On December 28, 2017, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology issued an advisory to the province of Albay. The main reason was that the seismograph installed within the foothills of the volcano has been showing signs of an increasing unrest. The seismograph recorded an increasing volcanic quake that continued for at least three days. The recent volcanic quakes during this period prompted the agency to increase the alert status from zero to 1. This means that Mayon Volcano is now officially in its period of unrest. Mayon was then raised to Alert status 3 due to a persistent ash plume ejected by the volcano on January 13, 2018.

On January 17, 2018, a photo of Mayon Volcano became an online sensation. Brother Jun Santiago was then waiting for the right time for him to take the best photo. When Mayon Volcano spewed ash and lava, it generated an ash cloud, prompting Jun to take several snaps and then uploaded online. Jun resumed his daily routine as a junior photographer and grabbed another set of photos. After a while, he was surprised to discover that one of his shots gained numerous likes, shares, and comments. This was when he realized that his masterpieces became viral in an unexpected way.
The Legend of Mayon Volcano
Mayon Volcano is the most active volcanic peak in the Philippines. It is the only volcanic peak to have the most perfect conical shape than any other volcanoes in the world. The elevation of the volcano is also one of the highest in the Philippines towering a height of 2,463 meters above sea level. The landscape of Mayon transforms the area into a popular tourist resort, especially when the mountain is in its silent mode.

Mayon Volcano is believed to be a product of an ancient legend in the Bicol region. As based on the photos, the older generation believes that the ash plume on the foot of the volcano represents the ancient couple Magayon and Pangaronon. As the legend says, the ash depicts Pangaronon on the left taller column, which is hugged by Magayonon on the right lower column. Local residents say that when Mayon volcano is in its silent mode, both Magayon and Pagaronon is believed to be hugging each other inside the volcano. However, if the volcano is showing signs of unrest, this means that the third wheel named as "Patuga, "which is the admirer of Magayon, is currently causing a disturbance to the couple.

Local folklorists believe that the cascading ash plume indicates that Patuga is once again disturbing Pangaronon and Magayon, causing the volcano to spew lava along its steep flanks. Patuga cannot accept that Magayon as his love interest devoted her heart to Pangaronon. This made him be the villain of the legend, causing a disturbance to Lady Magayon and Pangaronon. Older residents who believe in this legend knows that Patuga is once again disturbing their peaceful land as they are aware that even in his afterlife, he is still capable of disturbing the couple.

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As the story goes, once upon a time, there was a flourishing place called as Ibalon. There was a beautiful girl who is named Daragang Magayon or the loveliest one. She is the daughter of Ibalon's chieftain, Makusog. One day, she was strolling like Dora along the river. Magayon slipped when she stepped on a loose stone and then rolled over the ravaging river. She then started clamoring for help. Her voice was then heard by Pangaronon, a bodyguard of Amihan. Pangaronon successfully saved Magayonon. Upon looking at her, Pangaronon realized that he is now experiencing love at first sight. Magayonon asked how could she repay him. Pangaronon says that marriage is enough.

Pangaronon asked Makusog if he could marry his daughter. Makusog denied his request because one important rule of their tribe is to marry a person that is the member of their tribe. Even if he would like to prioritize the happiness of his daughter, he understands that a rule is always a rule. Makusog still prefers Patuga, which is the most aggressive and eruptive guards of the village. Patuga confessed his feelings to Magayon and was courting her for a long time. However, he is not Magayonon's type and never developed any feelings for him

Patuga discovered Pangaronon's intention and quickly planned to block his advance. Patuga took away Makusog and asked Magayon that he will only release her father if she will agree to marry him. Magayonon then agreed to marry Patuga even this is against her will. Patuga then released the chieftain and then immediately set the wedding ceremony. Pangaronon led his army of bodyguards to storm the wedding. A new battle broke out between the two tribes. Pangaronon then eventually made a fatal strike towards Patuga. Out of nowhere, an arrow also fatally struck Magayon. Pangaronon quickly ran towards Magayonon. An enemy then fatally struck the head of Pangaronon.

After the battle, the whole Ibalon community mourns the fates of Magayon, Pangaronon, and Patuga. Magayon and Pangaronon were buried in an unnamed land. After a few years, the land began to swell. The swelling land continues to swell until it formed a conical-shaped mountain. That mountain was then called as Mount Mayon.

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