I'm a collector of Filipino illustrated childrens' books and I was so happy to have stumbled upon this little gem entitled, "Mga Tambay sa Tabi-Tabi: Creature of Philippine Folklore". It's basically a compilation of Philippine mythical creatures and monsters. Each creature is re-imagined by an artist and is brought to life by a poem and a description. On the cover, you can see the more popular creatures like a manananggal, a tiyanak, a vampire, and a white lady to name a few. But just flip through its pages, and you'll be pleasantly surprised to learn that there are more. So much more. 

Take the Alan, which I've never heard of before. It's a winged elf or a disfigured spirit. It can make babies from a drop of menstrual blood. Eeeww! But it can also bring miscarried fetuses back to life.  Another version of the Alan is a winged ogre that feeds on people.
The Bakunawa is a huge sea monster that is somewhat like a fish meshed with a shark. For our Filipino ancestors, it epitomized evil with it's lake-sized mouth, gills,  and coarse whiskers. It is said to be the culprit of eclipses because it sometimes swallows the sun or the moon. 
An Agta is similar to a kapre. It is a giant hairy creature that likes smoking cigars on top of a tree. But the main difference is that he likes to lure beautiful maidens into the woods. The only way to be free is to poke and burn his privates. Teehee.
The Tahamaling is a spirit dweller that protects the forest. Upon entering her domain, you have to say "Makikiraan po" (excuse me) in order not to disturb her. She has reddish skin with long flowing hair and a very moody disposition making her both an ally and an enemy.
I've always been confused by the siyokoy. As a child, I believed that it was the opposite of the sirena.
Instead of having the legs of a fish, the siyokoy has the head of the fish (and the legs of a man). That seems not to be the case in this book where it is described as having a scaly torso. It surfaces during floods so beware this rainy season.
The Wakwak is like a manananggal because she can half herself. But she has a preference for eating fetuses and thus drools at the sight of pregnant woman. Her name is derived from the "wakwak" sound her wings make when she flies up to the roof of your house. 

I love this book. I think some children would not dare pick up a real encyclopedia of Filipino monsters because it simply is too frightening. This book elicits more chuckles than screams.  As a child, I was always more afraid of the monsters I saw in, "Shake, Rattle, and Roll" rather than from movies like "the Exorcist" or "Poltergeist". Maybe something in our psyche makes homegrown monsters more sinister. As of writing this, I just saw a friend's FB page saying that she saw something jump from one side of the road to another. It was leathery with flowing white hair. Yikes!

Happy Halloween everyone!