A long time ago, according to a local legend, a tribe king named Datu Montake-e lived in deep forest of Agusan. He has a son whose name is Tagakupan and who was the most handsome, strongest and bravest among the men of his tribe.

One day,Tagakupan asked for his father's blessing and permission to go to the plains to travel. Datu Montake-e was hesitant knowing the dangers his son might go through especially among the fierce natives of the plains, but in the end, he gave in to his son's insistent plea.

Tagakupan fiercely fought against dangerous and wild forest animals he encountered along the way until he reached the plains.

He was cruising along a big river, named Agusan when he happened to pass by a settlement near the river. There, he saw the most beautiful girl he has ever seen in his life, frolicking among her girl companions by the river. But when the lady saw him, she and her friends took flight into the settlement.

Tagakupan knew that he met the girl of his dreams and decided right there and then to follow the lady, not knowing that the concerned lady is a princess, the daughter of the brave and warrior Datu Tumalik. He was challenged in fierce fights by the loyal warriors of the king and princess but Tagakupan beat them all. Datu Tumalik was amazed at the young man's strength and courage and so ask for his name and from where he came from. Tagakupan answered calmly that he came from the forests of Bubunawan and that his father is Datu Montake-e.

When Datu Tumalik heard that Tagakupan is the son of a great Datu, his anger vanished and he invited the young man to a celebration in his palace. Among those who attended the occasion is Princess Labnigan, the beautiful daughter of Datu Tumalik. She is the same beautiful lady that Tagakupan saw by the river. Tagakupan lost no time proposing to her and Labnigan who was also deeply impressed by his charm and bravery told him that he must seek her father's blessing first, implying her feelings for Tagakupan.

Because of the bravery that Tagakupan has shown, Datu Tumalik readily accepted his proposal and soon the young couple were wed.

It has been the tradition in that place that when the children marry, they must live independently from their parents. The newly-wed Tagakupan and Labnigan were given a place of their own on the mountain near the river. It was there that Tagakupan built their house, as big and as grand as a palace, overlooking a lake on the northern part and the river on the south. Tagakupan and Labnigan never get tired of gazing at the beauty around them.

Time passed until one day, in the latter part of 1872, the the whole tribe was jolted by the loud sound of agong made by the sentries posted on the western and southern part of the river. This is the signal for enemies coming. Tagakupan and the rest of the warriors went down immediately and engage the enemies in fierce battle. But the enemies, the Spaniards who came from far shores have superior weapons and were able to subdue the natives. Blood and water flowed on the river. The Spaniards continued their conquest, claimed the land and the settlement governed by Tagakupan. Datu Tumalik fell on their hands, and they imprisoned Tagakupan and Labnigan. Tagakupan died a valiant death on the face of the Spaniards' cruelty.

Labnigan and Datu tumalik were able to return to their place. Labnigan was unconsolable over her husband's death that she asked her father to take her to their home by the mountain and leave her there alone. When morning comes, Datu Tumalik and her royal court found her dead, her blood flowing out from a knife wound she inflicted upon herself. They buried her on the top of the mountain, upon the place she and Tagakupan loved so much. A day passed and the tribe was astonished to find tall, elongated and sharp-edged grasses growing abundantly on Labnigan's burial place. The grass was locally known as cogon.

Since then, the mountain was called Talacogon in fond memory of Tagakupan and Labnigan, Ta coming from Tagakupan, la coming from Labnigan and cogon for the grass that covered their ground.

English translation of Ang Alamat ng Talacogon taken from Lake Himbang Portfolio, Municipality of Talacogon. Agusan del Sur

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