When in Manila, one of our favorite Halloween pastimes is sharing horror stories. They can either be based from personal experiences, or passed on from generations through word of mouth. Of course, these stories wouldn’t be complete without the subjects, which are supernatural beings. Some of them may be a myth, but some may be true. Only one thing’s for sure: they make our sleepovers, campings, and casual hangouts totally exciting. And now, let me take you to a countdown of the Top Ten Scariest Monsters, Creepers, and Creatures that have become popular subjects of Philippine urban legends and horror stories since time immemorial.
Top 10 Scariest Local Filipino Monsters in the Philippines: From Aswang to the White Lady!
10. Duwende (goblin/elf/dwarf)
They are small, child-like 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 duwendes. Keep on losing things the moment you need them, only to find them later on? Maybe you just got “Punk’d” by a dwarf!
9. White Lady
They’re 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 they change into black or red, depending on mood and season. Feel their presence with their hair-raising wails and weightless roaming. Their favorite spots are houses, roads, and at the backseat of cars. Sometimes you’d also see them through your rearview mirror, when you’re driving alone at night. Any space for chance passengers? As if you’ve got a choice! LOL
Tall, dark, and rather filthy giants whose hobby is hiding atop large trees (preferably old mango or acacia) and smoke rolls of cigar. (Common cause of death? TB/pneumonia) Their pastime is to scare children and vacationers away. If you find yourself stuck in a place and just going around in circles, you might have been played by the Kapre. In such case, remove your top and reverse it before wearing it on again.
7. Sirena and Siyokoy (Mermaid and Mermen)
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.
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.
One of the variations of aswang (unfortunately there are). Like a typical monster, they are not that photogenic and neat. 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. Thanks to water sealants, manananggal cases seemed to have been dropped over the past few years. Tip: in case you see the lower half of the manananggal’s body, drench them with whatever spices and vinegar you have (a la adobo) because they are allergic to anything savory.
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. They also like to trick travelers into getting lost in mountainous or forest areas.
(Photo credit: Anthony Francisco)
3. 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 it.
(Photo credit: Ricardo Pustanio)
2. Mangkukulam (bruha, witch)
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. See Bellatrix of ‘Harry Potter’ for reference.
1. 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. Some say that they are mostly female and they prefer butchering as occupation. So the next time you see that quiet and elusive lady butcher at your town, better be careful, or else… LOL
P.S. Excuse the humor. We all could use a little laugh sometimes. =p Not to cross your own beliefs, it’s inevitable to have different versions of stories about these supernatural creatures since they are passed on through word of mouth. So I understand if some of you may disagree with some of the details in this article. Thanks and peace!
Top 10 Scariest Monsters, Creepers and Creatures in the Philippines