by Gabriela Lee

Over the land and over the seas,
There was a small kingdom in the East.
But nobody saw its beauty so grand,
For a seven-headed dragon guarded the land.

The problem with dragons is their big bulging tummies.
They’d spew fire and smoke if they didn’t get their yummies. 
To make matters worse, this dragon was picky.
It ate only virgins, and that made it tricky.

Poor King Kabugnot could not rule anymore
For feeding the dragon was a horrible chore.
The land was now dirty, the kingdom was broke;
And there were few virgins among the village folk.

So King Kabugnot looked all over his land
And called all the virgins to lend him a hand.
With the King’s proclamation, not a woman could hide;
And for this dragon’s lunch, chose Marikit… the poor child.

The people were sad; Marikit paid the price.
Saving the kingdom was a supreme sacrifice.
With hands tied and tears in her eyes,
She went to the dragon, and offered her life.

But soon came the day the King truly feared:
All the poor virgins in his land had been cleared!
King Kabugnot scratched his head as he thought,
“What should I do? In a corner I’m caught!”

The poor King was so troubled; dragon’s food was so late.
With a fish and an apple, he begged it to wait.
He was searching for food when out of nowhere
A skinny young man was standing right there!

La-on was no merchant, no prince nor poor man,
But he promised the King that he’d do what he can.
For La-on had the power of magic, not tricks.
And the language of ants, bees, and eagles he’d mixed.

They bided their time for a –SURPRISE ATTACK!
The bees stung the dragon’s tough, scaly back!
The ants bit the noses! The eagles pierced the eyes!
Truly the battle was a sight…not so nice.

Now that the dragon was fully distracted,
The brave La-on jumped on its tummy and acted.
He plunged his big bolo with a swift and sure stroke
Until the great dragon gave its last fiery croak.

And as we might expect, La-on was hero to all.
But he first paid the King a courtesy call.
He went to the palace with a head of the dragon.
Proving once and for all that the terror was now gone.

And as for the dragon, its body was buried
In the place where it crashed (it couldn’t becarried).
The densest of forests surrounded the site
And slowly there rose a mountain of fright!

Now and then the huge mountain would spew fire and smoke
To tell of this tale to all the townsfolk.
It reminds us that goodness and courage won’t fall,
Mount Kanlaon is indeed a fine tale!