The Volcano Princess

Mayon: The Volcano Princess is a film about the people who live around the Mayon volcano, the most active and most destructive volcano in The Philippines. The Mayon volcano actually gets its name from Darang Magayon, a legendary princess who lived in the Bicol region.

The documentary presents how communities can live and survive next to a source of constant danger. Locals talk about their experiences during and after deadly volcanic disasters such as lahars, pyroclastic flows and eruptions. The film also presents some of the strategies for dealing with the evacuation dilemma, and it contains interviews with local residents, officials, and scientists.

The documentary includes an animated recreation of the tragic Legend of Princess Magayon who is believed to be buried under the volcano. The traditional version of legend was distilled down to 3 minutes, and we use a narrative style that presents the fairytale beginning in a traditional storybook voice-over style as well as the tragic ending of the story which is presented with just dramatic music and sound effects. The video below has the version in the Bicolano dialect that is spoken in the Mayon area, the English version is in the full documentary video above starting at 40min 20sec.

Mayon: The Volcano Princess was produced by the Earth Observatory of Singapore in association with PHIVOLCS, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.