Thursday, January 24, 2008


Deep in the rural hinterlands of the Philippine islands, people still live in fear of a fearsome creature, a half-horse, half-human hybrid. Locally called the tikbalang, it is said to be a bony humanoid with the head and hooves of a horse but with the body of a tall, muscular man. It is reported to have disproportionately long legs so that its knew reach above its head when it squats. Its mane is made of sharp spines, the three thickest of special significance because these can be made into talismans. Some legends have it that the tikbalang is the transformation of an aborted fetus sent back to earth from limbo.

The tikbalang can reportedly transform itself into human form, mimic the appearance of a victim’s relatives and friends, including their exact voices and mannerisms. With this power, the creature can easily lead its victim to the heavily wooded depths of Philippine mountain ranges. At the opportune time, the tikbalang reveals its true colors. The air is suddenly filled with the pungent aroma of tobacco or burning hair. The victim’s vision blurs as if drugged. All he sees is drunken swaying motion by the “relative” whose face soon turns into that of a horse.

1 comment:

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