Manananggal

Manananggal. One of the most popular monsters in Philippine folklore and a staple of Pinoy horror movies. Almost every Filipino knows what a manananggal is but to those who don’t, well, a manananggal is a variant of the aswang. By day, is just a normal person, usually a woman, but come sundown she goes to a secluded area, goes naked and rubs a specially prepared oil all over her body while murmuring an incantation and staring at the moon. Her body undergoes a transformation where her nails turn into claws and her teeth grow into fangs. Leathery, bat-like wings sprout from her back and her upper torso begins to separate from the lower half of the body at the waist. Fully detached, she flies off with her large intestine rotating or undulating to stabilize her flight. She searches for people who are still outdoors alone after dark or for a house where there’s a pregnant woman sleeping inside, for she loves to eat fetuses or babies inside the womb. She usually perches on the roof and if she finds a hole right above the pregnant woman, she slides her tongue in and it stretches to a great length and as thin as a thread but with a pointed tip. The tip pierces the victim’s navel and goes straight to the yet to be born child in the womb, sucking the poor child’s blood, for the manananggal’s tongue is hollow and acts like a straw or a syringe. The child dies and the mother suffers a miscarriage upon waking up.
The manananggal’s weakness is her discarded lower half. Destroy it or move and hide it somewhere else to prevent her from rejoining it. Without her lower half, she will die by sunrise.
Among the Waray, the manananggal is called Tangso-tangso. In Aklan, Tanggae. In Mindanao, Salimbarot; and in some parts of Palawan, Tanggar.
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The Aswang Delegation

In 1930 a teachers’ seminar was held in Lucban, Quezon. All towns in Quezon province sent delegates. These were housed in the elementary school buildings a kilometer from the town proper. The seminar lasted one week. The night after the delegates arrived, the townspeople living near the school compound heard peculiar noises of flying wings and the sound “Tik-tik-tik” of the tiktik bird. It was a firm belief in the town that whenever the tiktik was heard at night there were aswang around.
The next night, some brave folks peeped out of their windows when they heard the sound of wings. They were horrified when they saw a flock of black-winged creatures flying in the dark of the night. The creatures had human heads but half of their bodies from the waist down were missing. The people presumed that what they saw were manananggal.
The following morning, the people of Lucban, who were in charge of feeding the delegates observed them closely. They noticed that some of the delegates refused to eat spicy food and where very fond of dinuguan and inihaw-na-lamang-loob. They also noticed that these delegates had deep armpits and could not look directly into other people’s eyes.
From that night till the seminar ended, the people hung spices like garlic and black pepper outside their windows. They placed crosses on top of their roofs.
When the eminar was finished and all the delegates had gone home, the peace of night returned to the town. Source: The Aswang Syncrasy in Philippine Folklore (1971), p. 47.

Reference:
Blumentritt, Ferdinand. Diccionario Mitologico de Filipinas. Manila, 1895.
Ramos, Maximo D. The Aswang syncrasy in Philippine Folklore. Philippine Folklore Society, 1971.

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”.

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.

Aswang: Ungga-Ungga

Featured

In Philippine folklore the ungga-ungga of Visayas and Mindanao (also known as bog-bog, oka-oka, ug-ug, wowog, wuwug or wugwug, and yog-yog) is an aswang variant and a manananggal relative that appears similar to the penanggal or penanggalan of Indonesia and Malaysia, and the krasue of Thailand. In the morning the creature is an ordinary person but come sundown, especially on midnight its head detaches from the body and hovers off with its entrails and some organs dangling in the air, leaving the body behind. The ungga-ungga’s intestines rotate rapidly making a sound akin to that of 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, rope-like proboscis while perched on the roof or hovering under the house.
When pregnant women and babies are hard to come by, some ungga-ungga resort to attacking people at night. Despite being just a flying heads with dangling entrails, it can take on full grown men. The ungga-ungga tackles 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 innards, especially the liver. The 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 may 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 also prey on animals, especially chickens and ducks.
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.
In other places the ungga-ungga is called sawsaw-suka because before the head separates from the body, it applies black vinegar or ‘suka’ in Tagalog all over the body. It should be noted that according to Malay folklore the penanggal dips its entrails in vinegar so that these would fit well inside the neck stump when it reattaches itself to its body.
In Fray Juan de Plasencia’s “Relacion de las Costumbres de Los Tagalos” (1589) the creature was known as magtatanggal among the Tagalog people.

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: leoudtohan.blogspot.com/2016/10/meet-pinoys-supernatural-creatures.html)

References
Demetrio, Francisco, S.J. Encyclopedia of Philippine Folk Beliefs and Customs. Cagayan de Oro City: Xavier University, 1991.
Ramos, Maximo D. The Aswang Syncrasy in Philipine Folklore. Philippine Folklore Society, 1971.

Art drawn in Nintendo DS Lite using ColorsDS.

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.

Reference:

Ramos, Maximo D. The Aswang Syncrasy in Philipine Folklore. Philippine Folklore Society, 1971.