Tuesday, January 30, 2018

CULTURE | The Legend of Mayon

Photo by Phivolcs

Courtesy of Abdon M. Balde, Jr.

There was once a beautiful maiden named Daragang Magayon. She was the daughter of Datu Makusog and Dawani of Rawis, a tribe in a land near the sea. Her beauty was known throughout Bikol and she had many suitors. But none was so powerful, persistent and rich as Pagtuga, a chieftain from Iriga, who showered her with gifts of golden trinkets and fine woven clothes. Datu Makusog would accept the gifts for fear of displeasing the ill-tempered Pagtuga. But Magayon would not touch the gifts, because she hated Pagtuga’s abrasive and impulsive mood.
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A stranger named Panganoron from the lake-town of Caliraya accidentally passed by Rawis and saw Magayon and was captivated by her beauty. He instantly fell in love with her and secretly followed her everywhere. One day, while bathing in the river Magayon was caught in an undercurrent and nearly drowned. Panganoron, who was born near a lake and whose mother was thought to be a mermaid, saved her. In no time, they fell in love with each other. Consistent with the tradition of the time, Panganoron visited Magayon’s home and planted a spear on the ground fronting her window, signifying his intention to marry her.
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Pagtuga was furious when he learned of this. He called Linog, his henchman, who was a creature so large that the ground he plodded on would shake. With the help of Linog, Pagtuga captured Datu Makusog, and imprisoned him in a cave near Lake Buhi. Then thru Linog he sent word to Magayon that unless the beautiful maiden marries him, she will never see her father again.
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When Panganoron learned about the abduction of Makusog, he promised Magayon that he will save her father, but for the meantime he will go back to Caliraya and fetch his warriors.
Linog pressed Magayon to decide before the full moon lest her father would die. Magayon found no other way of saving the life of his father but to agree to marry Pagtuga. The marriage was arranged. On their wedding day, Datu Makusog was released and was to attend the ceremony.
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Before the wedding ceremony was over, Panganoron and his warriors arrived and a battle with Pagtuga and his men ensued. Panganoron was able to slay Pagtuga. On seeing her triumphant lover, Magayon rushed to Panganoron and they embraced. However Linog saw this, and he swiftly hurled his powerful spear that pierced the bodies of the lovers. They both fell dead. Linog was eventually killed by Datu Makusog.
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Panganoron and Magayon were burried in one grave. As time passed, the mound on the grave grew higher and higher until it became a majestic mountain. The people called it Mount Magayon, which was later shortened to Mayon. Most of the day, Panganoron, in the form of clouds would cover and protect Mayon.
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