Local Philippine/Filipino Monsters!

Since Halloween or UNDAS, or Kalag-kalag in Visayan, is coming why not set asisde time to get to know our own scary Local Philippine/Filipino Monsters! These 'Filipino Monsters' are either based from personal experiences, or passed down from generations through word of mouth from our elders. So below are the  Monsters, Creepers, critters, and Creatures that have become popular subjects of Philippine urban legends, history, and horror stories:

White Lady (Female Specter/Ghost) - They are wandering spirits of women who died of injustice (victims of rape, holdup,kidnapping, etc.) and seeking for revenge/closure. Depicted in a white dress, a white lady sometimes change into black or red, depending on mood and season (so they say~hmm). They can be found in old houses, creepy roads, and at the backseat of cars even.

Tiktik - is a bird that serves as a spotter for its master, which is the aswang. Some say it’s the alter ego of aswang. The tiktik emits a unique, loud chirp “Tik-tik-tik” that serves as a warning to the victims. When it’s loud, it means the aswang is still far from the victim (cue to run for your life!) The cry gets fainter as the aswang approaches closer.

Aswang (Philippine ghouls) - Aswang is a legendary humanoid which is sort of a cross between a vampire and a witch. Regular townspeople by day, they become cannibals with a voracious appetite for human flesh by night. They can also transform into either a black boar or a huge dog (okay, so they're not necessarily a hybrid of a witch/vampire). Some say that they are mostly female and they prefer butchering as occupation.

Duwende (goblin/elf/dwarf-in one? or the like [excluding hobbits, I guess]) - They say they're small, child-like and mischievous creatures who dwell in houses, trees, underground, mounds, and rural areas. Duwende usually comes out at noon for about an hour, and at night. They can be good or mischievous, depending on how you treat them. Thus, the expression “Tabi, tabi po” is often used to give respect to the presence of duwende.

Kapre - Tall, dark,  not-so-handsome-filthy giants whose hobby is hiding atop large trees (preferably old mango or acacia) and smoke rolls of cigar (this is the 1st time I've heard about the cigar thing~). They prefer to scare children and vacationers for some reason unknown.

Sirena and Siyokoy (Mermaid and Mermen) - This one's not so familiar~Mythical creatures of the ocean, the sirena is female and has a human body and a fish tail. Its mesmerizing beauty is said to attract fishermen and tourists, and lure them to the sea until they’re never to be found again. On the other hand, the siyokoy( male counterpart) takes a human form with scaled bodies. They have gills on the neck and for the lower extremities, they have either fishtails, or scaled legs and webbed feet. They are said to drown humans for their own consumption.

Manananggal - One of the variations of aswang (I don't get they're relation anyway). By day they take human form and at night, these winged creatures separate their torso from their body and use the upper half to fly on top of houses and prey on fetuses of pregnant women. For dinner, they extend their long, sharp tongues from the rooftop to the navels of their victims. In case you see the lower half of the manananggal’s body, drench them with whatever spices and vinegar you have ~I guess to irritate and induce infection on an open wound like that?

Tikbalang - They are mythical creatures with a horse’s head, a human’s body, and a horse’s feet. They are fond of raping females to give birth to more tikbalang (raping or just they're idea of procreation but really who knows..). They also like to trick travelers into getting lost in mountainous or forest areas (if you're a female traveler then too bad >_<).

ok, i'm afraid of a photo of a tiyanak :D

Tiyanak (impakto) - They are said to be babies who died without receiving baptism rites. A tiyanak can also be the offspring of a woman and a demon, or an aborted fetus who comes back to seek revenge on its mother. They often disguise as a normal baby. But once the prey comes closer, that’s the time they reveal their monstrous form and eat will try to eat you!.

Mangkukulam (bruha, witch) - Another not so obvious creature~they are said to be people, especially women, who possess supernatural powers and have the ability to cast evil spells to their victims. They are the bad witches; they use dark magic. Mangkukulam is often stereotyped as donning a black dress, wearing too much dark makeup on, and having unkempt hair. Let's hope that a good witch is around to help you!


Sigbin or Sigben - is a creature in Philippine mythology said to come out at night to suck the blood of victims from their shadows. It is said to walk backwards with its head lowered between its hind legs, and to have the ability to become invisible to other creatures, especially humans. It resembles a hornless goat, but has very large ears which it can clap like a pair of hands and a long, flexible tail that can be used as a whip. The Sigbin is said to emit a nauseating odor.

According to legend, there are families known as Sigbinan ("those who own Sigbin") whose members possess the power to command these creatures, and are said to keep the Sigbin in jars made of clay. The Aswang are said to keep them as pets, along with another mythical creature, a bird known as the Wak Wak
ts appearance is said to be similar to the chupacabra and Tasmanian devil in appearance, although with spotty fur. It supposedly has a wide mouth with large fangs.

Wakwak - is a vampiric, bird-like creature in Philippine mythology or said to be a witch. It is said to snatch humans at night as prey, similar to the Manananggal and the Ekek in rural areas of the Philippines, due to its ability to fly. The difference between the Mananggal and the Wakwak is that Wakwak cannot separate its torso from its body while the Manananggal can. Some believe it is also a form a vampire takes. Other people contend that a "Wakwak" is a Philippine night bird belonging to a witch.

Ekek (or Ek Ek) - are creatures who are bird-like humans. They are winged-humans who search for victims at night. They hunger for flesh and blood. They are usually described by old folks as flying creatures that look like the Manananggal but are unable to divide or split their body. Apart from the Manananggal, they are also associated to the Wak Wak because of some similar characteristics. The only difference between a Wak Wak and Ekek is that Ekek has a bill like birds whereas the Wak Wak has none.

Note: These may not be the same description you have since it may have been distroted and influenced through the confines of our colorful history. So, it's totally understand if you disagree :D

Local Philippine/Filipino Monsters! Local Philippine/Filipino Monsters! Reviewed by Vernon Joseph Go on Sunday, October 30, 2011 Rating: 5

1 comment

  1. A wonderful resource for writers. Thank you for giving such a comprehensive description of our local netherworld.