The myth of the creation of Mayon Volcano is as heated as the heart of the peak itself, with a plot involving star-crossed lovers, and a tragic ending leading to the rise of the jewel of Albay.
Legend has it that a beautiful maiden, Magayon, lived in a place called Ibalon. She is the daughter of Makusog, the chief of the tribe.
Magayon was so beautiful that men from different places went to her hometown just to get a glimpse of her beauty.
One of those suitors was Pagtuga (or Patuga in other versions), a warrior and the chief of Iraga.
In a bid to woo Magayon, Pagtuga brought her all kinds of gifts, like gold, jewels and other precious items.
Magayon, however, was not moved by Pagtuga's kind gestures.
As a young maiden, Magayon liked bathing in the Yawa river. One day, while bathing, Magayon slipped on the rocks. As she did not know how to swim, she shouted for help.
Fortunately, a man named Pangaronon (or Ulap in other versions) was passing by the river and heard Magayon's plea for help. He saved her from drowning.
The incident started a good relationship between Magayon and Pangaronon, who eventually went to Makusog to ask for his daughter's hand in marriage.
Makusog, who wanted nothing but happiness for his daughter, approved of Pangaronon for Magayon.
News of the wedding reached Pagtuga, who then kidnapped Makusog. He threatened Magayon that he would kill her father if she refused to marry him.
In order to save her father, Magayon agreed to marry Pagtuga.
On the day of their wedding, Pangaronon went to the place of the wedding to try and take Magayon away from Pagtuga.
A battle between Pagtuga and Pangaronon ensued. Pangaronon fatally struck Pagtuga.
But as Pangaronon and Magayon were about to embrace each other, a poisoned arrow struck Magayon.
Then, as Pangaronon was kneeling over the dying Magayon, Pagtuga's soldier stabbed him.
After the skirmish, Makusog decided to bury Magayon and Pangaronon together.
Years passed and people noticed that the land where the lovers were buried started to rise higher and higher.
The mountain which grew from the land where Magayon and Pangaronon were buried is now known as Mayon Volcano.
Some people believe that when the volcano is restive and about to erupt, Magayon is being bothered by Pagtuga, while they believe Pangaronon is embracing Magayon when the volcano is calm.
They also believe that Pangaronon is kissing Magayon when clouds meet at the top of the volcano.
A recent photo of the ash cloud formations around Mayon Volcano in Albay has piqued the interest of netizens for its supposed similarity to the volcano's tragic myth.
The scene, captured by photojournalist Ciriaco Santiago III, showed clouds bunched on the left side of the volcano, which some social media users said seems to outline the shape of two people embracing.
This led some netizens to comment how the clouds looked like Daragang Magayon and her warrior-lover, Pangaronon.
Those who have seen the photo were reminded of the tragic story of Magayon and Pangaronon, who chose to fight for their love to the end.