manananggal aswang

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And So I Was Told

Published March 26, 2012 by The OC

Folk tales are defined as stories handed down to us through oral tradition which means it has been passed to us because of continuous telling and listening. Folk tales are different from fairy tales. Fairy tales, according to Wikipedia, involves characters like fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, dwarves, giants, mermaids, or gnomes while Folk tales, specifically Filipino folktales involve characters like tikbalang, nuno sa punso, manananggal, aswang, engkanto, tiyanak, kapre and diwata.

Characters in Filipino folktales often are misinterpreted or at least being identified as something else. The Filipino’s kapre should not be compared or called as a giant. A kapre is a creäture that lives as a tree demon that is hairy and is smoking a tobacco. Diwatas are not fairies and so as tiyanak is not a goblin. There is much difference between these creatures compared to those monsters of the western world. Our culture is rich in its own way which cannot be compared to any other.

Growing up, my grandmother would always tell me folk tales and such. Though it is prevalent in our country, it is not worldly “accepted” as compared to fairy tales. Having these stories go with me from being a kid to a teenager, I can say that it has helped me a lot with the way I act and think. Folk tales may not always have the moral lessons and happy endings, but in the midst of the story, you get to learn some things.

Stories about the diwatas, dwendes and engkantos taught me not to mess with nature and take care of it or else, I can end up messing their home and have me cursed or such. Stories about the kapres, white ladies, and manananggals made me think twice about lurking around at night. These tales are mostly scary and creepy but it implies the so-called lessons just in a different way. This is how our ancestors have their beliefs put in action and be passed on to the next generation.

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