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Phreaky Philippines


Gone But Not Forgotten
Aug 18, 2002
I just happened to be nosing around the Philippine folklore and so I thought I'd throw it in.

Maximo D. Ramos is "the father of Philippine demonology" see overviews based on his owrk:

and he has published a number of books (none of which seem easily available although Phoenix seems to have recently republished a number although these aren't availble):

(1967) The Creatures of Midnight. Island Publishers, Quezon City, Philippines.

(1973) Filipino Cultural Patterns and Values and Their Mythological Dimensions.

(1990) Philippine demonological legends and their cultural bearings. Phoenix Publishing House.

(1990) A Survey of Philippine Lower Gods. Phoenix Publishing House.

(1990) Boyhood in monsoon country (Realms of myths and reality).

(1990) The Aswang complex in Philippine folklore.

(1990) Philippine myths, legends, and folktales

(1990) Creatures of Philippine lower mythology (Realms of myths and reality)

and papers:

(1968) Belief in ghouls in contemporary Philippine Society. Western Folklore. 28 (3). 184 - 90.

(1969) The Aswang syncrasy in Philippine folklore. Western Folklore. 28 (4). 238 - 48.

A good overview:


and links to various folklore sites:
The Manananggal: Filipino Half-Body Vampires

Looking up horror films and found out about this mytical creature:


Manananggal ("one who can remove"): The manananggal is from Philippine mythology and is a witch-like person (usually a woman) with long hair and wild eyes who can detach her upper torso from her lower half of her body via wings that sprout whenever there is a full moon. She usually flies in the dark searching for victims whose blood she sucks. The common story is of a pregnant woman lying in bed asleep, the manananggal alights on the thatched roof of the grass "nipa" hut, lowers her proboscis- like tongue and sucks the blood of the fetus in the mother's womb. Application of garlic on the lower body while the upper half is away will make it impossible for the manananggal to return. If the upper torso remains away from the lower torso at daybreak the manananggal will die. Salt works equally well against the manananggal. The trick is to sprinkle salt on the lower torso of the manananggal while the upper one is away. This prevents the manananggal from rejoining its other half.

And this is a site about them in popular culture:


In Maximo D. Ramos' book, The Creatures of Midnight, he describes the manananggal as follows:

She is called manananggal by the Tagalogs.
Her name means that she can drop off part of her body.
Her name comes from the Malay word tanggal, 'to drop off'.
She is called wakwak by many Visayans.
Some say her head and her stomach fly out at night.
Others say all of ther upper body flies out.
She flies with her arms which she turns into wings.
She perches on a roof and sucks the viscera of those in the house.
Folks know she is around when the crows are noisy.
So they sprinkle salt, vinegar and spices out of the window.
They sprinkle these and call out, "Salt, vinegar, spices!"
This makes the manananggal fly away.