Gumon: Locks of death

Gumon

She may not be Rapunzel but she’s got “killer hair”… literally.

Sa lumang paniniwala ng mga Karay-a sa Probinsya ng Iloilo, may isang uri ng babaeng aswang na lumalabas pagkagat ng dilim bilang gumagapang na kumpol ng buhok. Binabalot nito ang taong makakasalubong at sinasakal gamit ang kanyang mayabong na buhok.
Ang nasabing mga buhok ay may masangsang na amoy at parang mga ahas na gagapang papasok sa mata, ilong, at bibig ng biktima para hindi ito makahinga at mawalan ng malay.
Habang nakikipagbuno ay hihigupin ng aswang ang dugo at lakas ng biktima hanggang sa maging isang buto’t balat na bangkay ang biktima.
Takot sa apoy ang nasabing aswang. Ang ibig sabihin ng “gumon” sa Hiligaynon (wika ng mga taga Iloilo) ay “buhol-buhol”.

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Amamarang

In Visayan and Mindanaoan folklore, the amamarang a.k.a. mamarang is a type of aswang that uses her long, wire-like and pungent hair to incapacitate or kill her victims. By day she is a normal woman but after the sun sets she applies a special oil all over her body until her skin turns dark, her eyes become bloodshot, and her hair move like tentacles. She blocks paths and attacks anyone who encounters her.
While tackling the unfortunate person, the amamarang‘s hair slithers into the victim’s eyes, ears, nose, and mouth until the latter faints or suffocates to death. She either proceeds to feast on the victim’s innards and blood or takes the body to her home to be consumed later.
There’s a chance to fight off the amamarang if the victim is able to set the creature’s hair on fire or wound her using conventional weapons. However, the amamarang can heal her wounds by simply licking them.
In other stories the amamarang is a manananggal-like creature with tentacle like hair.

 

Tatay Felo and the aswang

One day Tatay Felo (my grandmother’s father), a carpenter, was sent to a village in Plaridel, Misamis Occidental to work there. He worked the whole day and when it was around six o’clock in the evening he told his fellow carpenters that he was going home. But they stopped him. They warned him that in the said village lived an aswang named Thalia, who waited in the path. But Tatay Felo didn’t give a damn because he possessed an anting-anting (charm). So he went on alone.
While walking along the path he saw a woman ahead of him. The woman said, “Where are you going, Felo? It’s dark already.”
All of a sudden, the woman transformed. Her face became hideous and her very long hair stood on end. Her hair tried to force their way into Tatay Felo’s nose. The hair had a nauseating stench. But Tatay Felo was strong, he punched the woman. She fell on the ground but got up and tried to strangle Tatay Felo.
During the struggle, Tatay Felo got hold of his saw, which he used at work earlier. He started sawing at the woman’s neck. The woman released Tatay Felo, ran off screaming in pain, and jumped into the nearby river.
Many years passed and Tatay Felo passed away. My grandmother said many still remember Tatay Felo because he was the one who sawed Thalia’s neck, who is said to be still alive up to this day with a big scar on her neck.

(story translated from a post on Spookify’s FB page)

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Filipino text:

Sa kwentong bayan ng Visayas, ang amamarang a.k.a. mamarang ay isang uri ng aswang na ginagamit ang kanyang mahaba, mala-alambre, at masangsang na buhok upang paralisahin o patayin ang kanyang mga biktima. Pag araw, ang amamarang ay normal na babae ngunit pagsapit ng dilim nagpapahid sya ng kakaibang langis sa buong katawan hanggang sa umitim ang kanyang balat, pumula ang nanlilisik na mga mata, at gumalaw ang kanyang mga buhok na parang mga galamay. Siya ay nanghaharang sa mga daanan at inaatake ang sinumang makasalubong sa kanya.
Habang nakikipagbuno sa biktima, ang mga buhok ng amamarang ay gagapang papasok sa mata, tenga, ilong, at bibig ng biktima hanggang sa ito’y mawalan ng malay o tuluyang mamatay. Pagkatapos ay wawakwakin ang tyan ng biktima at kakainin ang lamanloob o dadalhin sa bahay ng amamarang upang doon kainin.
Maaaring madipensahan ng biktima ang kanyang sarili laban sa amamarang sa pamamagitan ng pagsunog sa buhok nito o pagsugat dito gamit ang anumang sandata. Subalit, kayang pagalingin ng amamarang ang kanyang mga sugat sa pamamagitan ng pagdila lamang.
Ayon sa ibang kwento, ang amamarang ay hawig sa manananggal na ang buhok ay parang mga galamay.

 
Si Tatay Felo at ang aswang

Isang araw, si Tatay Felo (ama ng lola ko), isang karpintero, ay pinapunta sa isang barrio sa Plaridel, Misamis Occidental para magtrabaho doon. Buong araw siyang nagtrabaho at pagsapit ng alas sais ng gabi nagpaalam siya sa mga katrabahong karpintero na uuwi na siya. Pero pinigilan nila siya. Sabi nila may aswang daw sa barrio at ang pangalan ay Thalia, na nang-aabang sa daanan. Pero binaliwala iyon ni Tatay Felo dahil meron siyang anting-anting. Kaya umalis na siya.
Habang binabagtas ang daan may nakita siyang babae sa unahan. Sabi ng babae sa kanya, “Saan ka pupunta, Felo? Madilim na.”
Biglang nag-iba ang anyo ng babae. Pumangit ito at nagsitayuan ang mahahabang buhok nito. Pilit daw na pumapasok ang mga buhok nito sa loob ng ilong ni Tatay Felo. Masangsang ang amoy ng buhok. Pero malakas si tatay Felo. Sinuntok niya ang babae. Natumba sa lupa ang babae pero agad itong bumangon at sinubukang sakalin si Tatay Felo.
Sa kanilang pakikipagbuno, nahagilap ni Tatay Felo ang lagari na ginamit niya sa trabaho kanina. Nilagari niya ang leeg ng babae. Nabitawan ng babae si Tatay Felo at tumakbo ito na tumitili sa sakit at tumalon sa kalapit na ilog.
Lumipas ang maraming taon at pumanaw na si Tatay Felo. Sabi ng lola ko marami pa rin ang nakakaalala kay Tatay Felo dahil siya ang lumagari sa leeg ni Thalia, na sinasabing buhay pa hanggang ngayon pero may malaking peklat sa leeg.

Ungga-Ungga the flying head

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In Philippine folklore the ungga-ungga of Visayas (known as wuwug in Bohol) is a manananggal relative that appears similar to the penanggal or penanggalan of Indonesia and Malaysia, and the krasue of Thailand. During daytime the creature is an ordinary-looking person or a practitioner of witchcraft but come sundown its head detaches from the body and hovers off with its glistening or glowing entrails and organs dangling in the air, leaving the body behind. The ungga-ungga’s intestines undulate or rotate rapidly making a sound akin to that of a ceiling fan or a rope being rotated in the air. It is assumed the rotating intestines propel the creature in the air. But unlike the penanggal and the krasue, there are male ungga-ungga. The creature preys on pregnant women, the child inside the mother’s womb, and babies by sucking the victims’ blood. It sucks the blood using its tongue which can stretch into a sharp-tipped, thread-like proboscis while perched on the roof or hovering under the house.

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An ungga-ungga with its dangling entrails and killer hair.

When pregnant women and babies are hard to come by some ungga-ungga resort to attacking people at night. Despite being just flying heads with dangling entrails and organs, they can take on full grown men. An ungga-ungga will tackle the victim using its hair which can grow very long and as hard as wires. With its hair the creature will try to strangle, blind, or suffocate by stuffing the victim’s eyes, nose, ears, and mouth. If they are near a lake, river, or stream it will try to drown the victim. The creature will also lift a person in the air at a dangerous height and drop him to kill the victim. When the victim has been incapacitated or dead, the creature will suck the blood or feast on the liver. An ungga-ungga will leave the victim alone only if the latter proves to be too strong or pulls on the creature’s entrails. A person can also lie down flat on his belly on the ground to discourage the creature from attacking. It is believed the ungga-ungga and even other self-segmenting aswang won’t attack if the potential victim ducks on the ground lower than a person’s waist, as it is believed these creatures don’t want their dangling entrails to touch the ground.
The ungga-ungga won’t go near a house surrounded by bamboo thickets, fearing that their hair and entrails might get entangled among the thorns.

Encounter with a wuwug

Wowie, a resident of Barangay Sal-ing in Balilihan town had a close encounter with a wuwug.
He said he went home after attending a village disco when he heard an unfamiliar sound. And when he looked up at the sky, he saw a head floating. He ran and hid behind a coconut tree. (Source: http://leoudtohan.blogspot.com/2016/10/meet-pinoys-supernatural-creatures.html)

Ang Biktima ni Angeli

angeli-aswangNOTE: English version of story below.

Habang hinuhubad ang pares ng duguang gwantes napatingin si Angeli sa salamin upang sulyapan ang kanyang ginawa. Walang buhay na nakahandusay sa sahig ng comfort room ang pinakahuli nitong biktima – isang freshman sa unibersidad – na ang dugo ay nagkalat sa tiles mula sa nakangangang hiwa sa tiyan ng dalaga. Mula sa hiwa na iyon ay kanyang hinugot at nilantakan ang atay ng biktima. Ang natira ay kanyang sinilid sa plastic na garapon sa kanyang bag. Napakasarap ng atay ng dalaga. Nalalasap pa rin niya ang sarap sa kanyang bibig. Matapos ang isang taon, muli siyang nakatikim niyon, na paborito ng kanyang mga ka-uri.
Mga tatlong linggo din niyang minanmanan ang kanyang biktima. Nagpanggap pa siyang estudyante sa pinapasukan nitong unibersidad. Sa wakas dumating ang pagkakataon nang gabing iyon nang tumungo ng mag-isa sa comfort room ang estudyante bago umuwi. Hindi na nito nagawang makatili nang baliin ni Angeli ang leeg nito. Pagkatapos ay sinimulan niyang hiwain ang estudyante gamit ang scalpel. Mga matatalas na kuko niya sana ang kanyang gagamitin ngunit hindi madaling alisin ang dugo kapag sumuot sa ilalim ng kuko, lalo pa’t may pupuntahan pang gimik si Angeli.
Maingat niyang sinilid sa plastic ang hinubad na mga gwantes at nilagay sa kanyang bag. Tinignan niya ang sarili sa salamin. Maliban sa dugo sa kanyang mga labi at sa baba at iilang talsik sa kanyang mga braso, walang bahid nito sa kanyang uniporme. Matapos iligpit ang scalpel, naghilamos at naghugas si Angeli. Muli niyang sinulyapan ang kanyang biktima bago umalis.
Ni hindi man lang siya napansin ng dalawang security guard sa gate nang siyang dumaan palabas na animo’y ihip ng hangin lamang.
Kinabukasan agad nabalita ang pagkatagpo sa bangkay ng kanyang biktima na wakwak ang tiyan at wala nang atay. Napangiti si Angeli nang sinabi sa balita na baka aswang ang may kagagawan.

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Angeli’s Victim

While removing her bloodied gloves, Angeli glanced at her handy work through the mirror. Her latest victim – a freshman student in the university – lay dead on the comfort room floor with her blood spilled on the tiles from the gaping incision in the girl’s belly. Through this incision, Angeli pulled out ate partially ate the victim’s liver. The rest she put in a small plastic jar in her bag. The girl’s liver was exquisite. Angeli can still taste its goodness in her mouth. After a year, she has once again tasted human liver which is a favorite of her kind.
She observed her victim for at least three weeks. She even disguised as a student in the girl’s university. At last the opportunity came when that night the student went to the comfort room alone before going home. The girl wasn’t able to shriek when Angeli broke her neck. Then she started to cut her open with a scalpel. She would have used her claws but washing off the blood wasn’t easy once they’ve gotten under the nails, especially that Angeli is going on a night out later.
She carefully put the gloves in a plastic bag and placed it in her bag. She checked herself in the mirror. Except for the blood on her lips and chin and some splatters on her forearms, her uniform was unstained. After getting rid of the scalpel, Angeli cleaned herself. She took a last glance at her victim before leaving.
The two security guards at the gate didn’t even notice her as she slipped past them like a gust of wind.
The following day, there was news on her victim who was found cut open with the liver gone. Angeli smiled when it was speculated that the culprit could be an aswang.

END

Another manananggal cousin

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Jeepers creepers, where’d ya get those eyes?

The abat or awok is the Eastern Visayan variant of the manananggal in Philippine folklore. Like the latter, an abat detaches from its lower half of the body at the waist but instead of growing wings on its back, its arms are the ones that transform into bat-like wings. It has bloodshot eyes which almost bulge out of their sockets. Like the manananggal, an abat must rejoin its discarded lower half before sunrise otherwise it will die.

Manananggal’s wingless cousin

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A wingless cousin of the manananggal on the prowl.

The anananggal are self-segmenting aswang in the Eastern Visayan folklore of the Philippines. Unlike their cousins, the manananggal of Luzon, anananggal are wingless like the Indonesian penanggal, and can render themselves invisible – an ability which gives them freedom to enter any house unnoticed.
Aside from preying on pregnant women and attacking children or those who wander at night and the wee hours, anananggal also have a knack for sniffing a corpse in a wake.
To them the smell of a corpse is so irresistible that they would enter a house where there is a wake for the dead and sniff the corpse until they are forced to leave by the approaching dawn. Contact with citrus fruits prevent them from flying. An anananggal will die should sunlight shine upon it while in its segmented form, or if salt, spices, and ash are placed on the stump of its discarded lower half.

‘Werewolves’ in the Philippines

Werewolves, persons who turn into wolves are the stuff of legend in Europe and in North America. First used before the 12th century the word werewolf is a combination of the two Old English words “wer”, meaning “man” and “wulf” which means “wolf”. Tales of persons turning into wolves, especially on full moon nights have long persisted in Europe, especially in its Eastern lands and among the Indian tribes of North America where they are mostly referred to as skinwalkers.
The act of changing into a wolf was called lycanthropy in the late 16th century and was linked with witchcraft and devil worship. Those who were found guilty were either hanged, burned alive, or beheaded. In modern psychological terms lycanthropy refers to a mental disorder where a person thinks he is truly becoming a wolf.
In the Philippines, before the Spanish colonization, there was no such thing as lycanthropy or werewolves because there were no wolves in the archipelago. Instead, the natives believed that some individuals shape-shifted into a variety of animals found in their locality such as dogs, cats, and pigs or boars. Referred to as “false beasts” or “werebeasts” by those who study the country’s various folklore, these creatures are identified as belonging to one of five types of the dreaded aswang. Incidentally, the old imagery of the aswang was someone who turned into a black dog at night. The word aswang itself is supposedly based on the term asu-asuan or aso ang wangis which means “dog-like”.
The ancient folks of the province of Aklan in Western Visayas believed these local “werewolves” belonged to the aswang malakat (walking aswang) group. These are aswangs confined to the ground and are unable to fly. Unlike their Western counterparts, the Philippines’ local werewolves are impervious to silver and don’t need the full moon or even the full cover of night in order to change into a canine-like beast. They are kept at bay using the tail of a stingray fashioned into a whip. Others were known to attack people as early as late afternoon before sundown.
In Aklan, the locals once feared the Kiwig (in local dialect means “uneven” or “sloping”), a person who turns into a big, black dog with a hunched and sloping back and a crooked tail. This creature was said to attack people who traveled alone or lingered outside at night. It also prowled under elevated houses, especially when there was a sick or dying person inside in order to lick the victim. They say one way to identify if a person is a kiwig is if he/she has a stooped posture and bloodshot eyes. The posture is linked to the suspect’s habit of hanging out under people’s houses while the bloodshot eyes are attributed to staying up all night.
Another werebeast from Western Visayas is the Sarut which literally means “pest”. Found in the folklore of Iloilo locals, this person who turns into a big, dog-like creature at night not only attacks people but would also cause great losses to those who own chickens, ducks, goats, and pigs by feeding on the animals’ internal organs. Thus, the sarut has been referred to as a pest. In recent years news of a large number of chickens, ducks, and some goats found dead and showed signs of having been devoured with missing innards caught the attention of the Ilonggos.
The Waray Malakat is a rather odd werebeast. Described as a person who changes into a hairy, canine-like creature, it attacks by extending its hard, wire-like hair. It uses its hair to either strangle or suffocate the victim by stuffing his/her eyes, nose, ears, and mouth. The creature would then feed on the unconscious or dead victim.
The Ungo of Cebuano folklore is a person who from time to time (generally at night) is compelled by a supernatural force to change into a hairy monster. When he has completely transformed into this monster, he sets out to hunt for victims in order to satiate his craving for human flesh and blood.
An ambush predator, the Korokoto of Eastern Visayas and Northern Mindanao lurks in the forest, lying in wait behind bushes or trees and pounces on unsuspecting persons. This shape-shifting aswang doesn’t always devour its victim while in dog-like form. Sometimes, after incapacitating its victim, it drags the person to its home. There it reverts to its human form then it slaughters and cooks the victim. A person encountered in the woods or in the forest might be a korokoto if his/her feet doesn’t touch the ground. It also murmurs a sound similar to its name.
Unlike its canine counterparts, the Motog of Bicol and some parts of Visayas is a werebeast of a different nature. A man by day, at night it shape-shifts into a tall, black, and hairy humanoid creature with a boar’s head. Known to be vicious, this beast attacks and pursues its victims relentlessly. It mauls a victim to death with its long, sharp tusks and gorges his innards. It is said all motog are exclusively male.
There are other unnamed werebeasts in the country’s diverse folklore. One involves a big, black pig caught prowling under a sick person’s house. Those who caught it put the animal in a cage only to find a woman in its stead in the morning. In another story, the husband of a pregnant woman gets irked with the incessant scratching on the roof of their house one night. The furious husband bolts out of their house and sees a large black cat crouched on top of their roof. In anger, he hurls a stone at the animal but misses. To his surprise, the cat chases after the rolling stone, grabs it, and throws it back at him.
The werebeasts, although could be killed using conventional weapons, are hard to hit as proven in most accounts. These creatures are mostly swift enough to evade gunshots or blows with bladed weapons or tough enough to survive one. When injured, a werebeast will go home immediately. There it will try its best to lick the wound or apply its saliva on it. It is believed some aswangs could heal their injuries in no time by just licking them or applying them with their saliva.
Like other aswangs, werebeasts hunt in places other than their own village or town in order to avoid the discovery of their true identity. They also rarely attack groups of people. In the olden days, it was believed that women who wear their long hair down were safe from werebeast attacks although it is never explained how this works.

 

REFERENCES:

Andres, T.D. Dictionary of Filipino Culture and Values.
Ramos, Maximo D. The Creatures of Midnight.
Ramos, Maximo D. The Aswang Syncrasy in Philipine Folklore.
http://www.facebook.com/mganilalangngkadiliman
http://www.oocities.org/horrorflip/