the myth continues, Ibalon enjoyed years of peace and prosperity again under Handiong’s leadership.
But being mere mortal, Handiong soon grew old. And a new batch of rampaging creatures was soon on the scene again, wreaking tremendous havoc on Ibalon. But Handiong could do nothing except watch helplessly. But Bantong came to his rescue, wiped out all “halimaws” or evil creatures, and this time, a volcano with a perfect cone appeared on the scene. It was to be symbolic of the heroic exploits of the chieftains and a perpetual guardian over the vast land of Ibalon, which is now Bicol.
This myth on Bicol and Mayon Volcano teaches us that humans are mortal, and no matter their achievements, they will someday leave the scene of greatness and pass away. But monuments and symbols will see to it that they will be remembered by posterity, especially the heroism of Bicolanos.