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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Dan Matutina's Illustrated Guide to the Underworld

MANANANGGAL. Literally means “one that removes”. This creature is usually an attractive woman by day. At night, especially when there is a full moon, her upper body detaches from her lower body; it utters a special demonic prayer and applies some kind of oil on all of its body parts before the ‘detachment’. Bat-like wings sprout out from its back, and it uses its long tongue to feed on human blood and flesh (usually that of unborn babies). Before the sun rises, it goes back to where it left its lower body and attaches itself again, ready to blend in with the human crowd for another day.

KAPRE. This mythical creature is often considered as a tree demon with human-like characteristics. Often described as giant-like and hairy, wearing loincloths (or bahag) and smoking tobaccos, Kapres are not particularly evil. They just love playing pranks on people, and would sometimes look for friendship with mortals.

TIKBALANG. Usually depicted as a very tall creature with a head of a horse, tikbalangs are famous for leading travelers astray by scaring them. They play tricks on humans, making them return to the place where they are trying to get away from. There are some superstitions stating that tikbalangs are guardians of the forests.

TIYANAK. Tianaks are evil creatures taking the form of babies in order to lure unwary travelers to their trap. They frequent forests and woods, and they imitate the cry of an infant to catch the attention of passersby. When picked up, the tianak would revert to its true form and attack the victim. They also play pranks on people. Some sources say that tiyanaks are the souls of unborn children who were killed in an abortion, or of those who died with their mothers during childbirth.

DUWENDE. They are goblins or dwarfs who can either provide good fortune or bad fate to humans. They are often thought as mischievous little beings who love to play tricks on humans. Usually, people mutter “tabi-tabi po” to excuse themselves whenever passing by supposed homes of duwendes (usually small mounds of earth or trees) so as not to disturb them.

SIRENA. Philippine version of mermaids. They love hypnotizing people, usually fishermen, by their sheer beauty and  enchanting singing voices. Some say that they pull humans to the water and offer them to ocean deities; some accounts said they just love to distract humans while working (though sometimes it still lead to death, i.e. shipwrecks)

These illustrations and descriptions originally appeared in ROGUE magazine, October 2008.
Images taken from :

"I submitted [this] for the We Are Not Aimless Exhibit. I made fake posters for my fake movies. Hence the series: Movies in My Head. LEAP is about the journey of 5 engkantos to the moon in search of a less chaotic life. I made a 3d model of this for the exhibit as well, a fake toy line for a fake movie. I also made a fake OBB of LEAP that’s coming out soon."-- Dan Matutina

And this is Dan's Trese art which was included in Book 3. Thanks Dan!

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