10 Horrifying Monsters of the Philippines
Filipino culture is rich in folk lore and myths that can make your hair raise and make your heart pound as you read the story. You may find the mythical creatures to be familiar or similar to that in your country. The reason for this, maybe, is due to the several countries that interacted with the country. Anyway, these monsters will surely give you monsters.
The well-renowned aswang has always been a part of the culture of Filipinos that it has been an icon of a few local movies and was even featured in one of the episodes of Grimm. They have a little similarity with the shape shifter since these monsters are said to be able to transform into a pig, a dog, a cat and even a cockroach (honestly, this is true depending on the region). These monsters crave for human infants and even fetus which is the reason why elders of the village consistently warn pregnant women to be on the lookout of any suspicious person (normally an old woman) who stalks you since this maybe an aswang.
This is one disgusting monster since it impregnates a virgin then later to return to kill the woman and the baby. In other folk lore, the woman is already pregnant when the Matruculan comes to eat the fetus. To protect his wife and unborn child, a husband would swing a kind of knife called a balisong on the woman’s belly while she in on labor. Well, it seems like even a real person would be scared when one swings a knife capable of killing fast.
Kapre may not be as scary as the rest since they don’t eat humans but they do enjoy scaring little children at night (Filipino children back in the days used to play games like tagu-taguan and patintero at night under the full moon and not playing their iPad or PSP). This monster is described to be a heavy smoker with glowing eyes and a body covered in thick hair. In some cases, they may be friendly and there had even been stories that when this monster falls in love with a woman, expect gifts in the form of fruits outside the house. Of course, just like a real human you do not like, it is also hard to turn them down although in one television show, the paranormal expert offered the invisible kapre a cigarette and it left her. Anyway, it is said that you’ll know that there’s a kapre on a tree if you see smoke even if there is no one around and you see no fire. Another hint: they love both the Mango and Balite tree.
This is one monster that would really baffle you. It has a few similarities with dwarves since these are both small creatures who people believe affects their daily lives. According to legends, there are two kinds of duwende, the puti(white) ones and the itim(black) na duwende. It believed that the puti brings good luck to those who takes care of its habitat while the itim would bring pestilence, ailments and bad luck to whoever destroys the place he lives (who won’t?). It is said that you may avoid these monsters if you would say “tabi-tabi po” (Filipino term for excuse me) so that the creature will step aside.
Contrary to westerner’s belief, a tiyanak is not similar to the siren since it doesn’t lure its victims with its voice but it uses its appeal as a baby, instead. At first, the person will hear a cry of a distressed baby in the middle of the woods and the unknowing victim will come in search of it only find a poor baby lying in the middle of nowhere. Eventually, the victim will look around and later carry it. Suddenly, the baby’s facial feature will transform of that of a monster and would drain the blood of its victim. There’s no way you’ll find the victim after.
This monster has different descriptions based on the folklores of each region. There are stories that suggest that this is a monster with a head that hangs between its forelegs and it has longer hind legs much like a grasshopper. It is said that they wander around in search of children to consume while they keep their hearts as an amulet. This story originates from Cebu and other areas near it. However, there was a new animal recently discovered in Borneo that has the same description as the sigbin although there’s no solid proof about this.
If the Greeks have the manticore then the Filipinos have their tikbalang, a monster with a head and feet of a horse and a body of a human. This monsters are considered to be harmless yet a nuisance for those who lives in the northern part of the country since they simply play pranks on travellers who should turn their clothes inside out for the monster to stop bothering them. Those from the south, however, believe that the monster will stomp on the person to death when angered. Get the three unusually long hairs from its mane and it will be your slave. Another legend says that a tikbalang is getting married when the sun shines while it is raining.
Another kind of monster that Filipinos consider to bring bad luck is the Kumakatok (knocking in English). They are more of an omen rather than a flesh eating monster. They are described as three individuals that include 2 old men and a pretty young woman. Their origin is unknown but there are several sighting of it. They come to knock and it is said that when they appear, someone will surely die. Of course, even if you don’t open the door, someone will still die.
The White Lady / Kaperosa
This kind of monster is more of a ghost rather than a frightful creature. Most ghosts or what they call Multo appears to relatives but the Kaperosa is different since they are sighted on different places and one of the most familiar places to see one is on Balete Drive in Quezon City. The story of the white lady in Balete drive began when a young woman was raped by Japanese Soldiers during the country’s invasion of the Philippines. Since then, the white lady would appear and cause accidents to motorist when they see her on the rear view. She is described either without a face or someone filled with blood.
This monster is another kind of aswang similar to the Penanggalan of the Malays since it detaches half of its body and flies with the upper part of it. It is also described to be a monster with wings of a bat and searches for its victims. These monsters eat fetus or the heart of victims. This monster hates garlic and salt which is the reason why elders in the barrios hang garlic on their windows. It is important to find the other half of its body and spread salt and ashes to it so the manananggal won’t be able to return to its body and later die by the time the sun comes out which causes its painful death.