Sunday, January 8, 2017

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Tikbalang (also written as Tigbalang, Tigbalan, or Tikbalan) is a cryptid of Philippine folklore said to lurk in the mountains and forests of the Philippines It is described as a tall, bony humanoid creature with disproportionately long limbs and a horse-like head. It has been compared to the half-man, half-horse centaur from Greek mythology. It is sometimes believed to be a transformation of an aborted fetus which has been sent to earth from limbo.


A traveler who finds himself lost and suspects that a Tikbalang is leading him astray may counteract it by wearing his shirt inside out. Another way is to verbally ask permission to pass by, or to avoid making too much noise while in the woods so as not to offend or disturb the Tikbalang.A superstition popular with the Tagalog of Rizal Province is that Tikbalangs are benevolent guardians of nature. They are usually found standing at the foot of large trees looking around for anyone who dare to bestow malignancy on their kingdom's territory.

Folklore says that one can tame a Tikbalang and compel it to be one's servant by plucking three golden hairs from its mane. There are also stories where a Tikbalang asks its intended prey a riddle. Someone who manages to answer correctly will be rewarded with a pot of gold.

A common saying has it that rain from a clear sky means "may kinakasal na Tikbalang."(Filipino, "a Tikbalang is getting married".) This was potentially connected with a similar Spanish proverb that claimed a witch was getting married when there was rain on a sunny day, although many cultures have such sayings in which a trickster figure gets married (cp. fox's wedding, bear's wedding, monkey's birthday).
According to traditional folklore, the Tikbalang can also transform itself into human form or turn invisible to humans. They like to lead travelers astray. Tikbalang are generally associated with dark,thick, sparsely populated, foliage-overgrown areas, with legends variously identifying their abode as being beneath bridges, in Bamboo or Banana groves, and atop Kalumpang (Sterculia foetida) or Balite (Ficus indica) Trees.

Other legends depict the Tikbalang as a monster of the night, with eyes that glow red. This version of the Tikbalang depict it as a frightful creature, a real danger to humans. It is believed that when it is angered - and it is easily angered - it stomps on people with its hooves until they die. According to these tales, the Tikbalang is always accompanied by the stench of burning hair and smokes great big cigars.


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