The Mantiyanak is a spirit with a slit in her belly with her unborn child inside. She considers men as enemies. The spirit thinks she could have lived had she not gotten impregnated by a man. She does her revenge by attacking men at night and ripping off her victim’s penis, causing them to bleed out.
Mantiyanak illustration by Julia Kristen Delos Santos
A Mantiyanak Tale
“Hush little child, close your eyes, don’t worry we will be alright.” The woman holds her belly tight, making sure that her child is safe.
“Please don’t be like your father, don’t be like any of those hideous men, always looking for one thing then leaving when they get it. ‘Boys will be boys’ they always say, but they never realize that girls are always going to be the ones left behind.”
“I know it may seem late, but mommy’s going out to do what she has to do. She has to let all those evil men know that you can’t just leave women behind. It’s a cruel world out there and I reserve a special kind of cruelty for them.”
“Because they deserve it. It was their filth that entered me. I was just an innocent young woman, with her whole life ahead of her, and now here I am. Here we are. We were buried together and we will be together until the end of time, but if I have to be this way, then I will not suffer alone.
I will take what they think is the most important thing that they have. Their precious ‘manhood’ and I will enjoy watching them bleed out.”
“Shhh, shhh. I didn’t mean to scare you. But it’s okay, mama’s here. She’ll make sure the world is safe from those cruel men. We could have lived you know? If not for them. We could have been together just you and me, against the world that made us what we are.”
“Now hush! I see a man on his way. Now don’t worry this won’t take long. And afterwards you can play with mama alright? Now stay quiet while I go say hello.”
Inspired by the Mindanaoan Mantiyanak myths
Speculative fiction writer. Philippine folklore and heritage researcher.
Author of The Spirits of the Philippine Archipelago.
Currently in the middle of fixing up an encyclopedia of Philippine Mythical creatures.
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