Fili-pedia folklore


Agimats- An amulet or charm, also known as an Anting. In Filipino occult, each agimat may serve a different purpose such as for protecting, warding of evil, attracting love, healing, or even to heighten or grant supernatural abilities. Albularyo- A type of folk healer or witch doctor who heals people with homeopathic remedies like using herbs or hilot. Albularyos are thought to have supernatural healing powers and are extremely connected to nature.

Anak- child, a genderless term for one’s offspring.

Ang true love mo is coming- Your true love is coming.

Ano- What

Ano ba- What the heck?

Aswang- An umbrella term for shapeshifter. Various types of
Aswangs include witches, vampires, demonic spirits and werebeasts such as dogs, bats, birds, etc. Malaya uses this term very broadly when her story rst begins because she still hasn’t quite embraced her culture. As she becomes more knowledgeable, she uses more specic terms to describe specic Aswangs like the Tiktik (see Tiktik).

Ate- Big Sister; also used for older female relatives and respected friends.

Bagakay- A ten inch dart made of bamboo thrown in close quarters.

Bakunawa- A serpent-like dragon said to cause eclipses, earthquakes, rain and wind. Legend says there used to be seven moons, but Bakunawa ate all but one. This creature is associated with eclipses because in mythology, it always attempts to eat the last moon but must spit it out when defeated and be cast back into the dark ocean until the next time.

Balarao- A Filipino dagger with a leaf-like blade that was used throughout the pre-colonial Philippines.

Balikbayan box- Meaning ‘returning to the nation,’ this is a box containing an assortment of items generally from overseas Filipinos to their relatives and loved ones in the Philippine islands. However, Balikbayan boxes may also be sent from the
Philippines to loved ones outside of the country as well.

Balut- A fertilized, developing egg embryo which is boiled or steamed and eaten from its shell.

Bampira- Vampire

Berberoka- A swamp from Apayao, Abra and Ilocos Norte mythology. This creature will suck up all the water in a pond or damn a river with its ability to morph in size. When people are fooled into collecting fish flopping on the ground, the Berberoka will release the water to knock people off their feet. As the people struggle to get upright, the Berberoka picks them up to eat them. They don’t like crabs.

Bobo- Stupid or fool

Buntot pagi- A whip-like weapon made from a stingray tail

Dalaketnon- Beautiful, yet evil elf-like engkanto. They are said to be tall and have telekinesis. They are so evil they can control Aswangs, Tiyanaks, and even Manananggal.

Duwende- A humanoid trickster akin to a dwarf or gnome. They make homes in mounds of earth in the woods and when you pass their houses you must excuse yourself by saying tabi tabi po or face bad luck. Duwendes often move into homes
and are responsible for residents losing items. To get them back, offer food on the floor and say tabi tabi po.

Filipino Broom- A walis-tambo is a soft indoor broom made of long, dried grass.

Gago or Gaga- Silly/Dummy

Halo-halo- A popular cold dessert made of shaved ice, coconut milk or evaporated milk, ube, coconut strips, fruit, tapioca pearls, leche an, sugar or syrup, sweet beans, sweet banana, jelly and more.

Hay naku- Oh my gosh

Hayop ka- A profanity meaning ‘you animal.’

Hoy- Hey

Ilocano- A language and people belonging to the third largest ethnolinguistic group in the Philippines. They are generally found in the northwestern part of Luzon known as the Ilocos region.

Kadu Kadu- A small creature with pointed ears and a larger upper body than lower body.

Kali- The national martial arts of the Philppines known as the art of stick fighting.

Kaluluwa- One’s soul

Kapre- A tree giant who likes to chill in tree branches and smoke. They are not necessarily evil, but they do like to play pranks on people.

Kaptan- God of the Sky, husband to Maguyaen (Auntie Maggie) and brother to Maguayan (Yanny).

Karambit- A Filipino knife with a curved blade like a tiger’s claw.

Kris sword- A wavy sword

Lampong- A two foot tall dwarf-like forest spirit with the ability to transform into a white, one-eyed deer in order to lure hunters away from the creatures they are hunting.

Lola- Grandma

Lumpia- Like spring rolls, Lumpia is meat and mixed vegetables rolled in a paper-thin wrapper.

Maguayan- (Yanny) God of the sea and Kaptan’s brother

Maguyaen- Goddess of the winds of the sea; a Visayan Diety

Mamay- Mama; Another word for Mom like Nanay

Manananggal- A demonic-like creature capable of separating its lower body from its torso, and sprouting huge, bat-like wings to attack its victims from the sky with its vicious fangs.

Mangkukulam- A sorcerer. This term generally has a negative connotation as it’s someone who practices black magic and will help other seek revenge. However, there is a lighter side to Mangkukulams as they also practice natural magic like Albularyos and can help heal people.

Minokawa- A giant dragon-like bird the size of a island which is capable of living in outer space.

Nanay- Mom; An affectionate term for mother like Mamay

Nilaga- A Filipino stew eaten with rice

Nuno- Also known as nuno sa punso, is a dwarf-like nature spirit who lives in dirt mounds or anthills. If you cut down a tree or trespass without asking a nuno’s permission, misfortune, illness or even death will befall you.

Palitaw- A sweet, at rice cake covered in coconut.

Pancit- A stir-fry rice noodle dish; a party favorite

Pandesal- A soft and airy bread roll eaten for breakfast

Patis- Fish sauce

Pero- But

Po- An honoric particle added to words or sentences to show respect to someone older than them.

Pugot- meaning decapitated one, derived from the Ilocos region. It can assume various shapes such as a hog, dog or human but it prefers being a gigantic, headless being.

Quince- In Hispanic cultures this is a shortened term for quincenera/o which is a 15-year-old’s coming-of-age debut.

Sayaw sa Bangko- A dance from the Pangasinan province in which performers dance atop a narrow bench that is typically only 6 inches wide.

Sigbin- Also known as Sigben, is a nocturnal, blood-sucking creature said to look like a cross between a kangaroo and a headless goat. It walks backward with its head lower than its hind legs. It is capable of attacking someone by attacking their shadow. It will turn into clay when stored in a jar.

Sigbinan- A person of this lineage is said to have the power to command and possess sigbin. They can store a sigbin in a jar and it will change sizes to t the jar.

Sinigang- A sour soup made of proteins, seafood, and vegetables.

Sirenas- Sirens, often portrayed as vicious mermaids, have an alluring and hypnotizing singing voice. They use their voice to lure humans into the water where they drown them.

Sulingkat- Baskets made of woven coconut leaves; derived from Tawi Tawi in the southern Philippines.

Tabi tabi po- Meaning excuse me or may I pass?

Tagalog- 1. The national language of the Philippines is Filipino, which is derived from Tagalog. 2. Tagalog people are largely from the Luzon region with their own culture which includes Tagalog mythology. This novel pulls mythology from many kinds of Filipino cultures.

Taglish- A mix of Tagalog and English, often used when codeswitching.

Tanga- Stupid

Tikbalang- Werehorse; a tall, humanoid creature with disproportionately long limbs and the head and hooves of a horse. They are said to live in the mountainous and rainforest
regions of the Philippines. They like to get people lost, so one must turn their shirt inside-out to avoid this.

Tiktik- A type of Aswang known for the tik tik noise it makes. When the noise is loudest, it is farther away. When the noise is quieter, it is close, and you are in danger. This shapeshifter will shift from its human form to something more grotesque with features that include wings, a proboscis like a mosquito used to suck out organs, and backward limbs.

Tinatawag ko ang mga halimaw mula sa kaharian sa ilalim ng tubig- I summon monsters from the underwater realm.

Tinikling- A traditional Filipino dance in which two people tap and slide long bamboo poles against the ground while the dancers avoid their ankles being snapped as they dance between the clapping poles.

Tinola- Chicken or sh soup with ginger broth served with rice.

Tiyanak- A vampiric shapeshifter that takes the form of a defenseless baby in order to lure its victims in before attacking.

Umupo ka- Sit down

Wakwak- A vampiric, bird-like creature which snatches humans at night as prey. Its leathery wings are as sharp as knives.

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