In the early days before the Spanish occupation, there was a piece of land lying next to the Laguna Lake. The particular territory was governed by a Lakan or chieftain reknowned for his bravery. And because of his many admirable qualities and his having a daughter who was very beautiful, he was highly revered by his subjects. Incidentally, his daughter's name was Gloria.
Gloria engaged in many charitable works and because of her many good deeds, she was highly esteemed by her people. She even showed great compassion and mercy to surrounding tribesmen who were conquered by his father, prompting their early release from the scourges of prison life and turning them willing subjects of his father's kingdom.
One day, the sky darkened, the winds blew hard and then rain started to pour down heavily on the land. The water level of Laguna Lake rose, while the gushing wind cause high tides that overturned many seafaring vessels out at sea that day.
After some time, the rain stopped and the wind calmed down. A fishing boat was spotted shipwrecked on the shore. As the boat was different from those of their own, the people informed the Lakan about what they saw. The chieftain quickly summoned them to rush down to the lake and seek out the boat. The people acted on his order at once. When they saw what was inside the boat, they were amazed to see a man lying down on his face.
He looked very feeble as he called out for help in a rather whining voice. They took pity on him and carried the stranger back to the village. He was brought before the chieftain, who seeing his condition, immediately ordered the men around him to bring him to the village doctor to look after him. A day or two of rest and medication, the young lad was able to quickly recover his strenght.
When the young lad got around to talk to the Chieftain, he told the Lakan his name. He confessed his name is Bayani who came from the other side town. He mentioned that he and his companions were enroute to Manila. When the typhoon hit them, their boat capsized and his fellow companions all drowned in the lake. Meanwhile he managed to hang on to the boat until he was washed ashore. Since he was now alone, being the sole survivor, he requested the chieftain to allow him to stay in the village.
Persuaded by Gloria, the chieftain readily agreed to have Bayani stay. The young lad served the chieftain loyally and was well like by his peers because of his natural good character.
Gloria often took a stroll along the lake and Bayani often accompanied her. They were like two siblings who shared good relationships. With time, the two outgrew their childish fondness for each other, and having become grown- ups they fell in love with one another and even swore to love each other for the rest of their lives.
As Bayani was an honest man, he thought he confessed to the chieftain the vows he made with Gloria and even asked that he be allowed to marry Gloria.
While the chieftain acknowledged his loyalty to him, he also let it be known to the young man of his refusal to allow the marriage as he had other plans for his daughter. He advised the young man to forget Gloria and to depart from the land at once.
But the young man responded saying he would find it sweeter to die than separated forever from Gloria. His remarks angered the chieftain so much, the Lakan ordered his head cut off right away. His men immediately executed the sentence pronounced upon Bayani. The instant Gloria heard about it, she quickly rushed to where Bayani was. Bayani had already lost his head when she saw him. She turned mad, crying one moment and laughing the next moment when she saw the horrible condition of her lover. She got down on her knees and then picked up the head of Bayani. Then she laid it on her shoulder and then began to kiss and kiss the cheek of Bayani. Suddenly, she drew out a shining dagger tucked on the side of her body and stabbed it right into her heart, and at once she stopped breathing.
From that time on, dishearted by the incident, many of the tribesmen moved out of the village. But still, they claimed that during the night they could see from a distance two spirit arose or "nagbabangon", in the local dialect, on the very spot on the ground upon which the two lovers met their death.
From the colloquial term "nagbabangon", an action word, it was in time slightly changed to "Binangonan", a noun, which came to be the name of the town as it exists today, still reminiscent of the legend that recounts the tragedy that had befallen the two lovers.