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The Quarrel Of The Volcanoes (Bicol)

Long ago when the world was still young the good and evil gods were not yet enemies as they are now. They were friends, each living separately in a mountain (bolod, Bicol). One report even said that they were brothers. Gugurang, the good god, was living inside Mount Mayon, and Asuang, the evil one, inside Mount Malinao. As gods they had control of the welfare of the people. But Gugurang was more powerful than Asuang who was merely a subordinate; the former was the chief deity (cagurangnan) of the Bicols.

Now Gugurang was given full control over the people, who learned to look up to him for protection or for advancement. Whenever the people disobeyed his orders OT wishes, he would cause the pit of the Mayon Volcano to rumble terribly. The people in time took this as a sign of warning, and accordingly, mended their foul ways. Or if their sins were beyond forgiveness Gugurang would make the volcano erupt to wipe out the sinners. Gugurang then became the symbol of the good (an mga marhay) ready to punish the bad (an mga maraot). When the people saw fire (calayo) flowing out of the crater of Mayon, they would grow afraid. They would then offer a sacrifice (atang) to him to appease his wrath. The Baliana, priestess, officiated in the ceremony. Always when they committed wrong, there would be loud moaning of the earth followed by an eruption of fire and lava (abo).

 

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