Mythical Couple that ‘Created’ Mayon Volcano in The Philippines Makes a Dazzling Appearance

mount mayon volcano

A photo of the erupting Mayon Volcano, in Albay, Bicol Region in southeastern Luzon, caught the attention of local netizens as clouds of volcanic ash and smoke eerily resemble an iconic scene from its own folklore.

mount mayon smoke cloud
Image via Facebook/Ciriaco Santiago III

The widely shared image, taken by photojournalist Ciriaco Santiago III, is being celebrated online as a representation of an ancient myth featuring tragic lovers Panganoron and Magayon, reports ABS-CBN News.

mount mayon mythical couple
Image via Facebook/Kerby Rosanes

According to the legend of Mt. Mayon, a woman named Magayon (meaning “beautiful”) ran away with her warrior lover Panganoron to escape her suitor Pagtuga. As the couple made their escape from her father and his tribesmen, a poisoned arrow struck Magayon. Then, as Pangaronon was kneeling over the dying Magayon, a warrior stabbed him from behind.

The tale states that years after their death, Magayon’s father decided to bury her and Pangaronon together. Over time, the ground where the couple was buried began to rise and take the shape of a volcano, which is renowned for its near-perfect cone.

It is believed that when the volcano is about to erupt, Pagtuga is bothering Magayon. Some also believe Pangaronon is hugging Magayon when the volcano is calm, while others say that the two are kissing when clouds emerge at the top.

Santiago’s photo became viral after it was placed side by side with an illustration by artist Kerby Rosanes, which was slightly digitally manipulated to highlight its connection to the Mayon’s creation myth.

mayon volcano in the philippines

Some netizens also pointed out that the broken-hearted pair can be seen in the formations of lava flowing from Mayon’s crater in this video:

Meanwhile, other social media users dismissed the fantastical interpretations of the shapely smoke and lava, stating that the images signify nothing but a warning to nearby residents to evacuate immediately.

A scene from Disney’s “Moana”

As of this writing, about 15,000 people have been evacuated since Mt. Mayon started to show signs of impending eruption last week. Local volcano monitoring agency Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology raised the volcano’s alert level to three on a scale of five.

Feature Image via Facebook / Ciriaco Santiago III and Kerby Rosanes

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