Myths and folklore have always been a part of human existence and civilisation. Tales circulating since time immemorial invariably occupy the human psyche even after centuries of advancement. Some creatures have been embedded in human reason and rationality for so long that we very often tend to forget that these are mere figments of imagination. And in some truly surreal cases, they might appear to be not so imaginative at all, translating into reality with an ease and unleashing terror in the gullible human mind. Let’s have A look at some terrifying yet lesser known Philippine mythical creatures that are a part of the country’s folklore.
Among the most feared of the mythicals, this human like creature of the day can seriously spook you with its appetite fro human flesh under moonlight. A horrifying reality of the fantasy movies, Aswang is a shape shifter, by will and by choice.
Fairies abound in folklore. The Philipine ‘version’ called the Engkantos are graceful and charming beauties. Considered as the angels that revolted against the Lord, Lucifer, they are pretty, demure spirits and lend aura to the mythical tales.
NUNO SA PUNSO
Essentially the vile goblin of folklores, Nuno Sa Punso is a dwarf creature that lives in anthills or termite moulds. When angered, this creature would inflict the goriest of curses, that can afflict the cursee with serious illnesses.
This is one mythological character with a difference. Unheard of in other folklores, Tiyanaks are baby spirits who died before or without receiving baptism rites, or even an abandoned fetus. They remain disguised under the innocence of a normal baby till you get preyed upon through its monstrous form.
Quintessentially the wandering spirits of ‘wronged’ women, the White Lady is a typical in most tales of the haunting genre. A beautiful face, with long, flowing hair and a blood stained body to spook you with unexpected sightings.
SIRENA AND SIYOKOY
Mermaids have enticed people of different epochs and eras. In Phillipines, it’s either the Sirena or the Siyokoy to mesmerise you with their physicality. Sirena is a beautiful female with a fish tail completing a human upper body. The Siyokoy, with a scaled human body, gills and fishtails is the male epitome of charm. But they would not be as appealing when you discover yourself in their hold, waiting to be devoured.
The souls of the deceased during the Japanese occupation manifest themselves as the Pasatsats. These deceased were covered with reed mats called the pamalisan, but were robbed off their gold and other belongings by unscrupulous men. This is where the story of the tortured ghosts, the Pasatsats started.
A hairy white ape which disembowels its victims, the Amomongo is a creature that dwells somewhere on the borderline between fantasy and reality. But there exists some apparent ‘encounters’ that might prove the presence of such creatures in the real world. Even then, with no substantial evidence, the Amomongo remains a mystery.
A scavenger monster with an appetite for dead human bodies, and a keen sense of smell, this deadly apparition ‘hypnotises’ people while feeding upon the dead. Its razor sharp claws and an obnoxious breath makes it one of the most bloody creatures of folklore.
A half man, half bull mythical creature with striking resemblance to the Greek Minotaur, the Sarangay relies on its scary reputation to protect its fellow dwellers from invaders. Complete with horns and an array of stones touted to possess superpowers, the Sarangay’s devilish nature makes him a highly feared creature.
The one eyed monster, bolstered by its horrible facial characteristics, Bungisngis is particularly known for its unique laugh. Giggles can be demonic too and specially in folklore references, those creatures with a menacing laugh make for the most terrifying creatures. And this creature with humongous lips, teeth and trunk only lives up to its reputation of the evil laughter.
No account of the mythical in folklore can be complete without the evil witch who casts spells and inflicts pain on others. Kulam, the Philippine form of folk magic is put into practice by these supernatural beings to trick and curse people.
However, imagination runs high in the Philippines it seems, and naturally the list of Philippine mythical creatures is an even longer one. No wonder then that the folklore of the country has such a rich and engaging diversity that serves to incite interest in things that are beyond fantasy and mere make-believe.