Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Filipino Mythological Creatures...


Welcome to 2013!
For our first blog of the year, I'm talking about Filipino Mytholgical Monsters!
 
The Philippines
Officially known as the Republic of the Philippines (Filipino: Republika ng Pilipinas), is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean.
The Philipines is a country made up of islands which are divided into 17 regions creating a total of 80 provinces.  It's population is approximately 80% Roman Catholic, and this combined with pre-colonial animist beliefs makes the Philippines a rich and interesting source of mythical creatures to research.
 
 
Kapre
 
BEASTLY FACTS
Name: KAPRE
Origin: Philippine Mythology
Creep Factor: 5/10
Religious affiliation: Christian/Catholic
Deadly rating: Low
Cryptid: No
Shares similarity with: Giant, Trickster, moss folk, tree spirit
 
The Kapre is a tree demon.
[philippinegenrestories.com]
It appears in the form of a hairy bearded humanoid creature ranging from 7-10 ft (2-3m) in height.
The Kapre is a smoker, and smokes a pipe or a long cigar. They dwell in large trees wearing only loincloths and a magical belt which renders them invisible to the human eye.
Like many nature spirits, the Kapre is fond of tricks and may confuse travellers so they become lost.
Indications of the presence of a Kapre are; scent of tobacco/smoke coming from tree top, rustling branches despite no wind, loud laughter and disembodied voices in the jungle as well as an abundance of fireflies.
 
The Kapre shares a similarity with the Batibat, another tree dwelling 'demon' who takes the form of a obese woman.
 
If the Batibat's tree is chopped down to build a house, it will hide in a post hole and attack people during the night by sitting on their chests and suffocating them (this is very similar to the methods used by the traditional incubus/succubus demons in European mythology, however there does not seem to be sexual link with this one).
 
 
Sigbin 

BEASTLY FACTS

Name: SIGBIN
Origin: Philippine Mythology
Creep Factor: 8/10
Religious affiliation: Christian/Catholic
Deadly rating: High
Cryptid: No
Shares similarity with: vampire, chupacabra
 
[missosology.info]
The Sigbin is a random looking mythological creature that apparently resembles a goat with no horns (a sheep perhaps?) However, it also has large ears that it can clap together as a human would its hands. It walks in a peculiar fashion, backwards with it's head between its long hind legs...It also has a hideous smell, and a tail it can use as whip (these are all similar characteristics of the Chupacabra - and interestingly a number of the images I googled for the Sigbin where of the same deceased animals other people have called the chupacabra)
 
The Sigbin's modus operandi is to creep from its lair and tear out human heart (preferably those of children), though some myths say it drinks blood. It is particularly dangerous during Easter Week.
There is some discussion suggesting  sightings of the the Sigbin may actually be related to a rare cat-fox creature similar to the one  that was discovered in Borneo in 2003.
 Tiyanak
 
BEASTLY FACTS
 

Name: TIYANAK
Origin: Philippine Mythology
Creep Factor: 10/10
Religious affiliation: Christian/Catholic
Deadly rating: High
Cryptid: No
Shares similarity with: Toyol (Malaysian Mythology), Drekavac (Eastern European mythology), vampires.
 
The Tiyanak is a horrible demon creature that takes the form of a newborn baby crying in the jungle to attract a victim. This method is used by a number of other mythical baddies through out the world and the similarities between the Tiyanak, Toyol and Drekavac are quite striking (see my blogs about the Drekavac and google the Toyol (be warned it's hideous))
 
When the victim comes across the 'child', they naturally pick it up to sooth and protect it. Alas, Tiyanak then reverts to it's natural demonic form and attacks the individual with sharp claws and fangs.
 

 Aswang / Manananggal
 

BEASTLY FACTS


Name: ASWANG / MANANANGGAL
Origin: Philippine Mythology
Creep Factor: 8/10
Religious affiliation: Christian/Catholic
Deadly rating: High
Cryptid: yes
Shares similarity with: Vampire, Shape Shifter, necrophile, witch
 
The Aswang shares a number of similarities with the Manananggal, and when researching this post I found a great deal of confusion between them.

The most common description of the aswang is of a witch-like woman with leathery wings and bloody fangs. She may also appear as a dog, bat or snake.
 
The Aswang is a grave robber, consuming the corpse and replacing it with a tree trunk carved with likeness of the dead person. They also (as is most evil mythological creatures) like to eat children, particularly targetting their liver or heart.
 
Some believe that the Aswang may live amongst the human population, preferring to work as butchers or sausage makers (naturally!).
 
The Manananggal however, takes the appearance of a more western style vampire. However, it has the unique ability to separate itself from its legs and fly off to hunt, whilst leaving its lower abdomen and legs at home. If you sprinkle the lower half of the Manananggal with salt you will kill it. It also has a proboscis like tongue and particularly favours pregnant women in its diet...
 
So there you have it, some interesting and strangely familiar mythological beasties to whet your appetite for the paranormal.
 
Enjoy your Week and Happy New Year!


 
 
 

7 comments:

  1. As always, totally cool post. Though some really creepy ones here. Urgh!! But totally cool for stories.

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  2. Thanks. Yeah, the Tiyanak freaks me out! Ugh.

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  3. Hi...My name is Larry (author's pen name - L S Dubbleyew) and a friend just turned me onto your blog...very, very neat stuff...I just self-published a book (first in a series)and am working on the second. Are any of these creatures your originals? Or how about the drawing? My book is "Before The Poisoned Apple," website(and facebook) is lsdubbleyew.com. I'll check out your other pages...

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    1. Hi Again...I've been doing a bit of hunting on your sites and I do see where your references come from. I'll be adding some to my library. Your work looks wonderful. Maybe in can pick your brain sometime as I am very new at this. Be well...

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    2. Congratulations on your achievements Larry, I've used a lot of mythological creatures in my books, though if you're referring to the Filipino mythological creatures, I haven't used any of them in my current published works.

      The most of the drawings/art on this blog are sourced from the net (and I usually reference it). My drawings - I usually just reference as "by me". The picture of the mananggal above was one from google images, this particular image I recall I found on a number of sites so I couldn't source its original website.

      As for references it depends I tend to refer mostly to Brenda Rosen's mythical creatures bible, but I also trawl the net looking for websites about mythology - there are A LOT out there so I tend to read two or three, then summarise the features of the creature that are similar in both. My advice is not to believe wikipedia entirely, double check details against other informative sites.

      Cheers!

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  4. They are mythical creatures of the Philippines mostly every types of shapes and sizes composed all of evil and hideous creatures like Asuwang manananggal tikbalang kapre Impakta tiktik Anaranhig mandurugo Mambabarang Tiyanak nuno sa punso/duwende lambana/diwata sirena/diwatang dagat kataw and other fabled figures in Philippine mythology and legends remains a popular treasures of all time.thanks for the information.From:Wayne

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  5. All fabled monsters is no match against the Greek gods and Germanic gods they are mostly Filipinos long before the Europeans/Spaniards came to the Philippines ....they are all ancients came from mythical pagan gods bless the sea sky earth animal plants/nature life and death war and peace good versus evil long before Christianity came to the Philippines ..Thanks for the information..From:Wayne

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