Manananggal - Philippine Myths and Legends

Picture Of Manananggal

Manananggal is the creature from Philippine mythology. It is an evil blood-sucking vampire, witch or man-eating monster. It is a half human and half bat.

Their presence is signaled with crows or black cats. They are also called tik-tik representing the sound the wings make while flying. It is meant to confuse the victim.

The word manananggal means to separate or to remove itself. It is usually a scary female monster who can separate her torso and spread huge bat-like wings. The lower part stays standing and it is vulnerable. If the bottom is destroyed, the upper part could not rejoin and would die at the sunrise. It is believed that they hate garlic and salt and that you can find and destroy the lower part by putting crushed garlic or salt on the top of gaping wound where her torso would reattach. They can be killed with a whip from the tail of a stingray.

Manananggal is often described as beautiful woman who looks for prey during the day and at the night she transforms into a monster. She flies at night, like all another kind of vampire type creatures, to find victims. Manananggals stay away from light, garlic, vinegar, salt, spices, and daggers. She attacks people on their sleep and sucks their blood. Legend says that manananggal prey on a pregnant woman and sucks the heart of the fetus with her long tongue.

A woman can be infected and transformed into manananggal by eating a black baby chicken that was raised inside the throat of another manananggal. She can be cured by tying her upside down to a tree and spinning her around until she vomits the infection up. This black chick is passed from one manananggal to another manananggal relative, like a family heirloom.

Manananggal cannot die because there is a living chick inside its body, unless chick is transferred to another member of the family. Then the creature must hunt for food to keep it alive.

Philippine mythology has stories about aswang, another shapeshifting type of monsters. A similar creature is Leyak, from Bali folklore, which is a flying head with still attached organs. They feed on the fetus or newborn blood. All these creatures are popularly referred to manananggals.

Stories about Manananggal have been told for every generation and today there are many versions of stories. The myth of the Manananggal is especially popular in the Visayan region of the Philippines. Stories shares some characteristics with the vampire of Balkan folklore.

Manananggal is a part of modern media, like movies, tv series, and comic books.