Mandurugo: A vampire of Philippine folklore

The Mandurugo

The blood-sucking mandurugo (means, “one who draws blood”) of Philippine folklore use their beauty to attract and prey on men. In the olden days a mandurugo would get married to a healthy, plump youth to ensure a constant supply of blood every night. The tip of her hollow tongue tapers to a needle point and pricks the sleeping victim’s neck and sucks a bit of his blood. Another way for her to consume the victim’s blood is to insert her tongue into her sleeping husband’s mouth – the tip of her needle-like tongue pricking the inside of the mouth – and suck the flowing blood while seemingly kissing him passionately. The clueless husband loses weight rapidly, weakens, and withers away as the days go by. When the mandurugo has drained her husband dead, she assumes the form of a bird-like creature and flies off to look for another healthy youth to marry and feed on.
In later times, most mandurugo no longer get married, victimizing different men each night instead and not killing them to avoid being discovered. Those who do get married don’t harm their husbands out of love. Instead, they use their marriage as a front and seek out other men to feed on.
It is said the mandurugo arose from kinnara or kinnari who were betrayed by their human lovers, turning into blood-sucking monsters to exact revenge on men.
A mandurugo will remain young and beautiful as long as she consumes blood.

The Girl with Many Loves

“The Girl with Many Loves” is an old Tagalog folktale about an alleged mandurugo. As the story goes, there was once a young woman described as one of the most beautiful to live on the land. She married at the age of sixteen. Her husband, a husky youth, withered away in less than a year. After his death, she married again, with the same result. She married a third time and then a fourth. The fourth husband, having been warned, feigned sleep one night holding a knife in his hand. Soon after midnight he felt a presence over him and then a prick on his neck. He stuck the knife into the creature on top of him. He heard a screech and the flapping of wings. The next day his bride was found dead some distance from the house with a knife wound in her chest.

Bane, Theresa. Encyclopedia of Beasts and Monsters in Myth, Legend and Folklore. McFarland, 2016
Melton, J. Gordon. The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead. 1999
Ramos, Maximo D. Creatures of Philippine Lower Mythology. University of the Philippines Press, 1971


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