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May 1, 2008

Mayon Volcano

Posted by Malou at 5/01/2008 03:24:00 PM
Before i got married i live in the little town of Daraga province of Albay in bicol region about 150 miles south from Manila the capital of the Philippines. From our house you can see the beautiful Mount Mayon which is considered as the world's most perfect cone. An active volcano, 2,461.4 m (8,070 ft) high, of southeast Luzon, Philippines. It is popular with climbers and campers and is the centre of Mayon Volcano National Park, which occupies 21 sq mi (55 sq km). It has erupted more than 30 times since 1616; an eruption in 1993 killed 75 people. Its most destructive eruption was in 1814, when the town of Cagsawa was buried.

This is the beautiful mount mayon at night as you can see the hot lava flowing down the slope towering above the city of legazpi in the island of Luzon. Mount Mayon means "beautiful lady' is only not beautiful but dangerous.
Here's the legend of Mount Mayon
A long time ago, so the legend runs, when the Philippines was not yet separated by a wide stretch of water from the mainland of Asia, there was then no high mountain nor volcano in the region now known as Bikolandia. Kabikolan was the old name given by the inhabitants to this place. In it, so the myth says, there once dwelt a beautiful women and sturdy warriors. Thus many suitors from far-off regions flocked to Kabikolan purposely to court its maiden. They, however, returned home dejectedly because it was the unbroken code of that place that no strangers could marry its daragas (maidens). So strict were the fathers with regard to the marriage of their daughters that tribal wars would frequently mar the beauty of the village. The inhabitants, of course, were secure from the onslaught of the invaders for all of them were mostly experienced warriors.
Daragang Magayon
Of all the the women in Kabikolan, none was more winsome than Tiong Makusog's daughter, Daragang Magayon, whose name literally means woman beauteous. That was why in the whole region, she was the Kabinibinian (modest) of them all. Among the natives who fell madly in love with her, was the wealthy but selfish Paratuga. Thrice did this suitor thrust his spear near the stairs of Tiong Makusog's house as a sign of his love for Daragang Magayon, and thrice did he present valuable gifts of pearls, diamonds and gold, only to be answered with firm words of refusal. "He is not the man for me, father," the beautiful woman would say whenever in behalf of the native lover. Since the old man was open-minded, he could do no other but follow her wish.
One midnight, while silence pervaded the place, Daragang Magayon unexpectedly confessed to her father of her love affair with a certain man man who live beyond the border of Kabikolan.
"Tatay," she began tremuluosly, "it will mean eternal disgrace to our family if I am known to be in love with stranger who lives on the other side of Kabikolan (the boundry river that separates kabikolan from Katagalogan, the region inhibited by the tagalogs). To me he is the handsomest of all men I have ever seen. I owe my life to him, because he saved me from the mad currents of Kabikolan when one morning while I was bathing in the river, my feet, unfortunately, slipped on the rock I stood upon.
Tiong Makusog became grief-stricken after learning that his only daughter had already chosen her life-partner without his knowledge. Nevertheless, he controlled himself, and queried, although scarcely intelligible, who her strange sweetheart was.
"That is it," Daragang Magayon seemed to have trailed her father's thoughts, "I am sure you don't know his name because when you arrived, I was already saved from drowning, and he had immediately, 'namomotan ta ka,' (I love you) he told me one sunset when we met again at the bank of the river. 'Namomotan ta ka man," (I love you too) I replied, whereupon, I felt his lips tenderly pressing mine. What shall we do father? I don't love Paratuga. I prefer a thousand deaths than wed him!" she ended firmly.
"I will help you to find the best way out, my daughter, "Tiong Makusog, albeit heavy was his heart, assured her.
Father Taken as Captive
Unfortunately one morning, while Tiong Makusog was hunting in a nearby forest, several strong henchmen of Paratuga suddenly seized him unawares. He was taken to the home of this treacherous suitor where he was demanded, as ransom, the hand of his daughte, otherwise death from the wounds of hundred arrows would be his punishment.
That same day, a few hours after Tiong Makusog had been taken as captive, Linog, Paratuga's chief messenger arrived at Daragang Magayon's house and delivered to her a letter written on a piece of white bambo. it contained a demand of her hand in marriage to Paratuga, or her refusal would mean immediate death of her father. Realizing the futility of a further refusal, Daragang Magayon forgot her gentle Panganoron, the man who had saved her from drowning. She at once rushed down the stairs and proceeded to Paratuga's village to accept his terms to be his wife, to save her father.
News Reached Panganoron's Ears
As if aided by the wind, the news of Daragang Magayon's proposed Marriage speedily spread far and wide. It finally reached Panganoron's ears who, upon learning the strange happening, was sure him of her love, whatever consequence might befall on her? Indeed, the real love could not be believe what he heard. To him only force could make Daragang Magayon accept the marriage to that hated man. So with a bold determination to save his sweetheart from an impending danger, the daring warrior, with his trusted guide, Amihan, gathered all his men in Katagalogan to invade Kabikolan.
Panganoron and his followers arrived in Kabikolan on the day of Magayon's marriage with Paratuga. The invaders were determined to slay the unwanted suitor and his people. Before the altar sat Tiong Makusog, with Daragang Magayon and Paratuga on each of side. In front of them was the high priest who was busily mumbling words of incantation of the two parties as husband and wife. To the thousand pairs of eyes that witnessed the splendid ceremony, Daragang Magayon appeared immensely beautiful. Never before had they seen such a winsome woman! However, they could see that grief had pitilessly lodged on her lovely face.
In the midst of the wedding ceremony, nevertheless, a sharpy cry of "Tulisanes are coming!" from a villager outside suddenly out the scene into a medley of shrieking voice. Men, women and children speed away for safety. Only Daragang Magayon, Paratuga and his warriors remained to await the invaders headed by Panganoron. In a moment the battle was on. The Sharp metallic clash of blade filled the air, and mounds of dying warriors gave a horrible sound. In the fight. Paratuga was the first to fall, at hands of the bold Panganoron. Seeing her returned lover, Daragang Magayon at once rushed to him, but sadly enough, a stray arrow fatally hit her. In his efforts to lift the weakening body of his sweetheart, Panganoron was unnoticedly attacked from behind. He reeled to the ground, bleeding and breathless. His men, sending that they were outnumbered, took to their heels and left him lifeless to their enemy.
The Mount of Daragang Magayon
The next day, all the natives of Kabikolan, were sad. Daragang Magayon was dead. Tiong Makusog buried her beside the sea. In her grave, he laid all that she had possesed, including the priceless gifts of Paratuga. A week, however, after the burial, all the inhabitants of that place were surprised to find the grave mound of Daragang Magayon steadily rising into a hill. They were amazed, too, why sometimes a flock of white clouds floating over the hill would suddenly turn black and burst into a cold and heavy shower, strangely enough, pouring particulary on the crest of the hill. At night the the people would be awakened by strong earthquakes that seemed to emanate from the grave of Daragang Magayon, followed by a thundering noise of rolling stones, along its steepy slope. This horrible occurrence frightened the natives so that in a short period, the place had become deserted.
During the countless years that followed that incident, the burial-hill of Daragang Magayon had kept on growing and growing until it was transformed into a high mountain, with its top almost piercing the clouds.
Mount Mayon is Explained
Nowadays the Albayanos, believed that the spirit of Paratuga is the cause of the occasional eruption of the mountain that formerly the grave-mound of the Daragang Magayon. The legend tells us that in order to avenge his failure to wed the beautiful daughter of Tiong Makusog, the spirit of Paratuga, with the help of Linog's, is trying every once and then to exhume her grave to remit all the pearls, diamonds and gold he had given to her as a gifts. Instead of the gifts, however, large masses of stones with heavy layers of ashes, are thrown out, as when a volcano erupts.
The spirit of Panganoron, on the other hand, so the legend says, is wandering in the form of clouds above the peak of the mountain, These clouds usually visit the the burial-place of Daragang Magayon and never fail to kiss it. Apparently the spirit of Panganoron seems to be grieving over the death of his sweetheart, for whenever clouds gather at the top, they usually disperse into volleys of raindrops, thus keeping the plants vegetating on the mountain slopes fresh all the year round. The People of Albay contend that these frequent visits of the spirit of Panganoron to the mountain of Daragang Magayon, in the form of clouds and rain may account for its having a heavy rainfall every year.
Today the imposing mountain of Daragang Magayon still stands in Albay, perpetually clad with the green foliage of plants. Indeed what a striking parallelism to find this mountain, like the winsome lady of the former Kabikolan, always a radiant symbol of hope, to honor and remember the memory of Daragang Magayon, the mountain that marks her resting place is now called Mayon (short for Magayon) and the village by its slopes is at present a thriving town known as Daraga (derived from Daragang) which is still noted for its pretty women.

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