Philippine Lower Mythology

Here's a quick list of demons, monsters, elves and dwarfs for those interested in Philippine supernatural creatures.

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Buddy Paraiso (Fine Arts graduate and comic artist) and his brother John Paraiso (Political Science graduate and competent researcher for hire), have come up with a compilation of creatures of Philippine creatures of lower and middle earth. Entitled The Balete Book (published by Giraffe Books, 2003), the book displays the Paraiso brothers' passion for Philippine folklore and ethereal creatures.

They culled data from well-known writers on the subject:

Nid Anima (Witchcraft Filipino-Style)
Frank Lynch, S.J. (The Aswang Inquiry)
Rodrigo D. Perez III, Rosario S. Encarnacion, Julian E. Dacanay, Jr. (Folk Architecture)
Maximo D. Ramos (The Aswang Syncrasy in Philippine Folklore, Filipino Cultural Patterns and Values and Their Mythological Dimensions)
Yasushi Yamada (Ichbayat Folkways)

The balete is a tree which has a supernatural reputation among Filipinos. Even the road called Balite in Quezon City can strike fear in the hearts of many motorists (think "white lady"). Perhaps that's why the book is called The Balete Book.

Anyway, here's the quick list of those creatures:

Sea or Water Creatures
Baconaua (Philippine sea dragon) - also spelled bakonawa or bakunawa
Buaia or Buwaya (crocodile)
Sirena or Kataw(mermaid)
Mameleu (sea serpent)

Land Animals
Segben or Sigbin - cross between a dog and kangaroo
Mantahungal (wild boar-like cow)
Tikbalang (centaur in reverse)
Marcupo (large snake)

Air Creatures
Mikonawa or Minokawa (large bird the covers the moon)
Bawa (lives in a sky cave)

Elves / Dwarfs / Forest Spirits
Aghoy (helps you find lost things)
Tahamaling (red complexioned)
Nuno, Lakay, Matanda, Sagay, Duwende
Mangmangkit (cut trees at your own peril)
Annani (likes uncooked carabao heads)
Engkanto, Encanto, Encantada
Mahomanay (guardian of forest animals)
Kibaan (mischievous yam thief with reverse feet)
Caranget, Carango, Kama-kama (don't dig up his mound)
Calag (hates noise)
Ebwa (hates fire)
Wir Wir
Omayan, Tawong-Lupa, Laman Lupa (earth elementals)
Lampong (white deer that rescues other animals)

Mangkukulam or Manggagaway
Barangan or Mamalarang

Ikugan (like King Kong, only hungrier)
Buring Cantada (from Bicol)
Gawi Gawen (has six heads)
Gisurab, Guisurab, Guisorab (schizo giant)
Bungisngis (ever smiling cyclops)

Other Creatures
Pugot or Numputol (think headless women's underwear bandit)
Batibat or Bangungot (like a succubus only deadlier: acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis)
Agta, Ungo (cousin of the kapre)
Manananggal (self segmenter)
Balbal (compulsively yawns during wakes)
Tianak (like Jack-Jack of The Incredibles when he's angry)
Kumakatok (trio who knocks on doors)
Buso (like a shadow)

[ First posted on 11/13/2005 by Manuel Viloria ]

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