CREATURES OF PHILIPPINE MYTHOLOGY: Episode One
It’s Hallowe’en and that means the Philippine media will be releasing top 10 lists of scariest mythical creatures, infographics on where to find them, and first-hand accounts of sightings. What is never covered in these stories, is how these creatures came into being. All that is about to change.
For the very first time, the record is being set straight in a new documentary web-series about the CREATURES OF PHILIPPINE MYTHOLOGY. Finally, a program that doesn’t sensationalize the monsters, but instead challenges the incorrect assumptions about their origins and tracks their history and evolution, creating an informative and educational tool to learn the history of the Philippines.
TIKBALANG: The Horse Demon – DOCUMENTARY (14min)
In the Philippine forest is said to lurk a creature, part man, part horse known for its speed and mischievous nature. Some say it is a mythical spirit that guards the gateway to the Skyworld. Others believe it is a demon who is determined to cause trouble for those who cross its path. The episode takes us back in time to the pre-Spanish Philippines where we learn about their animist beliefs. It traces the image of the Tikbalang back 4000 years, finding its roots in Hinduism and explains how that influence evolved into the mysterious half horse creature we know today.
” For decades, stories of the Tikbalang have been viewed as ignorant superstitions, invented and demonized by the Spanish, but it’s animist roots go back to the earliest Filipinos, and the image dates back more than 4000 years. It’s arrival in the Philippines pre-dates the Spanish by as much as 4 centuries, holding a historical relevance that transcended colonialism and threads it directly to ancestral Filipinos. It’s a testament to their creativity and adaptive preservation of identity through story telling.”
ABOUT THE SERIES:
Very little is known about the history and evolution of Philippine Mythological Creatures. Most myth studies have been focused on the pantheon of deities which hold little affect on the lives of Filipinos today. While the early animist societies of the Philippines were worshipping the creator of the universe, BATHALA, they were also wary of entities that lurked in the shadows. It was these creatures that transcended time, religion and colonialism. A new 6 part web-series will focus on these, and study their unique origin, history and evolution into the modern era. The show is directed and produced by Jordan Clark, who brought us the 2011 documentary THE ASWANG PHENOMENON – an exploration of the aswang and its effects on Philippine society.
The Series is produced for THE ASWANG PROJECT by High Banks Entertainment Ltd. and features interviews with Peque Gallaga (director, SHAKE, RATTLE & ROLL), Budjette Tan (creator, TRESE comics), Karl R De Mesa(writer, NEWS OF THE SHAMAN) and Yvette Tan (writer, WAKING THE DEAD).
The first six episodes were decided by a poll done last year on THE ASWANG PROJECT Facebook page. The most requested creatures were chosen. The episodes will be loaded on THE ASWANG PROJECT YouTube channel to view for free.
CREATURES OF PHILIPPINE MYTHOLOGY EPISODE LIST
- TIKBALANG– The Horse Demon
- KAPRE– The Tree Dweller
- DIWATA– The Nature Spirit
- TIYANAK– The Demon Baby
- BAKUNAWA– The Moon Eater
- MANANANGGAL– The Viscera Sucker
STATEMENT FROM THE DIRECTOR:
“The Creatures of Philippine Mythology have never really been taken seriously as an academic subject, but they are integral in understanding the outside cultural influences to ancient Philippine society, and how those influences survived 400 years of colonialism. They are one of the few threads that still connects the earliest inhabitants to modern day society. It is a part of what remains from a very complex, intricate and fascinating pre-Spanish belief system. There hasn’t been any movement on the studies of these creatures since the 1970’s. The information just gets recycled over and over again, yet there has been incredible movement on the pre-colonial history of the Philippines that greatly affects the past understanding of its mythology. Every day since I started this web-series I have been blown away by some new piece of information that shakes the foundation of previous beliefs.” ~ Jordan Clark, director
2018 © The Aswang Project
Jordan is a Canadian documentary director/ producer. He made the 2011 feature length documentary THE ASWANG PHENOMENON - an exploration of the aswang myth and its effects on Philippine society. Currently he is in post production for "The Aswang Project" web-series, which will feature 6 myths from the Philippines. The TIKBALANG, KAPRE and BAKUNAWA episodes are available to watch on YouTube.
Latest posts by Jordan Clark (see all)
- Death Beliefs and Practices Among the Sulod of Central Panay - February 8, 2018
- PRINCESS URDUJA: Finding the legendary 14th-century Philippine heroine - December 14, 2017
- BINUKOT: Women Secluded and Veiled in Philippine History - December 8, 2017