There once lived a village chief in the province of Albay. He had a daughter named Magayon, who was not only beautiful but was also kind.
Magayon had many suitors who vied for her love. Among them, she fell in love with a simple young man named Matapang. Because Matapang was not of noble birth, Magayon’s father did not favor him as a suitor for his daughter. He preferred another one of Magayon’s suitors, Maraut–the son of a chief who ruled a neighboring village.
Because Magayon’s father opposed their love for one another, Matapang and Magayon decided that the best solution to the problem was for them to elope. They agreed on a certain date, promising to meet each other near the river and run away together.
What the lovers did not know was that Maraut learned of their plan. Without delay, he went to Magayon’s father and told him about what Magayon and Matapang intended to do.
On the fateful night of their elopement, Matapang waited for Magayon near the river. As soon as he saw her, he lovingly clasped her in his arms—and that was when he spotted the band of warriors behind Magayon. They were the men of Magayon’s father, and they were there to stop the young girl from eloping with Matapang.
Shocked at first to see them, the lovers sprang into action and ran as fast as they could. But it was dark and they could not see the way very well, and they were soon overtaken by the men. One warrior hit Matapang with an arrow, and he died instantly.
Crying out for her lover, Magayon continued running. She was blinded by her tears, and she stumbled into a thorny bush. Magayon was trying to stand up when cold scales slithered over her feet. Her eyes were just widening in realization that she had fallen down into a snakes’ nest, when fangs punctured her skin. Her father’s men found her lying on the ground, poisoned from the snake bites, and they hurriedly called for her father and the village medicine man. Despite their efforts to save her, Magayon died.
In grief over his daughter’s death, Magayon’s father buried her on the spot where she died, heaping a mound of soil over Magayon’s body. His heart broken, he joined the others as they went back to the village.
That night, a violent storm suddenly swept through the village. Thunder crashed, lightning zigzagged on the sky, and sleets of rain beat down upon the village. When morning came, Magayon’s father returned to the place where Magayon had been buried. To his amazement, he saw that the mound on top of Magayon’s grave had risen to become a majestic mountain, its tip tapering off into a perfect cone. The mountain is now called Mount Mayon, in honor of Magayon, the unfortunate lover of Matapang.