I don’t normally do readers request but Simon (from Trainee Golem Builder) was nice enough to ask so here we are. 

Albularyo (/ar-boo-lar-yô/), sometimes spelled albulario, is a Tagalog term for a folk healer or medicine men.


Babaylan is a Visayan term identifying an indigenous Filipino religious leader, who functions as a healer, a shaman, a seer and a community “miracle-worker” (or a combination of any of those). The babaylan can be male, female, or male transvestites (known as asogbayoc, or bayog), but most of the babaylan were female.


These are some of the terms we use to describe folk magickians in the Philippines. Every neighborhood knows one that lives around their area. They are more popular in the country than in the city these days.

Albularyo is a Tagalog dialect and generally fits the folk medicine, healer stereotype we see here. Babaylan is a Visayan dialect and generally follows the shaman stereotype.

As a sorcerer, I see definite lines and differences with their practice and specialty but in the Phillippines – these terms are generally synonymous with “white” magickians while Mangkukulams (see previous post) are generally synonymous to “black” magickians.

I’ve had my fair share of dealings with them, as well as my family; My grandfathers were magickally attacked and was healed by them, my grandfather from my fathers side eventually became one as well.

My grandma was jinxed by fae folk and an Albularyo was called in to help and the technique used by the Albularyo to divine the situation probably singlehandedly led me to become a sorcerer – that was proof in my eyes that magick exist in the world.

My great grandfather from my mum side was a notable Babaylan whose powers were said to be in the “slinging flames against village enemies” level. (I wish I could’ve seen that, lol).

Etc Etc.

When there’s something weird, in the neighborhood – who you gonna call? Not the Ghostbusters in the Phillippines. :P


[EDIT] The short clip above describes an Abularyo who heals people through channeling certain entities of the dead. He is followed by 2 entities, one whose been with him since he almost died from falling from a tree and another one who claims to be a doctor. This Abularyo can apparently heal epilepsy, diabetes, ulcers, etc. He diagnoses them through touch and heals them through blessed water (*cough* IIH – elemental impregnation)


I’m almost done this series, I swear, lol. Actually, I think this is my last entry on this as these pretty much sums up the basics of Filifino creatures of myths and folk tales, the rest are pretty much all the same except called in different terms due to the variety of regional aspects of the Philippines.

The Tiyanak (also Tianak or Tianac[1]) is a vampiric creature in Philippine mythology that imitates the form of a child. It usually takes the form of a newborn baby and cries like one in the jungle to attract unwary travelers. Once it is picked up by the victim, it reverts to its true form and attacks the victim.[2] The tiyanak is also depicted to take malevolent delight in leading travelers astray,[3] or in abducting children.[4]

This is prolly the scariest one of them all. I’ve personally never seen one (thank jebus) and I’ve never really heard of this being told as a folk tale by elder folks but from what I remember, I’ve seen this as a movie and that was that…so I’m not sure if this is a mythical folk tale origin or just from someones sick mind but really, demonic babies aren’t really a new thing. I’m just not sure of its’ origins in the Philippines but it has stuck in our collective membrane.


’nuff said freaky demon baby!!!!!

Sirena and Siyokoy

Sirena is a mermaid, a sea creature with a human upper body and a fish tail instead of lower extremities. They attract fishermen and tourists.[1]Sirenas are reportedly often seen ashore by fishermen, especially in the towns bordering the Pacific Ocean.


Siyokoy are mermen, sea creatures that have a human form and scaled bodies. The Siyokoy is the male counterpart of the Sirena. The lower extremities of a Philippine merman can either be a fishtail or scaled legs and webbed feet. They could also have long, green tentacles. They drown mortals for food.[citation needed] Siyokoys have gill slits, are colored brown or green, and have scaly skin, comparable to that of a fish.


I don’t think I need to explain what these beings are but to the point, Filifinos are obsessed w/ this being. So much, that we have TV shows almost every year on these things..

Nuno Sa Punso

I guess this would count as supplement material towards my Duwende article…..

Nuno sa punso (literally, goblin of the mound) are goblins or elves who live within mysterious lumps of soil (ant hills). They can provide a person who steps on their shelter with good luck or misfortune.[1] Superstitious Filipinos, when passing by a mound, will ask the resident nuno’s permission to let them pass with the phrase, “Tabi-tabi po”. Strange and sudden illnesses that befall a person are sometimes attributed to nunos.

In the filifino folk tales told to us by our elders, these ant mounds are apparently the entrance to the fae folk and to pass over and around them without uttering proper respective words are an insult and can result to being jinxes (see Duwende article).

We are told to say “Tabi Tabi Po” – which loosely translates to “Excuse me, passing through” in English. Once uttered, you are 90% safe from attacks but whose to say w/ the nature of the fae folk.

Better safe than sorry though, lol.


Multo, the Tagalog word for ghost, comes from the Spanish word muerto, which means “dead”. Superstitious Filipinos believe that some kind of multo, often a spirit of their former kin, regularly visits them.

I think every culture has ghost stories and so does the Philippines, we call them “multo” and is a staple to scare the crap out of the kids – the sad part is that in the Philippines, the things that go bump in the night will go bump you in the night.

Some popular urban legends…

Common themes in ghost legends include the White Lady, the headless priest and the phantom hitchhiker. The white lady appears in lonely places, dressed in white, with no visible face or with a disfigured face. Apparently she has died a violent death and is still haunting the vicinity, but with no ill intent. The headless priest prowls at night in a graveyard or ruined place, either carrying his severed head or searching for his head.[7] One of the hitchhiker stories tells of three boys who pick up a girl near a cemetery and take her to a party. On the way back, the girl complains of the cold and borrows a jacket. The girl disappears near the cemetery, and the boys find the jacket neatly folded on the headstone of her grave. In another story, the hitchhiker asks to be taken to a given address. When they arrive, the hitchhiker has disappeared, but it turns out that she used to live at that address and this is the anniversary of her death.[8]

Balete Drive[edit]

Balete Drive is a street located in New ManilaQuezon City known for apparitions of a white lady and haunted houses which were built during the Spanish Era (1800s). New Manila has an abundance of balete trees, which, according to legend, is a favorite spot of wandering spirits and other paranormal beings. Witnesses of the White Lady advise motorists to avoid the street at night, especially if they are alone. If it is necessary to travel the route, they advise that the backseat of the car is fully occupied and that no one should look back or look in any mirrors. The apparition wears a night gown, has long hair but has no face or one covered with blood.[9]

San Juan, La Union[edit]

The town of San Juan, La Union has a number of ghost legends, including a headless nun and a smiling white lady at the old tower. The nun was killed and beheaded by the Japanese, and her convent burned down. If someone passes the ruins of the covenant on a full moon at midnight, an eerie bell tolls, signalling the approach of the nun from behind. The white lady is said to appear at midnight in the ruins of an old watch tower that dates to pre-Hispanic times, and is particularly likely to be seen by handsome young men.[10]

There was 2 instances in my childhood that I kinda remember encountering one of these; first was w/ my sister, in the house where we lived, we apparently saw a white lady – i don’t remember seeing the thing but my sister said she did, i do remember running like a MOFO though, lol.

The 2nd instance was the one I remember clearly to this day. Traditionally, when a family member dies, one keeps the door open so they can “come in” (never understood the logic in that, i guess “vampire” logic ?) and visit the family they are close to before they pass on. However, someone forgot to keep the door open so during the night, we can hear door knocking but no one was there (I can remember the knocking clearly like it was yesterday), I personally peered through the window to check.

Then I think my grandma explained the folk tale so someone opened the door. We were all inside the bedroom now and my little sister started to point in a spot in the air, saying someone was there.

The knocking then stopped and my little sister stopped pointing at empty spot.

I’m sure everyone has a ghost story or two, share a few for me, lol. I can use a good ghost story. :)