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Lifted from Aswangproject.com | February 22, 2016

Over 260 Creatures & Mythical Beings from Philippine Folklore & Mythology

I have dozens of different resources that I use when I am researching the mythical beings of the
Philippines. I often lament about what a pain in the butt it is to pull them all out every time I get curious
about a mythical being. I thought, wouldn’t it be wonderful if a place existed where I could access the
names of the documented creatures and the regions from which they come? I decided it was time that
somebody took on the task – so here it is! There are over 260 mythical beings listed and, with your help, I
hope to continue adding to this list.

*Please note that many of the links to the references on this page are Amazon Affiliate links.

“CREATURE NAME – (Region) Short description. Source”.


These creatures can be confusing to say the least. First, there are just so many! With over 7000 islands,
and the number of individual languages listed for the Philippines at 187 (according to ethnologue.com),
it’s actually a surprise there aren’t more.

ABAT – (Waray, Eastern Samar) A Waray aswang that sucks internal organs. Big red bulging eyes, fingers
long and bony, and dishevelled hair. Detaches from lower body. The creature is said to resemble a
beautiful maiden by day and marries an unsuspecting man in order to live close to human communities.
She goes to bed early with her spouse, and one informant from Samar reported that the creature quietly
gets out of bed at moonrise, opens an eastern window, and stares at the newly-risen moon until her lower
body drops off. The abats of a town can visit neighboring towns. They fly over nipa houses in which live
pregnant women.

(Source: The Creatures of Philippine Lower Mythology and The Creatures of Midnight , Maximo Ramos,
Phoenix Publishing, 1990)

ADA – (Tagalog) The term used for a “fairy”. Derived from the word “engkantada”.

(Source: Filipino Ghost Stories: Spine-Tingling Tales of Supernatural Encounters and Hauntings by Alex G.
Paman, Tuttle Publishing 2011)

AGALON HAYOPAN – (Bicol) Inactive aswangs, they prefer to live right by the river where crocodiles are
plentiful. They desire to eat human flesh and employ crocodiles to kill people and discreetly bring their
flesh to them.

(Source: Filipinas Volume 12, Page 53, Filipinas Pub., 2003)

AGHOY – (Waray) The East Visayans call them aghoy. They look like little men and women. Their skin is
fair and smooth. They have deep-set eyes, blue, green, or brown. They have high noses and yellow hair.
Their feet are bare and they dress like villagers. They live in trees near villages. They come into a village
after dark. They speak to men in whistles. They make friends with kind people. They give their friends
wonderful gifts. They give them magic pots always full of food. They give them magic purses always full
of gold.

The term likely comes from the term “panaghoy” (lament/ mourn). “Whistling at night is prohibited lest
an engkanto answers. Then something bad will happen to you. (Ayaw gayud panaghoy sa gabii kay
tubagon ka ug engkantos. Unya may piligro nga modangat kanimo.)”

(source: The Creatures of Midnight , Maximo Ramos, Phoenix Publishing, 1990 | The Encyclopedia of
Philippine Folk Beliefs & Customs Vol. 1, Demetrio, Xavier University Press, 1991)
By Isaiah Cabanting

AGTA – (Eastern Visayas) On September 18, 1963, Virginia Taglucop told folklorist Maximo Ramos that
she and her sister were walking on a lonely footpath in Barrio Palanas, Masbate, in 1957 when they saw
an agta sitting under a big santol tree (Sandoricum koetjape). The creature stood and walked toward
them for a distance of twenty-five meters before they ran away. The creature was black and twice as tall
as an ordinary man. The agta of the East Visayas are said to live in mangroves and swampy
places. The agta was reported to have carried a rattan cane – the only Philippine creature shown by the
data to be provided with this elegant appurtenance. The Agta reported most often in Leyte smoked a
large cigar and it can usually be seen in a standing position. Benilda Moreno (from Barrio Gabas, Baybay,
Leyte) said that an agta once ordered some night fishermen not to proceed, blocking their river route
with large trees which it had knocked down to give force to its demand. Virginia Taglucop reported seeing
an agta smoke, between eight in the evening and four the next morning, under a santol tree in which it
resided. Although they share similar traits, the Agta should not be considered a ‘variety’ of kapre, but
instead one of the many tall, black, tree dwellers that have been (mis)classified under that umbrella term.

The Agta has also been described as a supernatural man of dark complexion and extraordinary size
inhabiting trees, cliffs, or empty houses. He is said to play practical jokes on people or kidnap them. He
has a large cigar in his mouth. In Bacolod, people believe the Agta is human, giant and very black. He stays
in a tall tree, wears a hat, and smokes a pipe. He is harmless as long as people do not harm him.

As a protection against the agta, a bottle filled with mercury (asugui) should always be carried, because
they are afraid of mercury.

(source: The The Creatures of Philippine Lower Mythology, Maximo Ramos, Phoenix Publishing, 1990 | The
Encyclopedia of Philippine Folk Beliefs & Customs Vol. 1, Demetrio, Xavier University Press, 1991)

ALAN – (Tingguian) The skin on the face of a wizened old alan is described in a Tingguian tale as having
been tough like carabao hide. The alan’s long arms had fingers pointing back from the wrist, horrible to
look at. Elsewhere, the alan are said to be as large as people but have wings and can fly. Their toes are at
the back of their feet, and their fingers point backward from their
wrists with long nails. The alan is said to have lived in the depths of a dark forest where people seldom
went. They hang upside down from a tree like a bat. In a tale “The Alan and the Hunters,” a man climbed
to the top of a forest tree and saw smoke rising in the distance. He and his companion then walked toward
the smoke and reached the house of a female alan. They killed her and found a jar of beads; and another
jar of gold in her house.

The Lepanto tale (Benguet Province) “How a Young Man Escapes a Cannibal” tells that the alan lived in a
house of pure gold in Kitlungan. They alan are rumoured to adopt children who have been lost in the
jungle. This cannibalistic version of the alan in Northern Luzon should be quite a character to draw—
roughskinned, long-armed, winged, but cravely afraid of crabs, his hands and feet set wrong end forward,
when asleep hanging upside down from a branch like an enormous bat or bird, and yet courting and being
accepted by village girls and able to trade off his green mangoes for human male babies.

They are said to procreate by collecting menstrual blood, aborted fetuses, and afterbirth from humans,
which they form into Alan children.

There is a regional variant of the alan in northwestern Pangasinan and La Union. They describe these
creatures as taller than most people, their complexion is a bit darker than the rest of the local community,
but they have eyes that are light/fair (amber or light brown). They seem to live in tribal communities and
travel during full moon or sometimes at dusk, beating drums and bells.

(source: The The Creatures of Philippine Lower Mythology, Maximo Ramos, 1990 Phoenix Publishing | A
Study in Tinguian Folk-Lore, Fay-Cooper Cole
ALLAWIG – (Ilokano) The allawig, also known as silew-silew (‘lighter’), is a ball of fire moving across open
fields or through wooded areas at night. Unlike fire, it ignites nothing it
touches. It is commonly red but may be blue, green, orange, or yellow. Unlike a real flame, too, it is round
rather than peaked. It may burn bright or just flicker. One under its spell follows it and is then led round
and round until he falls down in exhaustion. The creature may also lead a man into a mudhole or swamp
where he can drown. One under the spell of the allawig should take off his clothes and put them on inside
out. The creature will then leave and he will find his way home, which may prove to be just around the
corner after all.

(source: Philippine Demonological Legends and their Cultural Bearings, Maximo Ramos, 1990, Phoenix

AMALANHIG – (Western Visayas, Hiligaynon) The amalanhig —or maranhig—of the Hiligaynon is said to
be a dead woman who has lived on because no one inherited her vampiric state when she was dying. She
lives in the woods, quietly enters villages at night, and sucks the blood of those asleep.

When about to die, a vampire asks a close relative to take over her vampirism. If no one agrees to do so,
she lives on and remains a vampire.

One should climb up a crooked tree when pursued by the Hiligaynon vampire—the amalanhig—since her
joints are stiff and she cannot negotiate the crook in the tree. If no crooked tree is around, one being
pursued by her should follow a crooked path, for the vampire cannot follow such a path because she
cannot bend her legs to turn. Or one should jump into a river or lake since an amalanhig fears bodies of

“An old man from a distant barrio in one of our towns is known throughout as a maranhig. This man is old
and cannot die unless someone in his family inherits his power. Whenever he begs, his children to take
his power, saliva comes out of his mouth and reaches down to the ground. The saliva is long like a rope
and sticky. His sons married women from outside the province who did not know about their sickness. His
daughters have become spinsters and cannot marry unless one of them inherits her father’s power.

Only one in the family will become a maranhig and will do as he does. The old man used to make those
who talked about them sick.”

(source: Philippine Demonological Legends and their Cultural Bearings and The Aswang Complex in
Philippine Folklore, Maximo Ramos, 1990, Phoenix Publishing)

AMOMONGO – (Western Visayas) The term amomongo has been used to describe a gorilla in traditional
Visayan folktales, such as “Amomongo and Iput-Iput (The Ape and the Firefly). In Brgy. Sag-ang, La
Castellana, Negros Occidental, the same term was used to describe a man-sized creature that attacked
two residents and disemboweled goats and chickens in the area. Elias Galvez and Salvador Aguilar
reported to Mayor Alberto Nicor and the police that they were separately attacked by a “hairy creature
with long nails,” on the nights of June 9 and 10, 2008. Brgy. Sag-ang residents described the creature to
be about 5 feet and 4 inches tall, and looks like a monkey. Sag-ang Brgy. Capt. Rudy Torres has confirmed
reports of the existence of such creature, called amomongo (gorilla) by residents. Brgy. Sag-ang in La
Castellana is located at the foot of Mt. Kanlaon , which has many caves where the creature could live.
(source: Philippine Folk Literature: An Anthology, Eugenio, UP Press 2007 | sunstar.com.ph “Creature
terrorizing residents of farms”)

ANDUDUNO – (Catanduanes) In Catanduanes, the anduduno (one who visits the sick) feeds on human
corpses and her cannibalism is passed on through seven generations. It is reported that when the ghoul
senses that the patient smells like ripe langka (jackfruit), it means he is about to die and she stays around.

(source: The The Creatures of Philippine Lower Mythology, Maximo Ramos, 1990 Phoenix Publishing)

ANGGITAY – (Tagalog/ Batangas) The anggitay was reported from Santo Tomas, Batangas, by the late
Aproniano G. Castillo, a lawyer and the father of Maximo Ramos’ daughter-in-law, Exaltacion C. Ramos, a
psychologist. It has a peculiar anatomy. Seen from in front, it is a beautiful maiden from head to foot, and
it is a haggard mare seen from behind. It sits in a tree in a wood and quietly watches wayfarers go by.

(source: Philippine Demonological Legends and their Cultural Bearings , Maximo Ramos, 1990, Phoenix

ANGONGOLOOD – (Bicol) Through more in-depth translations of the Ibalong Epic of Bicol, this is the being
that is thought to be described in stanza 31 when translated to Bicolano.

Los pongos y orangutangs

La miraban con horror,
Porque las aguas del Bicol
Con su sangre coloro.

The pongos and orangutans

Watching the fight filled with horror stung,
With color due to crocodiles blood
He tinged the Bicol River red.

Bicolano folklore says the angongolood looks like a gorilla and inhabits swamps and riverbanks. It can turn
people into trees by pouncing on them as they pass. It is reported that some people passing in boats will
strikes the sides to create enough noise to frighten off the angongolood.

(source: Bikols of the Philippines, Maria Lilia F. Realubit, A.M.S. Press, 1983 | Bikol Voices Anthology,
Merito B. Espinas, Caesar C. Altarejos, Carlos S. Gegantoca, Bikol University, 1983)

ANI-ANI – (Zambales) The ani-ani is said to stand eighteen feet tall. A man may think he is standing
between two trees and then realize that he is between the lower legs of the ani-ani. The creature lumbers
along because of its great size. It is dark-complexioned, hairy, and bearded. Its nose is flat and its mouth
wide, and it has a rough skin. It generally appears when there is a new moon and may be seen at night
smoking on the branch of a large tree beside a country road such as the bulala (Iloko) or talisay (Tagalog).
The ani-ani blocks the path of a wayfarer at night. It changes its shape from that of a tall, dark man to that
of a carabao without horns, a horse, or a hog and back into a tall, dark man again.

(source: Philippine Demonological Legends and their Cultural Bearings and The Creatures of
Midnight, Maximo Ramos, 1990, Phoenix Publishing)
ANNANI – (Ibanag) The annani among the Ibanag generally ate human food. When offended, they were
propitiated with a fat hog, the uncooked head of a carabao, rice cakes, coconut milk, sugar, bibingka, basi,
cigars, and a fee of a dozen betels.

(source: The The Creatures of Philippine Lower Mythology, Maximo Ramos, 1990 Phoenix Publishing)

ANSISIT – (Ilokano)The Ilokanos call him ansisit. He is an old man who is as short as a boy of three. His
joints, belly, head, eyes, nose, and mouth are large. He lives underground and owns all the land. He lives
in caves and anthills, too. Anthills are mounds of earth made by termites. He naps on the anthill at noon.
He does not want farmers to plow the ground with tractors. He fears that plowing with heavy tractors will
ruin his home. He visits people’s yards after the sun has set. He walks under our homes at noon and after
dark. He doesn’t want us to sweep our yard or floor then. If we do, the dust may get into his eyes. He
pinches us, and our skin becomes blue. He pulls our toes and makes them twice as long. He gives us
scabies, fever, and chills.

(source: Philippine Demonological Legends and their Cultural Bearings and The Creatures of
Midnight, Maximo Ramos, 1990, Phoenix Publishing)

ARIMAONGA – (Maranao) Arimaonga is the term used for lion. It appears in traditional Maranao
folktales such as “Pilandok and Arimaonga” (The Mouse-Deer and the Lion). It is also described in a
Maranao myth as one of the moon-eaters.

“Up in the sky lives a huge lion named Arimaonga. The animal sometimes gets playful and it swallows the
moon thus producing an eclipse of the moon. The Arimaonga is forced by the people to disgorge the moon
only by making noises during an eclipse of the moon, by beating gongs and plucking their fingernails. The
eclipse of the sun happens when one of the wheels of the chariot which carries it gets destroyed thus
forcing it to deviate from its regular path.”

(source: Philippine Folk Literature: The Myths and Philippine Folk Literature: The Folktales, Damiana
Eugenio, UP Press, 2001)

ASWANG – The aswang concept is most usefully understood as a congeries of beliefs about five types of
mythical beings identifiable with certain creatures of the European tradition: (1) the blood-sucking
vampire, (2) the self-segmenting viscera sucker, (3) the man-eating weredog, (4) the vindictive or evil-eye
witch, and (5) the carrion-eating ghoul. Thus when Philippine folk speak of the aswang, they generally
refer to the physical traits, habitat, or activities of these five types of mythical beings, and sometimes also
of other mythical entities like the demon, dwarf, and elf. What follows is a brief description of each aspect
of the aswang, a term chiefly used by the Tagalog, Bikol, and Visayan groups in the country.

(Blood sucker Aspect: Bicol, Cebu, Visayas, Ilokano) By Philippine folk traditions, the vampire is a
bloodsucking creature disguised as a beautiful maiden. It marries an unsuspecting youth and thus can sip
a little of his blood each night till he dies of anemia, whereupon the monster gets itself another husband.
To suck blood the vampire uses the tip of its tongue, pointed like the proboscis of a mosquito, to pierce
the jugular vein.

(Viscera Sucker Aspect: Bicol, Luzon) The viscera sucker is a mythical being said to suck out the internal
organs (naguneg in Iloko, laman luob in Tagalog, kasudlan in West Visayan) or to feed on the voided
phlegm of the sick. This creature rarely occurs in European folklore but is widespread in Malaysia. It is
reported to look like an attractive woman by day, buxom, long-haired, and light complexioned. Its tongue
is extended, narrow, and tubular like a drinking straw — but not pointed like the vampire’s— and it is
capable of being distended to a great length. At night the monster discards its lower body from the waist
down and flies or floats or glides out.

(Were-Beast Aspects: Bicol, Cebu, Western Visayas, Luzon) The weredog is a mythical being said to be a
man or woman— chiefly the former—by day, but at night to turn into a ferocious beast, principally a dog,
known as aso in many Philippine languages. A werewolf is identified with the fiercest animal in a region,
so that Europe has werewolves, China werefoxes, and India weretigers. Since there are no wolves in the
Philippines, the term weredog is more appropriate; although the term werebeast may, in some cases, be
even more applicable.
A weredog is said to reside in a village and turn into a ferocious dog, boar, or large cat at about midnight.

(Witch Aspects: Bicol, Cebu, Eastern Visayas) Another member of the cluster of mythical concepts
encompassed by the term aswang is the witch, believed by the folk to be a man or woman—mostly the
latter— who is extremely vindictive or who causes sickness without meaning to do so. By magically
intruding various objects—shells, bone, unhusked rice, fish, and insects of various species—through the
victim’s bodily orifices or by herself entering the victim’s body, the Philippine witch punishes those by
whom she has been put out. Or by an innocent look or remark, she also makes an equally innocent victim
ill. Unlike the European witches, however, the Philippine witch has no appetite for human flesh. She is shy
and lives in abandoned houses at the outskirts of towns and villages. She will not look people straight in
the eye because the image in the pupils of her eyes is said to be upside down and the pupils are thin and
elongated like a cat’s or lizard’s in bright sunshine.

(Ghoul Aspect: Many areas in the Philippines) The Philippine ghoul is said to steal human corpses and
devour them. For this purpose, its nails are horned, curved, and sharp and its teeth pointed. Its smell and
breath are fetid, and though generally invisible, the creature is said to look like a human being when it
shows itself. Some ghouls live in human communities. At night they congregate in large trees near a
cemetery and then descend atid exhume the newly buried corpses. They devour their plunder, making
audible noises as they do so. A ghoul is said to be able to hear, over great distances, the groans of the
dying. Its greed is aroused when it catches the scent of death, and then it snatches the mourners as well
as the dead.

(source: The Aswang Complex in Philippine Folklore, Maximo Ramos, 1990, Phoenix Publishing)
ASWANG by Ian Balba via DeviantArt

ASUWANG NA LAKAW – (Bicol) A classification of asuwang detailed by Francis Lynch, S.J. in his paper “An
Mga Asuwang: A Bicol Belief”. This kind of asuwang, the walking species, is by far the most
common. Asuwang na lakaw decides, about 6 p.m., where he or she operates that night by putting his
ear to the rice mortar and listening to sounds of mourners, or listens for such sounds while standing on
his head, resting in a shallow hole in the ground, or, say others, removing the cover of a specially made
listening well and listening. At 8 o’clock he leaves for his operations. Some claim this asuwang uses a
special concoction rubbed over its body (a premixed ointment consisting of chicken dung and coconut

(source: An Mga Asuwang: A Bicol Belief, Francis X. Lynch, S.J., 1949 | The Creatures of Philippine Lower
Mythology, Maximo Ramos, 1990 Phoenix Publishing)

ASUWANG NA LAYOG – (Bicol) A classification of asuwang detailed by Francis Lynch, S.J. in his paper “An
Mga Asuwang: A Bicol Belief”. There are two kinds of flying asuwang: the simple asuwang na layog, and
the anananggal. They differ in that the latter type leaves its trunk and limbs in some secluded spot while
the head and entrails take to the air. The former flies with its entire body intact.

Lynch, from his compilation of Bikol asuwang studies, revealed that the anananggal goes into the hidden
portion of the house or a secluded area, then, “…..dipping his right hand into the foul smelling ointment
which he has prepared, applies it on the line beginning from the tip of of the little finger of the left hand,
progressing the length of the arm to the armpit, thence down his left side and the outer side of his left
leg, ending at the tip of the little toe. Then the left hand is dipped into the chicken dung mixture and the
process is duplicated on the right side of the body. During the operations, he repeats to himself, but alone,
the following formula or its equivalent: Siri siri daing Diyos kung banggi, labaw sa kahoyan, lagbas sa
kasirongan! Literally translated, the formula reads, “siri, siri, there is no God at night, over trees, under

Supposedly after the application of the chicken dung mixture, an oily membrane appears on both sides of
the body, more like flying skin folds. For the ordinary layog, he needs only to jump and hop for momentum
before he ascends to the night sky. The anananggal reacts differently. Propping himself against a wall, if
there be one, through magic he is then presumed to detach himself from his lower limbs. The
cry kakak or kikik is heard in the process of flight.

The anananggal creature perches on the roof where he droolingly awaits his next meal, and it is his long
thread-like tongue that passes through the roof shingles.

(source: An Mga Asuwang: A Bicol Belief, Francis X. Lynch, S.J., 1949)

ASWANG NA LUPAD – (Bicol) Another name used in Bicol for the flying aswang.

(source: The Aswang Complex in Philippine Folklore, Maximo Ramos, 1990, Phoenix Publishing)

AWOK – (Waray) Similarly, the abat and awok of the Eastern Visayas have been described as extremely
dangerous beings that fly with only the upper part of their body and have big, red, bulging and hungry
eyes, disheveled hair, and long bony and clawed fingers. They are reported to fly with only their heads
and hands. Maximo Ramos points out that the awok may simply be a different name for the abat used in
other Visayan areas.

(Source: The Creatures of Philippine Lower Mythology and The Creatures of Midnight , Maximo Ramos,
Phoenix Publishing, 1990)


BACOBACO – (Zambales) In 1915, Henry Otley Beyer recorded a myth of the Ayta living in Zambales that
sounds very much like a volcanic eruption of Pinatubo. The battle is between Algao, which may be
northern name for the Sun (related to Aldo), and Bacobaco, a great sea turtle. In this account Algao and
Bacobaco have a great battle in which the latter eventually bores into the top of Pinatubo creating a great
crater and emitting great flames, huge rocks, mud, ashes, smoke and deafening noise in the process.
According to the legend, Bacobaco continued to dwell in the mountain and when he comes out “woe be
to us.”

BAGAT – (Western Visayas) In Western Visayas folklore, Aswangs or other beings that turn into fantastic
or terrifying creatures to scare or waylay travelers anytime they want. Some may even chase the terrified
victim just for the fun of it. One way to discourage the Bagat is to wrestle one and bite its thumb hard
until it submits and begs to be freed.

BAG-ONG YANGGAW – (Western Visayas) Humans who have just been turned into Aswangs. Having just
acquired their abilities, the Bag-ong Yanggaw are weaker than other Aswangs but still fast and strong
enough to kill a human. They can shape-shift into an animal but for a limited time only as their
concentration is not yet fully developed. Having acquired an insatiable appetite for humans, they could
be careless sometimes which often results to foiled attacks. Some may even doubt their selves,
desperately clinging to their humanity, and seek to be rid of their condition.

BIANGONAN – (Batak, Palawan) The Biangonan is described as a small human with black skin, kinky dark
hair, and feet pointing backwards. They can sometimes be found climbing through the tallest trees. It can
transform into a human or a pig, where it will use this guise to sneak into a village and steal a pig or a
human for its consumption. When villagers detect a rotting smell, they know a Biangonan is near. They
will light a large fire which is believed to ward it off. The Biangonan devours every part of the human they
steal from the village, but will leave the jaw bone of the victim hanging in a tree. An alternate description
appears in “The Encyclopedia of Philippine Folk Beliefs and Customs Volume 1” : The Batak believe that
biangonan are small people possessed of talons who hide in rocks and trees. When they attack their
victims, they utter long piercing shrieks that paralyze their victims. Then they tear and claw at the throat
of the helpless man.

BAKUNAWA – (Western Visayas) Sometimes a deity that was represented as a serpentine dragon,
according to Filipino mythology. He has two sets of wings, whiskers, a red tongue, and a mouth ‘the size
of a lake.’ The Filipinos once thought that the Bakunawa lived in the sea at a time when the world had
seven moons that the serpents, being fascinated by their light, would rise out of the sea into the sky and
consume the moons. Thus, the serpents were the cause of lunar eclipses. To prevent the world from
becoming dark the people would run out of their homes, taking their pots and pans, to make the most
noise they could in order to scare the Bakunawa so they would stop eating the moons, and give them the
moonlight back. But in some versions, these serpents also devour the sun in which case also cause the
solar eclipse. (Learn more about Bakunawa)
By Isaiah Cabanting
BALBAL – (Tagbunua) A monster that steals corpses from its grave, and has a foul breath. Replaces
corpse with banana stalk that exactly resembles the deceased.

BALBAL by Ian Balba via Deviant Art

BALIKWAD – (Tagalog) A creature that eats babies.

BALINOK & BALINSOGO – (Bagobo) Husband and wife who love blood and cause people to run amok.
BANGKILAN – (Palawan) Powerful female Aswangs who could turn into big black boars. They are so
powerful they could turn a normal human into an Aswang through a kiss. In Cuyonen, Bangkilan means
fierce pig or boar.

BANGUNGOT – (Tagalog) It takes the form of an old, fat woman residing in trees, and is very vengeful.
Most punishments they endure includes suffocation. They punish people who cut the tree to where they
dwell. Whoever rests or sleeps on the wooden bench or bed which came from the wood of her tree, will
die by sitting over that person. The only way to escape her is to press hardly the thumb toe of that human
sleeping on it. (learn more)

BANNOG – (Ilokano, Tinguian) A huge bird with strong legs and talons that can life a carabao. It carries
large animals off to feed its young.

BANTAY – (Pangansinan) An old man living in a large tree. He turns into a white rooster that grows bigger
and smaller. It stops people from going near a tree, or blocks their path so they can’t pass.

BANWAANON – (Cebu) – Meaning ‘of the forest’. They are sometimes called Katsila
from ‘Castilian’ (shortened to kastila) meaning Spaniard. The Banwaanon only appear to people that they
choose and help people who help them. They are said to have Caucasian features and coloring.

BARANGAN – (Eastern Visayas) You will know if you are cursed by Barangan if you will see a white
centipede in your house. Albularyos are called to reverse their curse. The Barangan is a witch who uses
insects and spirits, and any material to enter the body of anyone they hate and come out disgustingly.

BARAS – (Pangansinan) Tall, dark and hideous. Lives in the deep woods. He steals women carries them
off to his home. When they awaken, they are terrified and go insane.

BATIBAT – (Iloko) – It takes the form of an old, fat woman residing in trees, and is very vengeful. Most
punishments they endure includes suffocation. They punish people who cut the tree to where they dwell.
Whoever rests or sleeps on the wooden bench or bed which came from the wood of her tree, will die by
sitting over that person. The only way to escape her is to press hardly the thumb toe of that human
sleeping on it. (learn more)

BAWA – (Western Visayas) A creature living in a sky cave. It flies out and swallows the moon when the
food is scarce. Also known as Baua / Calulundan.

BERBALANG – (Sulu) A winged monster with slanted eyes that digs up the graves then eat the corpses of
the dead person.

BERBEROKA – (Apayao) A swamp creature that lures victims by sucking water in the pond to pool fish
together, attracting fishermen, who then drown in the process.

BENTOHANGIN– (Sulod, Panay) According to the Sulod tribe in Panay island they are half-human, half-
horse-like creatures similar to the Centaur of Greek Mythology. But unlike their Greek counterpart, these
creatures have a horse-like head and have the ability to fly.

BINAGOONAN – (Zambales, Ayta) A big man, like an american with his body glimmering on fire. An evil
spirit of giant proportions. Was seen by a man named Pan Basilio. Eats people. Disguised itself as a
patianak spirit and possessed Pan Basilio. Caused great sickness and misfortune.
BINANGUNAN – (Kapampangan) A blood sucker in Kapampangan folklore, that could suck a child’s blood
even without having physical contact with the victim. This blood sucker doesn’t kill its victim at once but
feeds off him/her for days or weeks until the victim finally succumbs to a severe condition. With the victim
in near death, the blood sucker moves on to another child to feed on.

BINGIL – (Kalinga, Gaddang) If a sangasang (shrine)was not erected at a new site settled by these shifting
cultivators, it was said that a bingi would appear- a person covered with old wounds and pus, and smelling
like rotten flesh, with his tongue hanging out, like a severed head. Illness or death would plague the
settlement until a shrine was erected. The bingil could only be propitiated by a headhunt or a large animal
sacrifice and a chase (dagdag) in which all the village residents took part.

For this rite, an effigy of the bingil is tied to a pole where the shrine will be erected, with a banana trunk
as its body, rags hung on it for clothes, and an old raincoat. A broken pot on top represents the head.
Bamboo tubes ate struck with other objects to make noise and to drive the bingil out of the village. The
participants chase it out toward the effigy, then strike the banana trunk with spears of the same kind used
in headhunts and run away to the village. A medium who joins them in the chase becomes possessed by
the bingil and pursues them back to their houses. Her tongue hangs out like the bingil, and her touch is
said to kill any person she catches. When the participants have arrived back at the house once haunted
by the bingil, the bingil-medium says he will no longer molest them and leaves, to stay at the village shrine
with the other gaurdians.

(source: Headhunting and the Social Imagination in Southeast Asia by Jules de Raedt, Janet Hoskins, 1996)

BINOBAAN – (Ifugao) Has a thunderous voice, cannibalistic, gets men drunk and then open them up to

BIRADDALI – (Tausug, Sulu) ‘Biraddali’ is usually translated from Tausug or other Samal languages as
‘angel’ or ‘skymaiden’ They are female winged beings with the glowing beauty of the rainbow. In some
legends each biraddali has a pair or silver wings that they can remove. In other myths, these maidens can
change shape. They use the rainbow as a bridge to visit earth. Whenever a rainbow is seen the biraddali
are usually enjoying a pleasant bath in the mountains. There are some Samal myths wherein a mortal man
steals a biraddali’s wings to make her his wife. The biraddali eventually finds her silver wings and escapes
the clutches of the man, with some versions ending with the man learning his lesson and becoming worthy
of the biraddali through a series of tasks.

BOROKA – (Zambales) In Dean Fansler’s 1921 Filipino Popular Tales he theorized that “Boroka, (is)
apparently a corruption of the Spanish bruja (“witch”).” Maximo Ramo’s entry in his 1965 dissertation The
Creatures of Philippine Lower Mythology states: “But in the years when the present writer was a boy in
Zambales, people went into hysterics every time the boroka, a viscera sucker, was thought to have made
its presence felt. There a boroka in a tale “Pedro and the Witch” is reported to have “had wings like a bird
. . . but a head like that of a woman,” although the present investigator’s Zambales informants described
the boroka as the true viscera sucker in both appearance and habits: physical beauty, ability to detach the
lower portion of her body about midnight before she went out on a raid, in the form of a bird returning
with the hearts and livers of her victims before dawn, her inability to join the upper portion of her body to
the lower if ashes and a mixture of salt and vinegar were sprinkled on the latter, and her being frightened
off by calling out these substances when signs of her proximity were evident.”
(Source: The Creatures of Philippine Lower Mythology and The Creatures of Midnight , Maximo Ramos,
Phoenix Publishing, 1990)

By Isaiah Cabanting
BUBUU – (Western Visayas) An aggressive kind of Aswang. In order to deceive its victims with its
presence, it makes a sound similar to that of a hen laying eggs.

BUKAW – (Marinduque) A race of wee people with golden hair. The Bukaw are said to be attractive and
look like a doll. They are friendly, fun loving and often laugh. They love riding on an “uyo” (the outer shell
of coconut flower). Their golden hair can be used as an “agimat” and has the power to command people.

It’s worth noting that the “bukaw is also a small type of hawk-owl . They are known for their messy,
sometimes golden brown, feathers. It’s a common saying when someone has lousy hair “Ano na yang
buhok mo. Gulong gulo. Parang sa bukaw.”

BUNGISNGIS – (Tagalog) One-eyed giant who is always laughing, is strong, but dim-witted. This
Philippine folklore giant lives in forest and woods. It is a happy and a playful cyclops.

BUNGISNGIS by Ian Balba via DeviantArt

BURING CATANDA – (Bicol) It is similar to Agta and Kapre, who were dark-complexioned, hairy-skinned
giant, and looks like either an old man or woman with a very long hair. The behavior of this creature
depends on how people treat them. If you do unpleasing things to them, they can be vengeful while if you
do good to them, they can give you a reward. They are also depicted like engkantos with a distinct black

BURULAKAW – (Western Visayas) These beings, according to old folks in central Panay, are women barely
three feet tall and have fire for hair. They fly and travel horizontally in a sloping manner starting from a
point of origin usually a stream or a shallow well and disappear upon reaching the destination. It is
believed they are messengers of the Encanto.

BUSAW – (Mindanao) The Busaw was a ghoul and corpse thief. An evil spirit who looks and behaves like
an ordinary human being by day, and listens for the sounds of death in the evenings. It dwells in large
trees near cemeteries. It has pointed teeth, hooked nails, and a long tongue. It uses banana tree trunks
to replace the corpses it steals. Then, spiriting the corpse off after first turning it into a pig, the Busaw will
feast on it and even try to feed it to their human neighbors during the day in order to turn them into a
ghoul like itself. To ward off the Busaw, all corpses should be washed completely with vinegar and strong-
smelling herbs. Salt is also a Busaw repellent.
By Isaiah Cabanting
BUSO – (Bagobo, Bukidnon) A black shadow. Lives in big branches and cemeteries. Dig up bodies after a
funeral and eats everything but the bones. Can be seen at night if certain rituals are followed.

BUWAYA – (Many regions as a crocodile) It was a Tagalog saurian, mottled-skin, monster with coffin-like
saddle on its back. It usually lives in a cave in the deep sea. Whenever it catches a victim, the coffin-like
saddle serves as its bag. (learn more)

BUYAGAN – (Cebu) A buyagan is a person known to cause certain ailments by merely commenting on
anyone. It is a popular belief that one who is born coincidentally with the rising of the sun (pagsilaw sa
adlaw) will grow up to be a dangerous buyagan. A first class buyagan possesses a very dark tongue.”

“A real buyagan uses only his saliva to cure an ailment that may result from the comments made. . . .”

“In cases where the real buyagan could not be found, anyone who has been treated by him is considered
qualified to administer the treatment. In this case bun- ga* (a fruit), mayana* leaves an ash from the
hearth are chewed together and this concoction is spat on the head, on the temples, at the nape, at the
spinal column, and on the joints of the limbs. Other effects of buyag are itches or scabies and pain in that
part of the body commented upon.”


CALAG – (Western Visayas) Scared off by noise. Bursts corpses belly open by touching the coffin.

CALANGET – (Gaddang) A small earth spirit in the ground, in a mound, or woods and fields. Makes
whizzing sound when responding to shaman’s call. Regarded as “the true owner of the land”. Inflicts harm
on those who disturb its home.
CALANGET by Ian Balba via DeviantArt

CAMANA – (Zambales) It dwells in gloomy places and assumes the form of small animals or becomes
invisible. A person who encounters a camana must offer it food or other gifts, otherwise he will become
sick. Those made ill by a camana can be cured through a mag-anito ritual.

CARANGO – (Ibanag) A small earth spirit in the ground, in a mound, or woods and fields. Makes
whizzing sound when responding to shaman’s call. Regarded as “the true owner of the land”. Inflicts harm
on those who disturb its home.

DALAKETNON – (Waray) They are called dalakitnon by the East Visayans. Their name means ‘those who
live in the balete tree’. They appear like good-looking tall men and women. Their skin is smooth and white.
Their hair is wavy and brown. Their clothes have gold and silver threads. They mix with people and attend
public dances. They go to college and travel in foreign lands. They drive new cars and win beauty contests.
But they live deep in the wild woods. What we think are balete trees are their mansions. We hear the clink
of dishes in their kitchens. We smell their cooking and hear their babies cry. An attractive city girl once
came to the village. She wanted to spend a quiet summer near a forest. A good-looking youth met her at
the village dance. They danced and danced, and she fell in love. She agreed to visit his folks. In his car he
drove her to a beautiful city. The streets were wide and the houses were splendid. Next morning she was
found weeping in the woods alone.

DALIGMATA – (Manobo) A personal spirit helper. The enigmatic spirit assists the medium’s own personal
spirits in locating the “abducted” soul of a severely sick person during the gudguden ceremony. Among
the Visayans it is said to be a rare herb that enables one to see witches and who by virtue of it can be

DANAG – (Isneg) A blood-sucking creature.

By Isaiah Cabanting
DARUANAK – (Bicol) In Bicolano folklore, a gigantic turtle-like but hairy sea monster. Once it lived on land
but because of its gradual growth it took to the sea in order to move freely.

DAYAMDAM – (Agusan) The tiniest folk you could ever see. You must ask their permission to gather fruit
or fell forest trees.

By Isaiah Cabanting
DILA – Drawn to those who are ill, this spirit passes through the bamboo flooring of provincial houses,
then licks the sick and dying to death.

DIWATA – (Many regions) An environmental spirits with ability to take on human form, forest spirits or
forest spirits. Mostly females who dwells in trees, mountains, seas, etc., also believed to be gods or
demigods (the Marias – Maria Makiling; Maria Sinukuan; and Maria Cacao)

DUMADAY-O aka LAWODNON, PURO-ANON – (Antique) According to Antique province folks, human-
looking beings that come from the sea. They bring with them illness and pestilence as they set foot on the

DUWENDE – (Cebuano, Tagalog) Mischievous little creatures who can shower good or bad luck to
mankind. Duwende are goblins, hobgoblins, forest spirits or small earth spirits. They are little creatures
who can provide good fortune or bad fate to humans. In the Philippines, duwendes frequently live in
houses, in trees, underground, termite like a mound or an ant hill (punso), and in rural areas. They are
known to be either good or mischievous, depending on how homeowners treat them. They usually come
out at 12 noon for an hour and during the night. Filipinos always mutter words (“tabi-tabi po” or “bari-
bari apo ma ka ilabas kami apo”) asking them to excuse themselves for bothering the Duwendes. Filipinos
would leave food on the floor so that the duwende residing (or guarding) the house would not be angry
with them.They also take your things and laugh at you when you try to find it.They give it back when they
feel like it, or when you tell them to please give it back.


EBWA – (Tinggian) Evil Spirit. Is kept away from corpses for 9 days and nights by a constant fire.

EKEK – Ekek are creatures who are bird-like humans. They are winged-humans who at night search for
victims. They hunger for flesh and blood.

ENGKANTO – (Tagalog, Agusan, Masbate, Waray) Blond, good-looking, taller than ordinary humans. Has
high-bridged nose and no philtrum. They live in large trees, chiefly the balete. (learn more)


GABUNAN – (Western Visayas) They are the experienced, oldest, strongest, and most cunning Aswangs.
They usually don’t shape-shift into animals and remain strong and powerful during the day. They could
attack a human even before sunset, pouncing on the victim, strangling him or breaking his neck. Most
Gabunan are so swift you won’t see them coming. They fly without wings, sailing the night winds in search
of a victim. Some Gabunan don’t kill their victim on the spot. Instead, they keep him tied and locked up.
They then turn a tree or banana trunk or a bundle of twigs into a copy of the victim and order it to go
home. Upon arriving home, the copy with get sick and later die, a sign for the Gabunan to slaughter the
real victim. They could even steal a baby unnoticed, replacing it with a piglet or large fish that has been
made to look like the victim. The oldest of Gabunans have coal-black skin, bloodshot eyes, protruding
fangs, and long white disheveled hair when in their true form.

GAKI – A giant crab said to cause earthquakes.

GARUDA – (Maranao) Winged monster, big teeth, huge talons that can carry six men. Lives under the
sea. Decimates the countryside with cannibalistic raids. Looks more like an eagle in the air, and a man
when in his lair.

GAWIGAWEN – (Tingguian) A Tingguian mythical giant with six heads. It wields a spear and a head-axe
the size of half the sky.

GAWIGAWEN by Ian Balba via DeviantArt

GISURAB – (Isneg) Huge man-eating human. Lives in cave or forest home near villages. Will hit his leg and
behead himself if children wish him to do so.

GUIMBANGUN – (Gaddang, Northern Luzon) A beautiful woman who hails from the village of Iculengan,
gifted with the power to resurrect any dead person. She brought the hero Lumalindaw back to life in the
Gaddang epic that bears his name.


HANTU DEMON – (Sulu) A evil spirit or demon, notorious for possessing people and driving them to
insanity (many types of hantu).

HIGANTE – (Tagalog) Huge man

HUBOT – (Western Visayas) Aswang variants in Western Visayas that fly at night in the form of bird-like
but with leathery, bat-like wings.

HUKLOBAN – (Tagalog) A witch who could kill anyone simply by pointing a finger at him and without using
any potion. It could destroy a house by merely saying so. The Hukloban appear as a very old, crooked


IBINGAN – (Bicol) A huge and venomous, many-horned red serpent with a prominent crest on its head
and dorsal fin on its back. In Bicolano folklore, it is said to guard a cave occupied by water spirits and sea
maids. It stations itself at the mouth of the said cave and crushes intruders with its powerful tail.

IKUGAN – (Manobo) Huge, fierce man. Has a tail and skin covered with soft hair. Lives in trees and has
monkey-like behavior.
By Isaiah Cabanting

INLABLABBUUT – (Ifugao) A huge monster that can transform to the size of a man. Lures women back
to his home, then transforms to the monster and threatens to eat them if they leave.

IQUI – (Tagalog) Detaches lower body and goes on raids. Eats the liver of its victims, but uses a long
tongue to suck out the bowels.

KABALAN – (Catanduanes, Bicol) Stories of the Kabalan hail from the province Catanduanes in the Bicol
region. They are described as horse-like (with 4 legs like a centaur). Hairy from head to toe, with an human
face/human likeness to the face. They are said to live in trees and are angered when their homes are
disturbed. There are some legends where humans accidentally kill kabalans by burning down their tree-
homes through kaingin farming methods. The creatures are merciless though and will curse the offenders
with sickness and bad luck until the end of their days.

KAGKAG – (Romblon) A race of ghouls that comes out at moon rise and moon set. They listen for the
sounds of other ghouls, then follow them to find freshly buried corpses. Once a cadaver has been found,
they place it over a large banana leaf and proceed to celebrate in anticipation of their feasting. They cut
the body into pieces and share it among all the members of their group. To hide they have the power to
take on the form of animals. KAGKAGS are apparently repulsed by seaweed and spices.

KAHOYNON – (Waray) Wood-folk/Of the woods/Forest people. They are extremely attractive and give
favour to those they deem worthy. Other stories say they are invisible spirits living a parallel human
existence – fishing, farming, marrying etc.

KALAG – (Visayas) A Ghost.

KALANGET – (Ifugao) A small earth spirit in the ground, in a mound, or woods and fields. Makes
whizzing sound when responding to shaman’s call. Regarded as “the true owner of the land”. Inflicts harm
on those who disturm its home.

KALAPAW – (Isneg) Breaks tall coconut trees. His son wrecks fences and tears up rivers.

KALARIOT – (Pampangan) Tall, dark and hideous. Lives in the deep woods. He steals women carries
them off to his home. When they awaken, they are terrified and go insane.

KAMANAN – DAPLAK – (Zambales) Tiny mythical people who live in trees over mountain brooks. They
will put sweet wild flowers beside infants who are left alone.

KANTANOD – An Aswang that appears and acts like an ordinary person. When it sees a pregnant woman,
it follows her at home where it would sit hidden outside or sneak inside the house unnoticed, hiding in
the shadows by turning into a pitch-black form and sniff the scent of the unborn child. When it leaves, the
baby inside the victim’s womb would also be gone, which result to severe pain and bleeding with the
mother. It is assumed the Kantanod is not actually present in the vicinity but employs its astral body to
spirit away the fetus.

KAPAPUAN – (Western Visayas) These entities are the roaming spirits of deceased ancestors in Panay

KAPEROSA – (Tagalog) Female ghosts often seen wearing flowing white robes or gowns. Their long black
hair cover their faces. Some may be seen without heads or with rotting flesh. The most popular are the
White Ladies of Balete Drive and of Loacan Road in Baguio.

KAPRE – (Many regions) Kapre is a filthy, black, hairy giant spirit who likes to smoke huge rolls of cigars,
and hide within and atop large trees, particularly the balete and old acacia or mango trees. A Filipino
Bigfoot, it scares away little children who play at night. If you’re stuck in a place and you keep going around
in circles, you’re said to be played around by a Kapre. To escape its control, you must remove your t-shirt,
and wear it inside-out. They usually depicted with a cigar as large as the trunk of a tree.

CAFIR by Ian Balba via DeviantArt

KATAMBAY – (Bicol) A guardian spirit who protects humans, he is tall and muscular with long dark hair
and wears a red “pudong” with gold ornaments. he acts like a guardian angel in times of need.

KATAW – (Cebuano, Hiligaynon) Reigning rulers of the oceans, and has ability to manipulate water. Sinks
ships and drowns sailors. Can lure men with her physical charms.
By Isaiah Cabanting
KATATAOAN – Anitos that take the form of humans and sometimes giants. They can disappear at will and
only reveal themselves to deserving humans. Sometimes they ride a boat that travels in the air to pick up
the bodies of those who died.

KIBAAN – (Ilokano) Mischievous fair-skinned beings with teeth of gold. Their heels point forward and toes
behind. They have long hair but are the size of a two-year old child. They can be found in the Bangar tree,
in bushes and small trees frequented by “alitaptap” or fireflies at night. By its frustration, it is kept in a
mortal’s yard. It keeps the ground under its tree home well swept. It has a kitchen where a spicy odor
emanates from after sunset. It sings in small groups on vines in groves while strumming tiny guitars. The
Kibaan steal yam from fire, but is fooled by stones roasted in place of the tubers .It gives mortal friends a
magic pot, purse, hat, net chain, goat, whip and/or drum.

KIMAT – (Tinguian) A lightning demon that takes the form of a white dog.

KIRBAS – (Ilokano) Tall, dark and hideous. Lives in the deep woods. He steals women carries them off to
his home. When they awaken, they are terrified and go insane.

KIWIG – (Aklan) Looks like a stooped dog, cat or pig. Fiery eyes and coarse tangled hair. It kills people
and eats them raw. It fears long, loose hair.
By Isaiah Cabanting

KOROKOTO – (Eastern Visayas) A shape-shifting Aswang in Eastern Visayas and Northern Mindanao that
could turn into a dog or a cat. When it walks in its human form its feet do not touch the ground. It hides
behind bushes or trees in the woods and pounces on unsuspecting victims. It wrestles the victim, drags
him home, and cooks him. Its name is derived from the sound it makes.

KULARIUT – (Pampanga) In Pampanga, this is an elusive creature with big eyes, a white beard, and black
furred. A harmless creature, it lives in bamboo groves or in the forest. If a house is located nearby, it
quietly watches the household members while they slept.

KUMAKATOK – (Luzon, Visayas) Three-hooded spirits that knocks on your door which signals that
someone will die the other day after. One of them resembles that of a female, and the other two looks
like old people. There’s one point in time when residents of Luzon and Visayas painted white cross or
write a cross using a white chalk on their doors to scare or to ward off these trio.

KUMAO – (Iloko, Isneg) Bleeds children to death by pulling out their finger-nails. Eats women and follows
their companion home.

KURIPAP – Another form of Tiyanak. This one has the shape of a newly-born child but looks hideous with
an umbilical cord still attached to it.

KURITA – (Maguindanao) Many limbed monster who eats all of the creatures he can find. Digs claws into
hero’s flesh.

LAGTAW – (Sulu) tall black demon with huge eyes. It hides in the knots of trees and comes out to frighten
boys and girls.

LAHO – (Luzon, Pampanga) A serpent that swallows the moon and causes eclipses

LAKI – (Bikolano) A bipedal creature in Bicolano folklore that has a knack for scaring night travelers with
its shrill, piercing voice but generally harmless. It has hooves for feet, goat-like legs, and a hairy body. Its
face is that of a man but ugly.

LAMAN LUPA – (Luzon) Invisible little people. Owns the land and it may be used by persons only under
certain conditions. Lives in communities, follows human trails out of hills, receives offerings before and
after planting & harvest, partakes of proficiency gifts from humans.

LAMBANA – (Tagalog) A small fairy-like creature living in the forest. There are many depictions of them:
a gruesome small goblin with a dragonfly wings at their back, and a little fairy sometimes of dragonfly or
butterfly wings with or without a firefly’s glow.

LAMPONG – (Ilongot) Among the head-taking Ilongot of Northeastern Luzon, the lampong is a dwarf said
to shepherd wild deer. A hunter once saw a lampong in the shape of white deer with a single bright eye.
He shot it with an arrow five times without hitting it. His sixth shot landed, and then the creature became
a bright-eyed two-foot dwarf with a long white beard.
LAMPONG by Ian Balba via DeviantArt

LAQUI – (Bicolano) A frightening creature believed in by the ancient Bicolanos. It has the hair and feet of
a goat but the face of an ugly man. It is generally harmless, appearing at night and surprising people with
its voice.

LEWENRI – (Romblon) Handsome people who will appear to boys and girls by moonlight. They may also
appear at dawn, noon and dusk. They make frightful shrill sounds and play sad or joyful music as they
laugh, cry and sing. They help the humble and punish the proud.
LITAO – (Ilokano) Described in Isabelo delos Reyes’ book, El Folk-lore Filipino, the litao is a male anito of
the waters. In Vigan, it is a small man that lives in the branches of bamboo trees along river banks and is
the husband of the sirena. The spirit sometimes goes on land disguised as a normal man and tends to the
bamboo trees in his area. He curses with illness those that cuts the trees. In his human form his true nature
is revealed through a strong fishy smell that emanates from his body.

LOLID or LULID – (Ilongo) According to Ilonggo folklore, a creature that resembles a cross between a
newborn puppy and a piglet with white, leathery hide, an unusually long body, and very short legs (some
have no limbs at all). They burrow underground like earthworms and usually reside in mounds or in hills
where during full moon their grunts or laughter could be heard. Others claim that the Lolid looks like an
wrinkly-skinned infant without limbs and has a big head.

LUTAO – (Mindanao) Reanimated corpses in Mindanao, who have done something wrong when they
were alive. They appear in their funeral dress with their heads turned to one side appearing as if they have
broken necks.

MAGINDARA – (Bicol) Bikolano myths paint the Magindara in extremes; they are either said to be
guardian deities of Bikolano fishermen, or “aswang ng dagat” who will eat adult humans but do not harm
children (a sharp difference from Tagalog sirena myths that show children as their preferred sacrifices).
They are briefly mentioned in the Ibalon. Beautiful but vicious creatures of the sea, they have colorful and
sharp scales, and enchanting voices that can lure fishermen to their deaths, or draw them to their rescue.
Some believe that the Magindara can summon aswang at will.

MAGITALONAN – (Kulaman) Spirits that inhabit rocks and trees.

MAGKUKUTUD – (Kapampangan) A self-segmenting flier in Kapampangan folklore similar in appearance

to the Manananggal. Its only difference is that it lays eggs, which when cracked open contain human body
parts and organs. It also has a habit of digging out freshly-buried cadavers which it takes home and cooks.

MAGTITI-LAOK NGA BILAKAK – (Licuan-Baay,Abra) A serpent whose scream sounds like a very loud and
haunting rooster’s morning call. It does this to scare and prevent hunters and loggers from entering the

MAGTITIMA – (Bukidnon) Invisible being. Given offering of white chicken. Gives mortals permission to
cut wood.

MAHOMANAY – (Bagabo) A forest animal guardian. Some picture her a beautiful diwata just like Maria
Makiling, with a long hair and a Filipina feature.

MAKABOTENG – (Tinguian) Guards deer and wild boar in the forest. The name Makaboteng means “the
one who scares or frightens” which seems appropriate for this creature as the one who scares hunters
who dare to trespass in its forest. The Makaboteng is also invoked in rituals to make the dogs of the hunter
have a successful chase.
MALAKAT – (Waray) In human form until it attacks – eyes fiery, saliva flowing, nails grow long and sharp,
and her hair grows into the nose, ears, eyes and mouth of its victim to completely silence
them. Cannibalistic.

Richard Arens, who was for a time on the Silliman University faculty, did field work in the Eastern Visayas
on the side and reported that the malakat (the walker) of Leyte could be either male or female—
something unusual since the creature is said to be always male in other reports. Arens described an
attacking malakat in these words:

“In attacking a person, she assumes a horrible and frightful shape. Her long hair spreads all over her face.
Her eyes turn fiery and her saliva flows from out of her mouth like long strings. Her nails grow long and
sharp. As the fight begins, her hair crawls into the person’s nose, ears, mouth, and eyes, depriving him of
his breath, voice, and sight. She grips the victim firmly on the arms and legs. With her sharp claws, she digs
into the victim’s skin until it bleeds; if [she] has a weapon with her, she avoids the struggle and the victim
might be killed; thereafter [she] feasts on the victim’s flesh.”

By Isaiah Cabanting
MAMBABARANG – (Bicol) Mambabarangs are ordinary human beings with skills in black magic. You will
know if you are ‘nabarang’ (cursed by Mambabarang) if you see a white centipede in your house.
Albularyos are called to reverse their curse. The Mambabarang uses insects and spirits, and occasionally
other material to enter the body of anyone they curse. They result of the curse manifests disgustingly.
Although often compared to Mangkukulams, they are different because their curse does not only inflict
pain or illness. Mambabarangs use a strand of hair from their chosen victim and tie it to the bugs or worms
which they will use as a medium – the victim immediately experiences the intended effect and displays
grotesque symptoms.

By Isaiah Cabanting
MAMBUBUNO – (Zambales) A fish like human with a double tail and large black slimy scales. When a
fisherman sees her, he can’t help but follow to her cave. He does not get wet or drown, unless he decides
to leave her.

MAMELEU – (Western Visayas) A sea serpent with body and head as large as that of a water buffalo. It
also possesses two white horns, and its body stretches up to thirty fathoms long. It has eyes torch-like,
fire jets in them; long teeth; and large resistant scales.

MAMELEU by Ian Balba via DeviantArt

MAMUMUYAG – (Western Visayas) She is known for her hostile glance and can give various ailments to
those she hates. She is known to give a twisted mouth or painful tumors. She doesn’t join in community
activities and people are afraid to pass her house.
By Isaiah Cabanting
MANANANEM – (Pangasinan) She goes out to harm her enemies when the moon is full. She gives chills
and fever. She keep a tiny doll under her fireplace that she pricks where she wants her victims to
suffer. She also picks up the earth of her victims footprints and roasts them in a clay pot to cause high

MANANANGGAL – (Bikol, Tagalog) A flying fiend, and carries only half its body, bodies are cut in half at
night. Some says, like Aswang, by day, they are beautiful maidens living in a nipa hut, by night, they rub a
kind of oil to their whole body which gives them the power to separate themselves into two – the upper
part which she carries with bat-like wings, and the lower part which they live, then goes back to connect
its upper part before the dawn.

Manananggal is an aswang that can fly after separating itself from the lower half of its body. It eats babies
and fetuses from a mother’s womb. It eats babies by means of passing their long tongue through a small
hole from the roof of a house. The sharp end of the tongue touches the mother’s navel to suck the blood
of the fetus or unborn child.

A manananggal can also be a sorceress that visits villages and barrios. To feed, the self-segmenter chooses
an isolated place where she will leave her lower torso while she hunts at night.Bird When she separates
from her lower torso, she then gains her ability to fly. She then goes off in search of houses where
pregnant women reside. Upon choosing a suitable victim, the Manananggal alights on the house and
inserts her tongue through the roof. The tongue is long, hollow and extremely flexible. She uses it to
puncture the womb of the sleeping woman and to suck out the fetus. At other times, she seduces men
with her beauty and lures them to a private place before eating them alive. She usually eats the insides,
like the heart, stomach or the liver. Sunlight is deadly to the Manananggal when she is in her monstrous
form. Should her two halves still be separate with the coming of dawn, she will be destroyed. According
to legend, to destroy the Manananggal, one should search for the lower torso that she leaves behind
during her nightly hunts. Salt, ash, and/or garlic should then be placed on the exposed flesh, preventing
the monster from combining again and leaving it vulnerable to sunlight. Small containers of salt, ash, and
raw rice, and the smell of burning rubber are said to deter the Manananggal from approaching one’s
house. (learn more)
By Isaiah Cabanting
MANANGILAW or MANANG HILAW – (Bikolano) Hairy humanoid giants in the mountains and caves of
Bicol. Generally described as having big feet, bodies covered in black hair, deep voices, and vicious-looking
faces, these shy and harmless beasts use vines, which some wrap around their waist like belts, to catch
fish and shrimp in the river or hunt small animals. In the 1980’s two Manangilaw, a mother and a child,
were allegedly captured by soldiers patrolling in Mount Isarog. The two beasts were chained to train
wagons for 15 days and were fed with live chicken and cow’s blood. Nobody knows what became of the
said creatures.

MANAUL – (Negros) The manaul is a mythical king who became a bird. He was believed to have caused
the seas and the skies to fight against each other. The clash between the seas and skies resulted to the
formation of the Philippine islands.

MANBUKAY – (Western Visayas) Fair-complexioned male Encantos that frequent shallow wells. They wait
for maidens to fetch water from the well and attempt to spirit away the victims to their kingdom.
Sometimes some court the maidens first for weeks, enticing them with various gifts.

MANDARANGKAL – (Tagalog) ‘Mandarangkal’ means praying mantis in Tagalog. It is a beautiful type of

female aswang that seduces men. When the man is on the verge of orgasm it will grow sharp teeth and
claws to tear and eat the victim’s flesh.

MANDURUGO – (Tagalog) Pretty woman by day, winged monster by night. Intermarries with
humans. Attacks the jugular of its sleeping victims by night. Becomes powerless by day. Said to live in
By Isaiah Cabanting

MANGALAYO aka ALLAWIG – (Sulod, Panay) Sulod natives in Panay Island tell of a flying ball of fire that
appears at night and chases lone travelers.

Known as Allawig in other parts of the country it is said to lead travelers astray into dangerous paths like
cliffs or holes in the ground.

MANGALOK – (Palawan, Western Visayas) Invisible by day and a fair skinned woman by night. Lives in
trees deep in the jungle. Drapes wings over a branch and hair over her face to sleep. Hides under victims
mats. She eats the bowels of children, pulls the entrails out of the sick, the liver of fresh corpses, but
prefers babies and human rectum.

MANGGAGAMOD – (Ilokano) She goes out to harm her enemies when the moon is full. She gives chills
and fever. She keep a tiny doll under her fireplace that she pricks where she wants her victims to
suffer. She also picks up the earth of her victims footprints and roasts them in a clay pot to cause high

MANGINGILAW – (Western Visayas) An anthropoid giant in Iloilo’s forests with a hairy body, very long
hair, and bog teeth. Despite being a wild beast, it is said that some actually wear animal hide to cover
their private parts. The Mangingilaw is vicious and prefers to eat its prey raw especially humans. Its name
is based on the local word ‘kilaw’, meaning ‘food prepared raw’. Also there is a local delicacy referred to
as ‘kilawin’, its main ingredient is either raw fish or pork.

MANGKUKULAM – (Tagalog, Ilokano, Pampangos etc.) They are witches that cast evil spells to cause
harm to human and/or plagues. They use a doll (Vooddoo Doll) with a hair strand on it then cast spells to
for a curse.

Mangkukulam or bruha are witches, wizards, bruho, or sorcerers who cast evil spells to humans. This kind
of witch uses dark magic.

The difference between a mambabarang and a mangkukulam is that the mambabarang uses magical
insects to bring harm to his victims. These insects are released after incantations, when they will search
for their supposed victim and burrow under the skin, impregnating her. After some time, matruculans
return to the house to kill the pregnant mother, open her abdomen, and eat the growing fetus.

MANGKUKULAM by Ian Balba via DeviantArt

MANGKUKUSINO – (Kapampangan) A Kapampangan witch who could put poison, small metal objects, or
even small live animals inside the body of a person without making direct contact with the victim.

MANGLILILI – (Kapampangan) In Kapampangan folklore, an invisible creature or entity said to lead lone
travelers astray. Those who lose their way wander in the forest or in the mountain for hours and even

MANGMANGKIK – (Ilokano) According to Ilocanos, a spirit living in the innermost part of trees. It is often
asked through a ritual for permission to penetrate a forest.

MANINIBLOT – (Zambales) She goes out to harm her enemies when the moon is full. She gives chills and
fever. She keep a tiny doll under her fireplace that she pricks where she wants her victims to suffer. She
also picks up the earth of her victims footprints and roasts them in a clay pot to cause high fevers.

MANGMANGKIT – (Iloko) Invisible tree spirit. Is upset when tree-home is felled without permission.

MANINILONG – (Tagalog) An Aswang in Catanauan, Quezon believed to prowl under nipa houses to
victimize the household. It uses its long, thread-like tongue to suck the fetus of a sleeping pregnant woman
or licks and eats the phlegm discharged by a sick person or one who suffers tuberculosis.

MANIOKAN – (Kulaman) Generally evil spirits that resemble snakes.

MANLALAYOG – (Cagayan de Oro) Also called ‘manlalayug’, they are covered with hair from head to toe.
They kill people with their hair by forcing it in all the orifices of the victim’s body.

MANSALAUAN – (Cebuano) Bird the size of a very large bat, eyes like a carbuncle, head of a lizard, tail
hairy and harp tongue. Feet as large as a man’s and feet of a monkey. Introduces tongue into female
victims and sucks the bowels.

MANSUSOPSOP – (Pampanga) Similar to the ghoul aspect of the aswang, the Mansusopsop is a being
in Philippine Folklore that preys on pregnant women. This creature hovers over the rooftop and finds any
opening for its long, thread-like tongue to pass until it reaches the stomach of its victim, sucking the blood,
fetus and life energy until the victim dies.

MANTAHUNGAL – (Tagbanua) Cow-like in body and voice but hornless. Shaggy coat of hair. Monstrous
mouth with two pairs of huge tusklike incisors.

MANTIYANAK – () A ghost with a wound in her pregnant belly. She blames all men for her death. She acts
out her revenge upon men by hunting them down and pulling their penis off, causing them to bleed to

MANTIW – (Western Visayas) Giant spirits in Iloilo over thirty feet tall. They are usually seen roaming the
fields or leaning against a coconut or Buri tree alone while whistling melodiously. People who have
allegedly seen a Mantiw describe it as having a fair complexion, wide shoulders, and a tall aquiline nose.
Also, a male Mantiw has an incredibly long penis and large, dangling scrotum. Although peaceful, a
Mantiw is easily offended when a human whistles along with it. It will grab the nuisance human, carry him
to the tallest coconut tree, and leave him on top with no means of climbing down.

MANTRUCULAN – (Tagalog) A monstrous creature in Luzon the size of a man. It has long hair, a hideous
face, and sharp claws. This creature will maul a pregnant women to death in order to eat the fetus inside
the victim’s womb. It is also known to impregnate virgins after which it leaves and only returns when the
woman is at the peak of her pregnancy to eat its own spawn.

MANUHIGWIT – (Visayas) An evil witch, not unlike the Mangkukulam in other regions. Believed to cause
curses or hexes on others.

MARISPIS – (Western Visayas) Beings in Western Visayas that make cricket-like sounds where their deep,
sharp eerie chirps presage the coming of a ghost, sickness, or death.

MARKUPO – (Western Visayas) It is a large snake, with prominent red crest, long tongue with thorn-like
hairs, sharp tusks and forked tail. It dwells in mountain tops. (learn more)
By Isaiah Cabanting
MARUKPUK – (Iloilo) Spirits of the dead that haunt bamboo groves in Iloilo. The frequent sound of
breaking bamboo, twigs, and rustling of bamboo leaves despite the absence of a strong wind announce
their presence.

MATANDA SA PUNSO – (Tagalog) Lives in a tree or termite mound. Steals pretty girls from villages and
offers jewels or gold for them to live with him.

By Isaiah Cabanting
MINOKAWA – (Bagobo) A large bird, said to feed on the moon where there are no other sources of food
around. (learn more)

MIKOKAWA by Ian Balba via DeviantArt

MOTOG – A male Aswang who shape-shifts into a humanoid creature with a boar’s head.

MULTO – (Tagalog) A Ghost.

MUMU – (Various) In its simplest form, the Mumu is a malevolent spirit that lurks in darkened, shadowy
corners waiting to snatch children away from their families. In the National Capital Region (Metro Manila),
the most common belief is that the Mumu is a ghost or spirit that has unfinished business in our world,
has not been given last rites, or have not yet accepted their death. As we move northward on Luzon the
belief changes into a spirit that feeds on children or takes their soul. When we move south through the
Philippines towards Bicol and the Eastern Visayas, the term Mumu is used to describe a variety of mythical
beings and ‘engkanto’. The same can be said for Negros and Mindanao. In Iloilo, however, the Mumu is
likened to the Tamawo.

MUNTIANAK – (Bagobo) An infant-like creatures that eat the living and terrify children.

MURUKPOK – (Western Visayas) A diminutive being almost three feet tall with dark skin, curly hair and
looks somewhat cross-eyed. It is usually seen strolling the Iloilo countryside with a red cowl on its head.
It walks with a cane while a bow and a quiver of arrows is strung over its shoulder. The Murukpok is
malevolent and very powerful. By just pointing its cane at someone, that person will fall ill. Instant death
befalls those who get hit with the cane.

MUTYA – (Many regions) A banana flower will grow and bend at midnight. Stand under it and catch the
jewel that falls in your mouth. Put it under your tongue. A dark creature will try to snatch it from you. If
you keep the jewel, you will become the strongest of men. If you lose it, you will go crazy.

MUWA – (Central Panay) These beings from Central Panay folklore and mythology are known for
hoarding food provisions such as palay (rice) and other harvested crops. They reside in remote areas and
may appear as old men or women. When in their true form, they have very long, kinky, greasy hair and
hair also cover their whole body like the alleged Wildman of China and Indonesia. They reside in bamboo
groves in their bamboo palaces. Despite their appearance and the fact that they eat humans, the Muwa
are civilized and have a culture of their own mostly based on agriculture. It is said that any farmer who
fails to invite them during the pre-harvest rite called Pangkuyang would have his crops harvested ahead
by the Muwa.


NAGINED, MAGKABURAK, and ARAPAYAN – (Bicol) The powerful trinity of demons in old Ibalong
beliefs, said to be three powerfully built handsome men with tattoos covering their faces and whole body.
It is said that when they talk they all speak in the same time, and that their true form is a three headed
demon. They are demons invoked when one wants to do harm. Even Asuang asks for their help when he
wants to cause chaos.

NANGANGATOK – – (Tagalog) The Nangangatok are usually invisible spirits that are harbingers of terrible
things to come. People are advised to peek through the window first when someone knocks before
opening their doors or they might let the Nangangatok inside their house.

NUNO SA PUNSO – (Tagalog) Nuno sa punso (literally, goblin of the mound) are goblins or forest spirits
who live within mysterious lumps of soil (ant hills). They can provide a person who steps on their shelter
with good luck or misfortune, in some case, inflicting harsh punishments to those who offend them.
People who are punished are called Namatanda, and must be brought to an Albularyo (Shaman), to heal
the punishment.

Superstitious Filipinos, when passing by a mound, will ask the resident nuno’s permission to let them pass
with the phrase, “Tabi-tabi po”. Strange and sudden illnesses that befall a person are sometimes
attributed to nunos.
NUNO by Ian Balba via DeviantArt

OMAYAN – (Bagabo) Invisible little people. Owns the land and it may be used by persons only under
certain conditions. Lives in communities, follows human trails out of hills, receives offerings before and
after planting & harvest, partakes of proficiency gifts from humans.
ONGLO – (Waray) Large and frightful. He lives in dark nipa swamps. he uses his huge ‘hard as stone’
elbows and knees to break shellfish. You can tell he is eating when you hear the shells of tuway (clams)
being broken.


PALASEKAN – (Ilongot) Invisible tree spirit. Whistles to convey messages for people to stay home at
night. Offended when tree-home is felled.

PAMAHANDI – (Bukidnon of Mindanao) The ten protectors of horses and carabao, and senders of good
fortune, although each has specific duties. They are much respected and each year a family will observe
a ceremony to obtain their good will. Occasionally they cause trouble and send sickness.

Their names are Pamahándi púti, Pamahándi lansion, Pamahándi biohon, Pamahándi sīgolón, Pamahándi
hagsálan, Pamahándi boñau, Pamahándi opos, Pamahándi logdangon, Pamahándi komagasgas, and
Pamahándi somágda. Not all these names are recognized in the Central Valley, but there is agreement as
to their number and their duties.

The Pamahándi are often generalized into a single deity.

PANIGOTLO – (Western Visayas, Aklan) The favored beast of the Aklanon god, Gamhanan. If it bleats
before midnight during a full moon it means the next day will be fruitful and abundant. If the bleating is
heard after midnight it is an omen that something bad will happen.

PARADUNO – (Camarines) They look like humans and love the smell of rotting flesh. They lie on their
bellies on the roofs of the dead with their tongue hanging out. People musn’t say someone is about to
die, or the paranduno may show up and hasten the death of the sick.

PASATSAT – (Pangasinan) A ghost of a dead person who died in a tragic way, especially those who died
in Japanese Era (World War II). This kind of ghost usually shows to passersby in a solitary paths in the
forest or even in cities. In order for the ghost to stop haunting, someone should stab the coffin or the reed
mat where the body of this ghost was buried. It will show no sign of the body but a putrid flesh can be

PATIANAK – (Zambales, Ayta) A dwarf in the form of a little girl. Was seen by a man named Pan Basilio.
The patianak dropped a handkerchief and he picked it up. Pan Basilio eventually forgot about the patianak
which made her angry and caused her to make Pan Basilio sick due to unrequited feelings.

PIRITAY – A shape-shifting creature that waylays a person around noon or at sunset by appearing to be
someone familiar or attention-worthy to the victim. Anyone who follows it will find himself in a unfamiliar
place and that he has been gone for hours.

PONGO – (Bikolano) Another ape-like creature from Bicolano folklore. This one resembles an Orangutan
but twice bigger than a male gorilla and a lot faster than a regular Orangutan.

POO – (Waray) Waray folks tell of an Aswang that appears as an ordinary human. It only comes out when
the moon is full, making a sound from which its name is derived. When it makes the sound a fourth time
it means it’s already inside the victim’s house. It steals infants whose parents have fallen asleep.
POPO – (Bicol) Tall and slender with a tail, a scary creature that snorts like a pig and is said his eyes could
cause pain and even kill. He drains human and animals of their energy. He is one of Aswangs creatures.

PUGOT – (Iloko, Pampanga) Headless, shape-shifting creature, usually that of a black, gigantic headless
ghost, can move at great speeds, feeds on snakes and insects, usually harmless to humans. They said it
was a friar of Spanish Era, beheaded once and still searching for its head.

By Isaiah Cabanting
PUGOT MAMU – (Iloko, Pampanga) Similar to the Pugot, it is also a headless mythical being. However,
the Pugot Mamu is said to eat children through a hole in its neck which acts as a mouth.

PUTING BABA – Subterranean, white skinned goblin-like creatures with very long chins. They make their
chins protrude on the surface of the ground, making them appear as stones or mushrooms. Whosoever
makes the mistake of tripping on them or picking them up is pulled underground.

PUTOT – (Iloilo) Small Goblin-like underground dwellers in Iloilo with truncated body parts. Some only
have one leg, one arm, or no limbs at all and move by means of rolling.


RABOT – (Bicol) Half-human half-beast. Rabot is an ugly monster with a loud booming voice. Some say he
is the son of the trinity of demons Nagined, Arapayan and Magkaburak with a human who they raped over
and over again. He was given the gift to turn people to stone with his eyes. He was killed by Bantog using
a bolo in the Ibalong Epic.

RAGIT-RAGIT – (Romblon) Tiny beings with eyes that cannot wink. They live forever and never grow
old. Only infants less than a year old can see them. If a baby is left outdoors after dark, the Ragit-Ragit
will steal it or make it ill.


SANGKABAGI – (Ilokano) The old folks in Ilocos believe in a being that rides on a flying boat and roams in
the middle of the night in search of corpses to take to its lair in the underworld.

SANTELMO – ( Tagalog, Visayan) It is a fireball seen by dozens of Filipinos, especially those living in the
Sierra Madre Mountains. It was scientifically explained as electric fields which have diverged from the
lines. However, the sightings were reported since the Spanish era (16th-19th centuries). There were also
sightings in the Alps and Himalayas.

SARANGAY – (Ibanags) A half-human, half-bull, with a jewel attached to ears, will kill if jewel is stolen.

SARIMAO – (Bicol) The Sarimao were avenging monsters in the Ibalong Epic that were brutally fierce, ugly,
and ruinous. They went after evildoers, usually to those with hidden guilt, who could not be brought to
justice. Handyong exiled the Sarimao to Mount Kulasi. Their human equivalents are believed to be those
who take the law into their own hands, who have suffered injustice.

SARIMANOK – (Maranao) A Sarimanok is a magical, mythical flaming bird who brings good luck to anyone
who are able to catch it. Some say it is a pet of Engkantos. A Sarimanok known as Magaul is associated
with the legend of Malakas and Maganda. Magaul was the Sarimanok bird that pecked the bamboo from
where Malakas and Maganda were born from.

SARINAGO – (Bagobo) Spirits who steal rice.

SARUL – (Western Visayas) Spirit beings that take the form of animals and insects, frequenting places
passed by travelers or peddlers in Iloilo.
SARUT – (Tagalog) Its name literally meaning ‘pest’ or ‘salot’ in Tagalog, this is a human who, according
to ancient Ilonggo folklore, turns into a dog-like creature that attacks lone travelers. It also feeds on the
livestock and poultry animals of a farm or a village which amounts to large losses, hence the name Sarut.

SIGBIN – (Waray) A cross-breed between goat, dog, and kangaroo said to suck blood out of its victims
from shadows.

SIGBINAN – (Waray) A person or a family who own Sigbins. They keep these creatures inside clay jars and
feed them with charcoal. They have the power to command the Sigbins to harm or steal from anyone.
This is the reason why Sigbinans are generally wealthy.

SILAGAN – (Catanduanes) Hates men in white. Tears out victim’s liver and entrails through their anus.

SINAN BABOY – Creatures that resemble wild pigs and are usually found under mango trees. Usually,
small in size, they would sometimes pass through the legs of a person unnoticed. When angered they
could grow to immense size and trample a person to death.

SIRENA – (Iloko, Ilongot, Tagalog etc.) Sirena is a mermaid, a sea creature with a human upper body and
a fish tail instead of lower extremities. They attract fishermen and tourists. Sirenas are reportedly often
seen ashore by fishermen, especially in the towns bordering the Pacific Ocean. (learn more)

SIRING – (Bagobo) Ugly man with curly hair and long nails. Lures boys wandering the woods by assuming
the likeness of their father. Feeds them worms. Is thwarted by red pepper. Also said to be spirits
inhabiting caves, cliffs, and dangerous places and who also impersonate family members.
By Isaiah Cabanting

SIYAM-SIYAM – (Iloilo) In mid to late 19th century Iloilo, travelers on horseback or carriage told of
encountering a restless spirit at night. The spirit at first appeared as a normal human and asked to hitch a
ride. On the way it would talk casually and confess of its nine sins that it committed nine times. Then the
hitchhiker will turn into a skeleton in tatters and ask for the nearest church and disappear while the
travelers screamed their heads off. In one story, Siyam-Siyam finally found peace when he encountered a

SIYOKOY – (Tagalog) A sea creatures with fish-like bodies and long, green tentacles that drown
mortals. Siyokoys are mermen, sea creatures that have a human form and scaled bodies. The Siyokoy is
the male counterpart of the Sirena. The lower extremities of a Philippine merman can either be a fishtail
or scaled legs and webbed feet. They could also have long, green tentacles. They drown mortals for food.
Siyokoys have gill slits, are colored brown or green, and have scaly skin, comparable to that of a fish.

SUMARANG – (Iloko) Big man with large eyes and wide nose as big as two feet put together.


TA-AWI – (Maranao) A monster that travels faster than the wind. Makes a thunderous noise when it is
close. Performs cannibalistic raids but can’t digest the eyeballs of its victims.

By Isaiah Cabanting
TAGAMALING – (Bagabo) Ogre like creatures which becomes cannibalistic every other month.

TAGARESO – (Bagabo) Low spirits who cause people to become angry and do evil deeds or cause insanity.

TAHAMALING – (Bagabo) A red complexioned earth spirit. Lives in balete trees. Keeper of animals.

TAHAMALING by Ian Balba via DeviantArt

TALAHIANG – (Zamboanga) Dark, 12 feet tall with large muscles. Makes travelers lose their way. Afraid
of loud noise.

TAMAWO – (Western Visayas) They live in large dark nunok trees. Beautiful, tiny beings that steal
infants from people’s yards. They offer black rice and yellow root to children. If they accept, they will
never be seen again.

TAMBALUSLOS – (Bicolano, Mindanao, Visayas) From Cebu:Overly large head and a freakish grin. Has a
scary, evil laugh. Makes people who walk through the forest lost. The more lost its victim is the harder it
laughs. If you put your clothes inside out the tambaloslos finds it so funny it will laugh so hard it will cover
its eyes with its enormous upper lip, giving the victim a chance to escape.

Tambaloslos is a slang word in the Cebuano language. It is used to mean a useless or an inept male. It is
seldom used to refer to a woman. It is a vulgar word and is not used in polite or formal
conversation. Occasionally people say it to elicit a humorous effect. The suffix “loslos “is a slang term for
the male genitalia.

“Tambaloslos kang daku!” is a saying in Cebuano that is similar to “You’re such a dimwit!”.

From Bikol: It got its name from the long, wrinkled penis and dangling testicles which dangles to the
ground (luslus).

An awkward, lanky, wrinkled black creature, it has long, thin, wobbly legs, hooves and big joints. It has
long, thin arms and fingers and a mane like that of a horse that went all the way down from the head to
the buttocks. It has wide protruding lips that covers its face when it laughs.

The Tambaluslus hides under trees on moonlit nights and loves to chase people who are lost in the woods.

‘luslus’ which means ‘loose and hanging’.

Also from Bikol: A tall humanoid creature. Generally black in complexion, it has long and thin legs with
big joints, hooves, long thin arms and fingers, and a mane that runs from the back of the head down to its
buttocks. It also has wide protruding lips like an ape. Another strange feature of this creature are its long
wrinkled penis and loose testicles which dangle near the ground.

The Tambaluslos chases people who wander in the woods. The only way to escape it is to take off your
clothes and wear them upside-down. The creature finds this act very hilarious and it will laugh so much
that its wide lips would cover its face, therefore preventing it from seeing the victim who in turn will have
ample time to escape.

Bicol, Bisaya, Mindanao: from ‘luslos’ or to have an erection

Takes women into secluded areas. To escape ones must turn their clothes inside out so that the
tambaloslos can see their breast, this will make the tambaloslos erect so much that its genitals will cover
its vision.

TAMBANOKANO – (Mandaya) One of the children of the Sun and Moon, was a giant crab names
“Tambanokano”. He is so powerful that every time he open and closes his eyes lightening flashes. He lives
in a large hole at the bottom of the ocean. When the tide goes out, it is because he has left the hole and
the water rushes in to fill it. His moving about causes great waves which crash on the shore. The crab is
quarrelsome, like his father; and sometimes becomes so angry with his mother (the Moon), that he tries
to swallow her. In the version of the Manobos, the ‘Tambanakua’ is a huge tarantula or a scorpion.

TANDAYAG NA OPON – (Bicol) Is a huge black boar with tusks as big as a mans arms. He lives in the hills
of Lingyon. He attacked the rice fields and plants of Linza and was killed by Baltog in the Ibalong Epic.

TARABUSAO – (Maguindanao, Maranao) A very large, ugly man who crashes through the forest making
the trees moves. Yells loudly when drawing close to his home.

TAWONG LIPOD – (Bicol) A race of mythological creatures in Philippine mythology, most prevalent in Bicol
area they are the court servants and handmaidens of the lunar gods Bulan and Haliya. They are beautiful,
supernatural beings, youthful and elegant, and superb in the art of dancing. They are the nymphs of the
winds and clouds forever loyal to the moon gods. The story of how the lunar gods Haliya and Bulan
descended is one that concerns them, for stories tell that it was the ”Tawong Lipod” (wind people) who
convinced Haliya who in return convinced Bulan to go down and bathe in the waters of Ibalon (Bicol).

TAWANG LUPA – (Mindanao) Invisible little people. Owns the land and it may be used by persons only
under certain conditions. Lives in communities, follows human trails out of hills, receives offerings before
and after planting & harvest, partakes of proficiency gifts from humans.

TAYHO – (Western Visayas) A creature in Western Visayan folklore similar to the Centaur of Greek
mythology except this one has an animal-looking face and more swift. It is said that a Tayho is an offspring
of a female water buffalo and a giant male Agta.

THALON – (Zamboanga Del Sur) The Thalon is an obscure creature in Philippine Folklore. From its origins
in Zamboanga Del Sur, its myth has not spread to the other parts of the Philippines. Unlike most monsters
in Philippine folklore, the attitude of the Thalon is based on its gender, either being a simple trickster spirit
if male, or a terrible man-eating beast if female.

TIBSUKAN – (Central Panay) A creature in Central Panay folklore that appears as a piglet with an extra-
long snout which it uses to burrow underground where it prefers to live. Any human who disturbs it will
get ill. Some Encantos and witches who wish to make a human ill or even die would make a Tibsukan
burrow and live under the house of the victim.

TIBURONES/ Triburon – (Bikol) A shark, with razor sharp teeth, that can fly and circle its prey from the
air. ‘Tiburon’ is Spanish for ‘shark’, most English translations of the Ibalon use this name for the creature
(Triburon). In Bikol, these creatures are known as Pating na Pakpakan. In the Ibalon epic, they were tamed
by the warrior-hero Handyong.

TIGBANUA – (Bagobo) Worst of all the buso (dark spirits). Bagobo myths describe the Tigbanua as
having one eye, with tall, lean bodies and long necks that they can twist to see what’s behind them. Their
hair is disheveled and their one eye is either red or yellow. They have flat noses and pointed teeth, their
feet are oversized and usually their skin is covered in muck and grime. They prefer to stay in jungles, caves
or rocky areas. They are some stories where they hunt in groups and attack a victim, dismembering the
poor soul and tearing them with their claws. These creatures are afraid of dogs, despite their large and
fearsome demeanor.

TIGMAMANUKAN – (Tagalog) A bird of omen, usually letting travelers know to expect good or bad luck.
TIKBALANG – (Tagalog and other regions) A half-man and half-horse creature, terrorizes women.
Actually, they are summoned by shamans or landlords to secure and protect their house. It has a horse’s
head, the body of a human but with the feet of the horse. It travels at night to rape female mortals. The
raped women will then give birth to more tikbalang. They are also believed to cause travelers to lose their
way particularly in mountainous or forest areas. Tikbalangs are very playful with people, and they usually
make a person imagine things that aren’t real. Sometimes a Tikbalang will drive a person crazy.

Legends say that when rain falls while the sun is shining or in a clear sky, there is a wedding between two

Since horses only arrived in the Philippine archipelago during the Spanish colonization (thus, the borrowed
term ‘kabayo’), there is a theory that the image of a half-horse, half-man creature was propagated by the
conquistadors to keep the natives afraid of the night. There are stories claiming that the Tikbalang are
actually half-bird, half-man creatures, much like the Japanese tengu.

It is sometimes believed to be a transformation of an aborted fetus which has been sent to earth from
By Isaiah Cabanting

TIKTIK – (Western Visayas) A kind of Aswang. There are two kinds of Tiktik. The one who eats fetuses,
and the one who warns people of the presence of Aswang in their place.

TIMU-TIMU – (Iloilo) An ape-like ogre deep in the forests of Iloilo. Its mouth can gape so wide it can chew
a human whole. Its name means ‘likes to chew’ or ‘always chews’.

TINAKCHI – (Kalinga) The Tinakchi from the mountain range of Kalinga are a classic example of “unseen
beings” that are often a pivotal element to staple horror stories. Called by the people from the mountain
as “cha tagun ajipun maila” (people who can’t be seen), Tinakchi seems to be on par with the likes
of Engkanto, Palasekan and Tahamaling who exist along side people, while hiding their presence. Often
they blend mystery into the mundane life of normal people; the usual root cause of supernatural events
that can’t been comprehended or explained.

TIRTIRIS – (Ilokano) Little folk with gold teeth and shimmering silk clothes embroidered with gold
thread. They dance and sign and make friends with humans. They will add rice to yields. People who
hurt them get sore eyes and skin rashes.

TIYANAK – (Tagalog) An infant-like creatures that eat the living and terrify children. There origin (some
says) are aborted fetuses from mother’s womb who took revenge of not giving them birth, or babies who
died before receiving baptism. After death, they go to a place known as Limbo, a chamber of Hell which
unbaptized dead people fall into and are transformed into evil spirits. These phantasms return into the
mortal realm in the form of goblins to eat living victims. The tiyanak can also be the offspring of a woman
and a demon. It can also be an aborted fetus which comes back to take revenge on its mother. Most
Tiyanaks are said to live in forests. If they see a human, they transform into what looks like a normal baby.
When the person notices the Tiyanak and comes near to take a look at it, the Tiyanak changes back to its
true form and eats its prey.

The true origin of Tiyanak came from the Malaysian creature, Pontianak or Mantianak – a female viscera.
They share many similarities, but the Pontianak is the mother who died while pregnant, Tianak is the ghost
of the child, not the mother herself.

Whenever we hear Tiyanak, the first thing which come to our mind is an innocent-looking baby, but
according to some, they look like dwendes (small earth spirit). You can kill this monster by means of any
pointed instruments, more specifically pointed metal made of silver.
TIANAK by Ian Balba via DeviantArt

TIYU-AN – (Capiz) A flightless variant of the Manananggal originating from Capiz. This one doesn’t have
wings and doesn’t split her body in half. Instead, the Tiyu-an jumps on the roof of a victim or enters the
house unnoticed. It will then extend its tongue into a very long and thin proboscis and pierce the belly of
a pregnant woman and suck the blood of the fetus inside. In some cases it will lick and sniff a severely ill
person, sucking the life force until the victim dies. The Tiyu-an is only female and owns a puppy that never
grows old. It is said the puppy, which is passed from one generation to another is actually the master from
whom she got her powers. When this mutt licks the Tiyu-an, its telling her that it is hungry and it’s time
for her to hunt.

TUBTUB – (Antique) An Aswang variant in Libertad, Antique.

TULAYHANG – (Central Panay) According to Central Panay folks, a creature that resembles an Umang-
Umang or mud crab. It usually lives underground on riverbanks where it bores a hole. Most Tulayhang are
pets of the Encantos and whoever disturbs them in their hole will suffer a terrible illness.

TULUNG/ TUWUNG – (Zambales Negrito) The Negrito version of the Tikbalang. A horse-like head similar
to the tikbalang. What sets the tulung apart from the tikbalang is that instead of hooves, it has clawed
feet and very large penis and testicles.

TUPONG-TUPONG – (Bicolano) A humanoid creature in ancient Bicol that could stretch its body. It could
be as tall as a tree or as short as a child if it wanted.


UGAW – (Pangansinan) The Ugaw is a small creature that follows humans and steals rice from them. It
is very tiny and looks like cute dolls. The Ugaws live near rice granaries or follow humans where there is
an abundance of rice. They move swiftly and people are advised to close the lids of their rice bins to
prevent Ugaws from stealing them. They know by the spillage some people leave by their bins.

The Iloko word naugaw describes a person wasteful of rice. It is derived from ugaw, an elf. The folk level
the rice in a bin and place an inverted coconut-shell bowl on it to keep elves away. A string of empty snails
is also laced around the neck of a jar used as a rice bin to keep elves away by the tinkle of the shells when
these creatures clamber up the sides of the bin.

UGKOY – (Waray) Usually seen in rivers during floods. Drags victims by their feet (like a crocodile) into
the water.
By Isaiah Cabanting
UKO or OKO – (Tagalog) Ape-like creatures in Luzon that abduct and eat children. They live in caves where
they take their victims.

UMANGOB – A dog-like ghoul that eats only the thumbs and big toes of the dead.

UNGGA-UNGGA or WUWUG – (Visayas) (also spelled Wowog) The Ungga-Ungga of Negros, known as
Wuwug in Eastern Visayas, is a self-segmenting viscera-sucker that has an appearance similar to that of
the Penanggal of Indonesia. Like the latter, it separates at the neck and the wingless head hovers off with
its entrails dangling in the air, leaving the body behind. Unlike the Penanggal, this creature is not
exclusively female.

UNGLOC – (Western Visayas) A black-complexioned giant spirit with long, pointed teeth and lives in a cave
in the mountains of Western Visayas. The Ungloc can talk and understands human language but is stupid
enough to be fooled by a child. When it succeeds in catching a child, it will bring the victim to its domain
and, through magic will turn the hapless youngster into a coconut for later consumption.

UNGMANAN – (Bicol) The unseen dweller of nature is found near strange rock formations, water, and
misshapen trees. If you disrespect nature, you disrespect the Ungmanan which will cause you sickness.
The sickness will not be fatal, but you will need to visit an albularyo (healer) who will perform the ritual
of “santigwar” to heal you.

UNGO – (Waray) A hairy giant spirit. Walks toward humans. Wanders alone at night. Seen standing still
and alone. Orders fishermen not to fish abroad in the dark from 8:00 p.m.- 4:00 a.m.

UNGO – (Zamboanga) A woman by day, but a flying beast by night. She flies out of a secret hole in her
roof in order to steal corpses. She cooks it, then gives some to her neighbors. If they eat the human flesh,
they will also become an ungo.


WAKWAK – (Surigao) A human, bird-like creatures flying in the night sky in search for flesh and blood. It
could be a witch itself, or night bird belonging to a witch. Also said to be a blood sucker like creature who
can take the form of a night bird. (learn more)

WHITE LADY – (Manila) A modern kind of ghost, particularly those living in Balete Drive in Quezon City.

WIRWIR – (Apayao) Tirelessly searches for the freshly dead. Lives on corpses it exhumes.

YASAW – (Bicol) Another creature of the night and minion of aswang, Yasaw are like children but are dark
skinned and has claws, the are beloved by or they are playful and like to frighten humans but they only
scare, they do not harm to humans.
Ramos, Maximo D. The Aswang Complex in Philippine Folklore. Phoenix Publishing, 1990

Ramos, Maximo D. The Creatures of Philippine Lower Mythology. Phoenix Publishing, 1990

Ramos, Maximo D. Philippine Demonological Beings and Their Cultural Bearings. Phoenix
Publishing, 1990

Ramos, Maximo D. The Creatures of Midnight. Phoenix Publishing, 1990

Ramos, Maximo D. Legends of Lower Gods. Phoenix Publishing, 1990

Anima, Nid. Witchcraft Filipino-Style. Omar Publications, 1978

Blare and Robertson, eds. The Philippine Islands

Kintanar, Thelma B. & Associates. U.P. Cultural Dictionary for Filipinos Second Edition, 2009

Magos, Alicia P. Seven Layers of the Panayanon Universe. Iloilo: A Rich and Noble Land. 2007

Torres-Campos, Felicisima. Mga Ginto sa Iloilo. Apostol Printers Co., 1990

Ibalong Epic

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Philippine Lower Mythology Series 1 by GodOfNumbers