5 Creepy Creatures in Filipino Folklore

5. Tiyanak
As we know that the Philippines is one of the largest Christian country on Earth, around 85% of their population are Christians. Knowing this, the Tiyanak are babies who died and are buried before receiving their baptism rites.

Because of this it is believed that after death the babies would go to Limbo and evil spirits can then possess the infant’s body and use it for evil deeds. They are vampiric in nature and would kill to eat inner organs and drink blood. The tiyanak can also be the offspring between a woman and a demon.

Most Tiyanaks are found and live in the forests. They would make crying sounds of a helpless baby as if being thrown away in the forest and when a human see’s it, it would look like a real baby from afar. But when the human goes to look at the source of the cry, right when the human is close enough to touch it, that is when the Tiyanak would change back to its true form that would look like a little baby goblin and attacks the human for food.

4. Kapre
They are tree dwelling giants that are usually invisible with the naked eye. They would only make themselves visible when they feel like it. The Kapre is at least 8 to 10 ft tall, very hairy, has a beard and is quite fond of smoking cigars. Yes, very weird. They usually dwell on big trees like the banyan, acacia and even an old mango tree.

So if they are invisible, how do you know if they’re there? The easiest tell tale sign is that you would smell tobacco out of no where while being in close proximity to a tree or in the forest. Some people have experienced hearing loud laughter from unseen sources and also leaves rustling from tree branches without any wind blowing.

Now the Kapre’s form of entertainment is to get people to lose their way while in the jungle or mountain trails. Even if the person is familiar with the route, if they are enchanted by the Kapre they would still get lost. The only way for you to get out of the enchantment is by taking your shirt of and wear it inside out. Hmm why do I think that they got so distracted from the strip tease, it broke the enchantment?

Also, if they take a liking on a woman, they will forever stalk that woman and would make sure no man can ever come between them. Scary.

3. Bal-bal
They are a type of ghoul. It has long sharp claws, teeth made for tearing meat off of bones and a good sense of smell that could put K9 dogs to shame. They use these features of theirs for scavenging corpses and eating them raw. After they are done eating, they would always leave the trunk of a banana tree in place of the body to trick people.

They are known to have a unique power of hypnosis where they would use it to make people sleep during a funeral while it goes to feed on the dead body. Because of its diet of corpses, it is known for having really bad breath. In Modern tales of the Bal-Bal, they say it would look like a normal human being but as soon as the night is lit by the full moon, it would shapeshift into the disfigured ghoul.

Another story says that if you say its name, it will seek you out and devour your flesh. Beware of the one who must not be named.

2. Nuno Sa Punso
If there is a huge anthill, be careful because the Nuno sa Punso may live there. They are dwarf like creatures that some Filipinos might call the Duwende, but rather than dwarves they resemble more like small goblins.

They live in the anthill and would curse any disrespectful people who disturbs the anthill or worse, destroy their habitat by giving strange and sudden illness to that unfortunate person. But they could also bring good luck to people who are respectful enough to it. For superstitious people, the way to not be disrespectful is by saying these words,’tabi tabi po’ which kinda means excuse me.

There is a mysterious belief that goes around in South East Asian countries about huge anthills that may change from region to region. But what most people believe is that the anthill has powers or even the thing inhabiting the anthill has powers so it is wise not to disturb it in fear of consequences.

1. Manananggal
Beautiful woman by day, blood devouring, sharp teethed flying creature by night. They are described as a hideous, vampire like creature with bat-like wings and only has its upper body. Almost like the Penanggal in Malay beliefs as talked about in one of my videos, even the name sounds similar.

So this Manananggal can stretch its tongue and would use it to suck the hearts of fetuses or the blood of an unsuspecting victim. They’re favorite prey are pregnant women in their homes. Other times, most probably when they get bored of their usual diet, they would seduce men while in pretty lady mode to follow her to a secluded place and would proceed to eating them alive. Especially the innards like the heart, stomach or even the liver.

They hate salt and garlic like the traditional vampires we know and would stay away from houses that hang garlic near any entrance of the house or just bowls of salt. That’s how you ward against them, but to kill them, you would have to find its lower half and spread salt and/or garlic on the partition to prevent it from joining and transforming back into human. Because, the Manananggal will die as it is very vulnerable to sunlight in monster form.


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