Well we have just successfully survived another Halloween season when horrendous ghouls lurk around every corner and many house are decorated with terrifying figures. My own friend in Manila decorated her home with several scary creatures such as this one ~
Seeing all the horrible creatures around town started me thinking of the thousands of mythical creatures that there are around the world depending on the culture of whichever country we are in. Many of these creatures are considered highly dangerous unlike the generally beneficial Leprechauns of my own native Ireland.
The Philippines where I am now living is no exception and has several mythical creatures that you simply would not want to meet. The following are a selection of a few of them for your enlightenment. Information for this was extracted from an article in The Philippine Star.
Is it raining outside but the sun still shines through? In the Philippines, you can blame it on this mythical creature called Tikbalang, a half-horse half-man monster. Filipinos often say that a wedding between two Tikbalangs usually happens when the sun is shining while it is raining.
A Tikbalang is also believed to be a dangerous monster for travelers going on an adventure. It usually deceives the traveler, who would then be unable to reach his destination as he begins to see images that are not real. To counter this spell, the victim is advised to wear his shirt inside out.
Getting lost in the forest will never be fun, but what’s more terrifying is encountering a Kapre along the way. A kapre is tall and burly monster that typically smokes a cigar, is hairy, topless and lives on top of a huge tree. Compared to other monsters, a kapre could be considered harmless because he ony scares and shoo people away from his tree.
These days, however, a dark Filipino male who is significantly taller than the average height of Filipinos of between five feet and two inches and five feet and four inches is also called a kapre.
There is no doubt that all babies are cute. But you know what they say about exception in every rule. And in this case the tiyanak could not be considered in any way as cute. The tiyanak is usually a dead baby who failed to receive a baptismal rite, while some are unborn children who were unwanted and aborted by their parents. Then there is also the tiyanak that is the spawn of a monster or a bad spirit. The small yet treacherous creature often looks like a normal baby at day, but it kills its victims at night when most people are asleep.
Spotted a new chick in the neighborhood? Be suspicious about her identity first. For good measure, go out with her and be on busy streets after 12 midnight. If by that time she remains a single being and does not divide herself in half, then you can be sure that she is not a manananggal.
This female mythical creature splits her body in two - the upper torso and lower torso. Her upper body then flies in search for a victim to devour, while her lower body will stay in the same spot, waiting for the time when the upper body comes back. The manananggal's favored victims are the pregnant women. The monster uses her long tongue to eat the unborn child.
Filipinos believe that a manananggal is afraid of holy water, crucifix, and sunlight. The most powerful weapon against a manananggal is said to be a garland of garlic (wear it like a necklace!) and to kill the monster is to find the lower part of the body and pour salt into it. If the lower torso is destroyed, the manananggal would be unable to return to her body and the sun light would eventually kill her.
Tabi, Tabi, Po” (pronounced Ta-bee Ta-bee Poe) refers to Filipino superstitions- particularly when someone is entering a locale where ghosts and goblins may be living. It is a way of saying “excuse me” or “pardon me” when entering or passing a territory where these creatures inhabit for fear there will be unforgiving consequences if the creatures are not acknowledged or given respect.
Most Filipino men know this line because they usually utter this to avoid offending supernatural creatures when urinating in vacant lots, forest, trees, and plants. Pinoys also utter this line to avoid hitting duwende who does not want to be disturbed. Just like everything else, there are two kinds of duwende - the good and the bad.
A good duwende is usually considered a “lucky charm” that brings prosperity to a family, while on the other hand, the bad duwende is said to bring misfortunes to a family. A notorious duwende is also said to be territorial and will force the occupants of the house to leave the place.
A duwende is believed to be the Philippino version of the dwarf or an elf from western folklore.
These are just a few of the mythical creatures of The Philippines that you might want to watch out for if you decide to visit us here. I hope you have enjoyed this article today and if you have any comment to add then I would really like to hear from you so click on the contact Irish Jim link in the header menu bar above and send me a message or simply leave a comment in the comment box below.
Here is an exercise for you, why don't you go and find some good examples of mythical creatures in your local culture and tell me what you have found. I can then include your findings in a future article.
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