Every country has its own set of supernatural beings. Indonesia has the Pontianak, women who died in childbirth but now return to feast on men and pregnant women. Persia has the Bakhtak, goblin-like creatures who sit on slumbering people’s chests while they're sleeping (and induce terrifying nightmares in the process). Japan has the Gashadakuro, giant human skeletons who like to bite off human heads and suck their victims' bloody dry. The Philippines is no exception. Here are three Pinoy monsters that we wouldn't want to cross paths with:


1. Manananggal

A manananggal is a vampire-like creature that can separate its upper torso from its body. By day, it takes on the form of a beautiful woman. By night, however, it transforms into a fetus-devouring monster. Using its bat-like wings, the manananggal flies over to the house of its victim and uses its long, piercing tongue to suck the fetus out of its mother. This Pinoy creature does have a weakness. Garlic supposedly wards its off, while pouring salt on its lower torso apparently defeats it.

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Movie references: Ang Manananggal (1927) Mananggal in Manila (1997) Shake, Rattle, and Roll (1984)

2. Tiktik

Similar to the manananggal, the tiktik also has a penchant for eating unborn children. It is supposedly also weak against garlic and sting ray tails. However, it has one unique feature: the nearer it sounds, the farther away it really is. The closer it gets, the fainter its call. GIRLTalk has a thread dedicated to the mythical creature.


Movie reference: Tiktik (2012)

3. Tiyanak

A tiyanak is a creature that disguises itself as a crying baby to lure unsuspecting victims. Once they pick it up, the creature transforms back to its true shape and attacks. Some people believe that the tiyanak is originally the spirit of a child whose mother died during childbirth. Other say that it is borne from aborted fetuses seeking vengeance.

Movie references: Impakto (1996), Tiyanaks (2007)

(Screencap from Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles courtesy of Agosto Dos Pictures, GMA Films, and Reality Entertainment)

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