Folklore Mythical Beings in the Philippines

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22 Questions

What was the purpose of the blindfolding ritual for young girls during their first period?

To ensure they bear children and find suitable husbands

What is the term used to describe the afterlife in Tagalog beliefs as a place of punishment, grief, and affliction?


How did the Tagalogs mourn their deceased chiefs?

By constructing a little house or porch for them

Who is believed to dwell in Casanaan according to Tagalog beliefs?


What is the role of a MANGKUKULAM in Tagalog culture?

To act as the most powerful witch

What type of work is considered a product of observation and judgment according to the text?

Original work

What was the significance of the blindfolding ritual for young girls in Tagalog culture?

To symbolize the transition to adulthood

Who wrote the book 'Customs of the Tagalogs'?

Juan de Plasencia

What was the purpose of laying the deceased chief on a boat which served as a coffin?

To symbolize a journey to the next life

In Tagalog beliefs, what happens to a woman who dies in childbirth?

She suffers punishment with her child

What does a SONAT do in Tagalog culture?

Assists in spiritual guidance during death

What does 'simbahan' mean in Tagalog culture?

Temple or place of worship

What is the significance of maharlica in Tagalog society?

They are free people who do not pay taxes or tribute.

How were slaves in pre-colonial Tagalog society typically emancipated?

By paying off their debt.

What was the role of Badhala in Tagalog worship practices?

Worshiping the sun, moon, and stars.

In Tagalog society, when did a free woman marry a slave, what was the status of their children?

The first, third, fifth child belonged to the father.

Who were the deities worshipped by the Tagalogs in their afterlife beliefs?

Mayari, Hanan, Idianale

What was the common punishment for failing to pay back a loan in Tagalog society?

Serving as a slave until the debt is repaid.

What distinguished maharlica from commoners in Tagalog society?

Commoners lived in their own houses and had property.

What was the primary reason for individuals becoming slaves in pre-colonial Tagalog society?

Captivity in war or as a punishment.

In Tagalog society, how were debts typically handled after the death of the debtor?

The children of the debtor inherited the debt.

What was the purpose of constructing a temporary shed called sibi during Tagalog worship ceremonies?

To house offerings for sacrifice.

Study Notes

Tagalog Culture and Beliefs

  • A blindfolding ritual was performed for young girls during their first period to signify their transition to womanhood.

Afterlife Beliefs

  • The Tagalog concept of the afterlife is referred to as "Kaluluwa", a place of punishment, grief, and affliction.
  • In Tagalog beliefs, a woman who dies in childbirth is believed to be sent to a special place in the afterlife, Kasanaan.

Mourning and Funeral Rites

  • The Tagalogs mourned their deceased chiefs by laying them on a boat that served as a coffin, which was then set adrift on a river or sea.
  • The deceased chief's body was prepared for burial by being wrapped in cloth and adorned with gold and other precious items.

Tagalog Deities and Worship

  • In Tagalog beliefs, Badhala is a deity worshipped during worship ceremonies.
  • The Tagalogs worshipped a range of deities, including Bathala, who was believed to dwell in Kasanaan.

Social Hierarchy and Slavery

  • Maharlica held a high social status in Tagalog society, distinguished from commoners by their wealth and land ownership.
  • In pre-colonial Tagalog society, slaves were typically emancipated through the payment of a ransom or by being redeemed.
  • When a free woman married a slave, their children took on the status of their mother.

Economy and Debt

  • In Tagalog society, debts were typically handled by pawnbroking, with debts passed on to the debtor's family after death.
  • The common punishment for failing to pay back a loan was slavery.
  • The primary reason for individuals becoming slaves in pre-colonial Tagalog society was debt bondage.

Occupations and Roles

  • A Mangkukulam was a type of healer or shaman in Tagalog culture.
  • A Sonat was a type of Tagalog poet or musician.
  • A Simbahan referred to a place of worship in Tagalog culture.


  • The book "Customs of the Tagalogs" was written by an unknown author.
  • A Sibi was a temporary shed constructed during Tagalog worship ceremonies.
  • Observation and judgment were considered key components of artistic work in Tagalog culture.

Test your knowledge on mythical creatures and beings in Filipino folklore such as 'Manggagaway', 'Aswang', 'Manananggal', and more.

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