The Legend of Mount Kanlaon

There once lived on the island of Negros a princess named Anina who lived a very sheltered life. One day, Anina overheard her father talking to the kingdom’s chief priestess. The priestess was frantic about a report that they could not find a single maiden who was unblemished. Later, Anina asked her father what it was all about, and the king finally broke down. There had long been a seven-headed dragon threatening the kingdom, and the monster could only be appeased if an unblemished maiden was sacrificed to it.

In fear, all the women in the kingdom had cut themselves to disqualify themselves from the sacrifice. Parents cut their own baby girls so as to spare the infants from the sacrifice. But the king and the queen couldn’t bring themselves to mar their daughter’s beauty, and so Anina was the only remaining unscarred female in the kingdom. Anina did not weep. Instead, she willingly offered herself for the sacrifice. Fortuitously, on the day she was to be brought to the mountain where the dragon lived, a man calling himself Khan Laon appeared. Khan in his language meant a noble lord. ) He said he came from a kingdom far away in order to slay the dragon and spare Anina’s life. No one believed the dragon could be killed, but Khan Laon insisted that his ability to talk to animals would help him. He asked the help of the ants, the bees and the eagles. The ants swarmed over the dragon’s body and crept under its scales to bite its soft, unprotected flesh, while the bees stung the fourteen eyes of the dragon till it was blind.

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The largest eagle carried Khan Laon to the mountain where he was able to easily chop off the seven heads of the writhing beast. In gratitude, the king gave Khan Laon his daughter Anina to be his bride, and the people named the mountain after the noble lord. And that is how, according to the story, Mount Kanlaon got its name. That it is a volcano is because of the spirt of the dead dragon.


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