Originally, the word was Kagsawa. It was derived from Kag, “who does or owner” and SAWA, meaning a python which suggested one who collects snake or perhaps a snake charmer, On its worst, it signifies excesses from SAWA (pronounced in maragsa on the last syllable) meaning too much. Fr. Francisco Aragonesses, OFM, former curate of Kagsawa and Budyaw, seemed to confirm the notable overindulgence of the people during the time.
in 1814, Mayon Volcano erupted and sent lava flows cascading down its sides. The townspeople of Cagsawa fled to the church where they perished when it was engulfed in the fiery flows. Today, only the church tower remains as a memorial.