History of Magayon Festival
Magayon Festival comes from magayon, which means beautiful, and Daragang Magayon Festival means beautiful maiden (daragang meaning young lady). The festival began in 1995. It was established as an annual, province-wide event in 1998 within the term of Governor Al Francis Bichara.
In 2007, it transitioned into a combined co-festival with Legazpi City’s Ibalong Festival and it was named “Ibalong Na, Magayon Pa Festival.” It was made a separate festival by the provincial government once again in 2008.
In some years, the timing of Magayon Festival was simultaneous with Albay Day (in 2014 and 2016).
The festival is organized as a tourism activity and a celebration of the beauty, culture, and history of the province of Albay.
Legend of Daragang Magayon
The festival is inspired by the legend of Daragang Magayon, also known as the legend of Magayon and Pangaronon after the names of the protagonists. It is an origin story of the iconic Mt. Mayon.
Once upon a time, there was a young lady called Magayon. She was the daughter of Dawani and Makusog, the chieftain of Ibalon. Her beauty was known far and wide that she had many suitors, one of whom was Pagtuga. Pagtuga showered her with jewelry and other precious gifts to win her over, but she did not love him.
One day, she was taking a bath in Yawa River. She lost her balance and found herself in deep waters. She was crying out for help when a man named Pangaronon (called Ulap in other accounts) rescued her from drowning. The two fell in love. Makusog who came to know of their romance gave his blessing.
Upon hearing the news about the two lovers, Pagtuga kidnapped Makusog and threatened to kill him if Magayon would not give her hand in marriage. The family agreed with his demands to save Makusog’s life, so a wedding between Pagtuga and Magayon was arranged.
On the day they were about to be wed, Pangaronon and his men appeared and fighting ensued. At last he defeated and killed Pagtuga.
Magayon ran towards Pangaronon to embrace him, but she was struck by an arrow. Pangaronon was overcome with grief and, as she lay gasping her last breath in his arms, he was pierced by a spear by one of the enemies.
The two lovers were buried. Over time, the mound where they were laid grew to a volcano. People remembered the ill-fated lovers and called the volcano Mt. Mayon.
Folks believe that when there are volcanic activities or Mayon Volcano erupts, Magayon is being troubled by unwanted suitors. And in times of peace, she is living blissfully with her lover Pangaronon.
Magayon Festival Activities
Magayon Festival can be as long as a month or as short as two weeks. Activities include beauty pageant (Search for Daragang Magayon), sports, competitions, exhibit, Higantes parade (a parade of giants from indigenous myths and stories), street dance, cultural presentations, cook fest, etc.
How to reach Albay
Book a flight to Bicol International Airport located in Camalig, Albay.
- Cyryl L. Montales. PLGU Albay presents 20 official candidates for ‘Search for Daragang Magayon 2023’. Philippine Information Agency. April 21, 2023. Retrieved April 22, 2023
- Daragang Magayon Festival, lalong pababahain ang turista sa Albay. The Philippine Star. April 2, 2016. Retrieved April 22, 2023
- Ed Casulla. Albay handa na sa Daragang Magayon Festival 2014. The Philippine Star. March 6, 2014. Retrieved April 22, 2023
- Magayon Festival. Tourism Promotions Board Philippines. Retrieved April 22, 2023
- Jose M. Briones. Magayon Festival – Before and Now. Provincial Government of Albay. Retrieved April 22, 2023
- Star-crossed lovers: The story of Magayon and Pangaronon. ABS-CBN News. January 18, 2018. Retrieved April 22, 2023
- Sylvia Mendez Ventura. Volcano of Love and Death. The Termite Queen and other Classic Philippine Earth Tales. Arete – Ateneo de Manila University. Retrieved April 22, 2023
- Mar S. Arguelles. A festival blend of Bicol myth, history. Philippine Daily Inquirer. April 9, 2015. Retrieved April 22, 2023