[Do You Believe that Malevolent Beings Really Exist?]
“Ano ang nasa dako paroon—bunga ng malikot na pag-iisip...?”
Multo, aswang, manananggal, tikbalang, nuno sa punso, kapre—ilan lang ’yan sa mga maligno ng kulturang Filipino—mga karaktér na kinatatakutan at pinaniniwalaang totoo ng maraming tao.
However, many also are those who regard these beings as simply fantastical and fictional creatures that make Philippine myth and folklore rich and interesting. More so, contrary to what many Filipinos claim, these creatures are not entirely unique to the Filipino culture, for most of them have their counterparts in the myths and mythologies of other countries or cultures.
Regardless if you believe that these malevolent characters exist in real life or not, I’m sure that the following descriptions, based on various literary sources, will either scare you or simply fire up your imagination.
Manananggal is depicted typically as a shy and ordinary-looking woman during the day who in the night takes off as a vicious half-bodied bat-winged creature looking for prey, leaving her detached lower torso concealed somewhere. She usually victimizes pregnant women, sucking the flesh of the fetus off the mother’s belly by using her needle-sharp proboscis-like tongue. In English, tanggal means “to remove” or “to detach”; thus, ‘manananggal’ may literally translate to “remover” or “detacher.”
In Malaysian folklore, there is a similar creature known as penanggalan, which is often illustrated as a detached female head that can fly about on its own. As it flies, its stomach and entrails dangle below it, and these organs flicker like fireflies as the creature moves through the night. In Japanese folklore, the closest counterpart of the manananggal is the rokurokubi. This entity is usually described as an individual who assumes a human form during the daytime and at night gains the ability to stretch its neck to great lengths. Its simplest mischief is to frighten travelers, especially drunkards; but it can also become truly sinister, eating people or drinking their blood.
Tikbalang is often described as a part-human, part-horse creature that inhabits tall and wide-girthed trees. It actually resides in forest caves and merely prefers being a nighttime transient of such trees. Many people believe that the tikbalang is a malevolent being that lurks in the forest at night especially to scare travellers or lead them astray. On the other hand, others believe that it is a peaceful creature that guards the forest and protects plants and little animals. The tikbalang is the counterpart of the English variety of hoofed mythical creatures such as centaurs, satyrs, and minotaurs.
Aswang is depicted usually as an ordinary-looking person during the day who in the night transforms into an animal—usually a boar or a dog—to get near an unsuspecting human, whom it finally devours after suddenly turning into a vicious monster. Similar characters found in other cultures include ghouls, shapeshifters, and lycanthropes or werewolves.
Tiyanak has different descriptions the most popular of which is the one that depicts it as a diminutive monster that inhabits forests at night and lures its victims by transforming into and mimicking an infant’s cry. As soon as an unsuspecting victim carries it in his/her bosom, the tiyanak then transforms into a monster and eats its prey. Some tales suggest that the tiyanak is an aborted fetus that has come back to life to avenge its death or a little monster whose body is possessed by the soul or spirit of a baby who has died without having had the chance to be baptized. In other folklore, the tiyanak is simply a variant of a ghoul or a shapeshifter.
These are just some of the well-known and most-feared characters of folklore and myth.
Sa Madaling Salita
Nasa sa ’yo na ’yan kung maniniwala ka o hindi na meron talagang mga maligno sa tunay na buhay. Kung isa ka sa mga naniniwala, e walang masama r’yan, basta ba ang paniniwala mo rito e hindi nagdudulot ng perwisyo sa iyong sarili at sa ibang tao at hindi nakaaapekto sa iyong mga gawain at sa takbo ng iyong buhay.
Or, in Simple Words
To believe or disbelieve in the existence of such malevolent beings or mythical creatures is a personal choice. If in case you’re a believer, there’s nothing wrong about this as long as your belief in these beings does not harm anyone or affect your day-to-day activities and the way you deal with the people around you.