Philippines’ Mayon Volcano Is Terrifyingly Beautiful

The Philippines’ most active volcano, Mount Mayon, is lauded for its nearly perfect conical shape stereotypical of volcanoes in comics and television, serving as the background to breathtaking provincial views.

But when it gets to acting up again, the view is far from peaceful.

According to various news outlets, Mount Mayon ‘woke up’ again on January 13, after it was recorded to be spewing ash, with subsequent lava flow recorded since Monday.

The immediate area of the volcano has since been placed at Alert Level 4, meaning that a possible ‘hazardous’ eruption might be  possible within hours or days.

The volcano’s activity has so far forced nearly 40, 000 residents living in its foothills to evacuate, with this report adding that state volcanologists are watching out for continuous eruptions and prolonged lava spewing or ‘fountaining’ that would force them to hike the alert level up to a 5, which might entail even more massive evacuations for residents living further away from the active volcano.

But for some thrill seekers and adventurous photographers, the volcano’s activity has allowed for some breathtaking photos, showing the awesome power of nature:

The owner, Ciriaco Santiago III, captioned the photo:
“Mayon’s explosive eruption captured in Camalig, Albay around 5:02 am January 23, 2018. #mayon #mayonvolcano #albay #philippines.”
Captured a safe distance away of course, Mr. Santiago’s photo perfectly juxtaposed the violent activity going on miles away with the calm, nearly unbothered nature of the farm animals in the foreground.
Mr. Santiago is also credited with capturing this image:

At first glance, it’s all a cloud of smoke and ash, but if you look towards the left side, it appears as though the cloud takes on the form of a man and woman hugging.
Filipinos have since been in awe of the image and connected it to the legend of Daragang Magayon and her lover Panganoron; the beautiful princess of legend from where the mountain takes its name, and her warrior-lover.
The legend goes that the princess was fought over by two powerful warriors, but her heart belonged to only Panganoron. The jealous suitor Pagtuga then kidnapped the princess’ father to bargain her marriage but then a great battle ensued where Panganoron successfully rescued Magaron’s father and killed the jealous, vengeful suitor.
It was almost a happy ending but as Magaron ran to embrace Panganoron, one of Pagtuga’s warriors shot an arrow through his heart.
Distraught, the princess took one of the warriors’ knives nearby and stabbed herself.
Her heartbroken father then buried the lovers together, where they noticed that after years and years went by, the mound where they were buried got bigger and bigger, and turned into the beautiful Mount Mayon, which was named after her. But the princess might still be angry as the scenic Mayon then turned into a volcano, whose explosions have caused death and destruction over the years.
Well, like it’s always been said, there isn’t quite anything like a woman scorned.

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