Another popular Philippine legend. This one is about Mayon Volcano, a volcano once famous for its "perfect cone" shape.
A long time ago when the Philippines was not yet separated by a wide stretch of water from the mainland of Asia, there was neither then high mountain nor volcano in the region now known as Bikolandia or Kabikolan the old name given by the inhabitants to this place. There once dwelt a distinct group of people composed of beautiful women and sturdy warriors. Many suitors from far away regions went to Kabikolan purposely to court its maidens. 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 from all of them were mostly experienced warriors.
Of all 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 kabinibinihan (modest) of them all. Among the native 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 of Daragang Magayon, and thrice did he present valuable gift 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 she was enjoined by Tiong Makusog in behaolf 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 who lives beyond the border of Kabikolan.
“Tatay” (father), she began tremulously,” it will mean eternal disgrace to our family if I am known to be in love with a stranger who lives on the other side of Kabikolan (the boundary river that separates Kabikolan from Katagalogan, the region inhabited by the tagalogs). To me he is the handsomest of all men I have ever seen. I owe my life to him, because he was the brave man who 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. Nevetherless, he controlled himself, and queried, although scarcely intelligible, who her strange sweetheart was.
“That is it”, Daragang Magayon seemed to have trailed her father thoughts, “I am sure you don’t know his name because when you arrived, I was already saved from drowning and he had immediately told me, “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 lifps tenderly pressing on 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.
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 daughter, 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 Daranga Magayon’s house and delivered to her a letter written on a piece of white bamboo...( Read onCollapse )