Mayon is short for Magayon, "beautiful" in Bicolano, the local language. Indeed, it is beautiful... and some say shy. Shy, meaning you are lucky if she lets you see her in her full majesty, not covered in clouds. I guess we were lucky, being able to get a room that faced the volcano and waking up to this majestic view.
But the Mayon could also be brutal: a few years back she blew part of her crater off and created a lava wall that we visited by taking a 4x4 through villages that line its immediate periphery. Houses ensconced into the cracks and fissures formed by the mercurial Mayon, from whence little children would spew out, happily shouting as if little spits of lava fire.
It is these little children that I think about now, hoping that they have all retreated to safety.