Friday, November 25, 2011

Building a Philippine Bestiary: The Sigbin

I'm looking at putting together a bestiary with some lesser known (?) Philippine monsters. Which is hard, because a lot of the monster abilities and descriptions overlap, and some terms (like aswang) are used interchangeably with more specific terms.

There are some things I've not really heard of before, and those are the ones I'm after right now.

Take a look at the Sigbin, at least according to this site:
Sigbin is a creature is said to come out at night to suck the blood of victims from their shadows. The creature walks backward with its head lowered between its hind legs. It resembles a hornless goat, emits a very nauseating smell and possess a pair of very large ears which are capable of clapping like a pair of hands.It is also claimed to issue forth from its lair during Holy Week, looking for children that it will kill for the heart, which is made into an amulet.
I like this one because it's just plain freaky.

The Sigbin as depicted by sculptor Ian Balba, and shown on
the website
of that excellent Filipino Urban fantasy/horror
comics series Trese, whose website is here.
The idea of a creature feeding off someone's lifeforce (blood) through its shadow makes for some interesting encounters and combat. Visually, the twisted bestial nature really evokes a sense of otherness, and the stench can act as a special ability.

The amulet is interesting -- it provides a reason for hunting the creature down. It also makes it a moral issue for those who are after whatever powers this amulet grants, given the source.


  1. Definitely interested in more. Folk bestiaries are a guilty pleasure of mine (as is desperately waiting for the next episode of Destination Truth).

  2. Not to fear, bro. I'll keep posting for a while. And Destination Truth is also something I look for!

  3. Am using many Philippine beasts as a base for some creepy monsters in my 5e campaign and found this, will have to look through the others too! 10 years later but very useful!


That's my side of things. Let me know what you think, my friend.