The Manananggal Demon, A Filipino Superstition

BradleyLife in the Philippines6 Comments

This morning I saw something bizarre going on up the street.  The men of a family were holding machetes and were busy chopping the branches off trees in their yard and shaving them down.

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My father-in-law was outside and when I asked him what was going on, he said that they thought they saw a manananggal last night.  He then told me that the manananggal is a demon that comes in the form of a good looking woman with wings.  When it flies, the torso separates from the legs at the abdomen, so basically it’s like a half of a woman flying around with boobs hanging out.

Like western vampires, the manananggal avoids light and garlic.  Additionally, they don’t much care for salt, daggers, vinegar, spices, or the tail of a stingray which has been fashioned into a whip.  Also like vampires, the manananggal likes blood, but prefers to use a proboscis tongue to suck the heart of a fetus still in the womb.  Not quite as watered down as Edward Cullen is it?

I’m not sure where cutting trees down comes in, but perhaps they wanted to reduce the amount of places that the manananggal could hide, so they could better see it coming.  Either way, it’s an interesting superstition with a lot of parallels to Western superstitions.  It’s just odd to see people so actively taking measures against it.  Most superstitions in the West are only believed by children.

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6 Comments on "The Manananggal Demon, A Filipino Superstition"

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Maja

Philippine “aswang” (manananggal and the likes, we have a lot actually) superstitions reach the level of all time high during Halloween, for obvious reasons and Good Friday, because it is believed that Christ is dead so it's a free for all evil spree. In fact, a lot of the classic horror movies are set during Good Friday.

Btw, nice blog. It's interesting to see the Philippines from a foreigner's point of view.

Maja

Philippine “aswang” (manananggal and the likes, we have a lot actually) superstitions reach the level of all time high during Halloween, for obvious reasons and Good Friday, because it is believed that Christ is dead so it's a free for all evil spree. In fact, a lot of the classic horror movies are set during Good Friday.

Btw, nice blog. It's interesting to see the Philippines from a foreigner's point of view.

Brad F.

That's pretty wild! Thanks for sharing that story. ^_^

In the US some people are still wary about breaking mirrors or walking under ladders, but no one really believes in superstitions on this level anymore. I suppose it would be like people still believing in vampires or the boogeyman.

Brad F.

That's pretty wild! Thanks for sharing that story. ^_^

In the US some people are still wary about breaking mirrors or walking under ladders, but no one really believes in superstitions on this level anymore. I suppose it would be like people still believing in vampires or the boogeyman.

Maja

We do take our superstitions seriously, I remember one time when there was this manananggal scare in the 90's, my aunt made me clean the wound of my dog, bandage it up properly and wash the area where the poor thing wounded himself because she's scared that the manananggal might smell the scent of blood and come after us. LOL!

Mariaant
this may sound unbelievable but i saw a mananaggal when i was a young girl.the house had a huge window very high up and back then there were alot of “brown-outs” basically electric outage and it was raining hard. i was playing with cousins and looked up and saw this figure sitting there staring down at us….scary! i am now a grown woman but still remember that night as if it was yesterday. people don't want to believe the unexplainable but mananaggals are for real!! no i am not nuts, crazy, etc. I am an educated female who clearly saw… Read more »
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