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Mayon: the Origin Essay

Her unsullied splendor cannot be denied. The sight of her can take one’s breath away. She is simply radiant as she stands tall and grand in the horizon. She is truly a one of a kind beauty that captivates anyone who pays her a visit. You have to be visually challenged to miss her brilliance. When she sleeps, she’s as gentle as a baby but when she stirs, she could easily strike horror among the hearts of men. She is loved for her beauty and tranquillity and spurned for her sometimes deadly and devastating aspect. This beauty is none other but the majestic Mt. Mayon which is located in the province of Albay in the Bicol region. It is known around the globe for its flawless cone shape. In some ways, she is like a shy maiden who likes to hide, using the clouds above her like a veil.

Legendary Origin

The legend of Mt. Mayon goes around the tragic love story of a beautiful young heroine named Daragang Magayon and a dauntless warrior. The legend has been narrated and passed on from generation to generation by the people of Albay. The legend has become a part of the lives of the people living in Daraga, Albay because Mt. Mayon plays an integral part in their beliefs, cultural practices and festivities. In fact, there’s an annual festival called Magayon Festival which is celebrated every month of May. The festival relives the legend of Mount Mayon. Different versions of the origin of the majestic Mayon Volcano have risen because of the oral tradition of telling stories and handing them down to the next line of descent.

First version

The legend is about the story of a beautiful lady named Daragang Magayon who lives in Kabikolan before the separation of the Philippines to mainland Asia. At that time, a maiden could not marry a man who lived outside the Kabikolan. Daragang Magayon rejected a native suitor named Paratuga. He was rich but selfish. She confessed to her father, Tiong Makusog, who also happened to be the chief of the village that she had fallen in love with a stranger named Panganoron, who saved her from drowning. Her father loved her so much and told her that he would find a way to fulfil the longing of her heart. The manipulative Paratuga decided to kidnap Tiong Makusog to force Daragang Magayon to marry him. The lovely maiden did not have a choice but to agree to the kidnapper’s demand. When Panganoron found out about the deceit, he attacked the village of Paratuga.

As soon as he arrived at the wedding ceremony, Daragang Magayon hurried to his side but she was hit by a stray arrow. As Panganoron lifted the fallen maiden, he was attacked from behind. The lovers died in that unfortunate event. Tiong Makusog buried his daughter together with all her earthly possessions that Paratuga had bestowed on her as wedding gifts such as gold and precious stones. To everyone’s surprise, the burial ground began to rise a week after the burial.

There were always white clouds hovering on top of the mound. The mound grew bigger and bigger as time passed. The legend goes on that the angry spirit of Paratuga sometimes attempts to unearth the grave of Daragang Magayon to get back the gold and precious stones that he gave her, which causes tremors and volcanic eruptions. He never succeeds in his quest and always ends up getting rocks and lava from the volcano. The cloud that hovers over the volcano is said to be the spirit of Panganoron who still weeps over the loss of his love. His tears fall to the earth as raindrops.

Second version

There lived a man named Magayon who had a beautiful princess as a niece. He was tremendously protective of her and never allowed a man to come close enough to ask her hand. One day, a brave warrior arrived and became attracted to the princess’ beauty. He asked the aid of the wind to help him pass through the royal chamber so he could lure the princess to elope with him. When the lovers left, Magayon followed them. The princess and the warrior asked the help of the Gods to save them. Suddenly a landslide occurred and buried Magayon. According to the legend, the eruption of Mt. Mayon is brought about by the anger of Magayon.

Third version

The third version of the legend is told by Laura Agpay, a native of Bicol. There was once a princess named Daragang Magayon. She lived in Bicol where her family reigned supreme over the entire place. She was known for her unrivalled beauty. Many warriors, princes and datus would travel from different areas of the country in the hope of getting her hand in marriage. Magayon did not like any of the royalties who were presented to her because her heart has already been captured by a warrior and prince named Handiong. Unfortunately, Handiong hailed from the rival tribe, the enemy of Magayon tribe.

Magayon and Handiong suffered tremendously from their tribes’ attempts to separate them. When they could not stand being apart anymore, they fled, which resulted to a blood bath between the two enemy tribes. The young lovers could not accept the pain and torment of the events that followed. The two decided to end their lives. Even in death, the tribes separated the young couple. After several months, the Magayon tribe noticed a volcano growing in the spot where Magayon was buried. They named the volcano “Bulkang Magayon” depicting its perfect shape just like their beautiful Daragang Magayon.


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