Do not go out into the night after a slight drizzle. This is the specific, important instruction for when you encounter a karkarison.
The Karkarison is a local myth in the northern Philippine regions such as Pangasinan and the Ilocos Regions. My mother was from Pangasinan and this particular piece of advice had been handed down to her from generation to generation.
a horse-driven hearse, closest thing to a karkarison i can find on the internetz
The Karkarison, which might perhaps be an Ilocano play on the word kariton—the Filipino word for wagon, is a carriage driven by a man who fetches souls. However, unlike the ordinary carriage which fetches souls of the already dead, the karkarison fetches anyone unlucky enough to come across it. Some stories say that it is more similar to a hearse and even to a wagon than a carriage.
The story is that during rainy nights, a horseman driving a carriage fetches souls of the dead or the souls of those who are about to die. The horseman wanders around town claiming souls and sanities of people. The apparition begins with the sound of horse’s hooves knocking on the countryside pavement. Klik-klok-klik-klok. A strong smell of sulfur begins to permeate the air. It can be likened to smelling matches being lit or blowing off a candle. Some stories suggest that there are some who begin to hear their name being whispered into the air, this prompts these unlucky individuals to go out and seek out their mystery caller. Once they go out and chance upon the carriage, their death becomes imminent. They are said to die in 3 days after the incident.
The karkarison is a wagon driven by a man who has fire for eyes. The wagon has several other passengers, souls of other people sitting down while waiting for others to go aboard the hearse.
These are the stuff of local legend. Surely, many would agree that these creatures are much more fascinating than the Twilight vampires and many other creatures of Western mythology. It is somewhat saddening to imagine a world where no one has heard any of these stories, especially Filipino kids who would become ignorant of these fascinating creatures. There is much which we could do to avoid that, for now, all I could do and contribute to society is to write more about these and hopefully get people to read more.
This is from a series of posts about the mythological creatures of the Philippines. I am writing this down to remember, and mostly to tell N stories. (N had written a short fiction about a Philippine mythological creature he had imagined in his head.)
This is from a series of posts about the mythological creatures of the Philippines. I am writing this down to remember, and mostly to tell N stories. (N had written a short fiction about a Philippine mythological creature he had imagined in his head.) I had once written a long research paper regarding these Philippine mythological creatures. I have remained fascinated still with them.
There are many beings from Philippine mythology and it seems that not a lot of people write about them as often. According to an old Maximo Ramos classification, there are some 73 creatures of Philippine mythology. Perhaps more is added due to the local movies and writers adding more to the local schema.
this is the undin
This is the Undine/Ondine
The original folklore which perhaps spawned the local Undin is one about a beautiful water creature from German/European folklore. The Philippine Undin is very different from the European Ondine in many things. Except for:
1. Both the Undin and Ondine have capacities to be malicious creatures when scorned.
2. Both the Undin and Ondine are elemental spirits which reside in lakes and waterfalls and others fresh bodies of water.
The Undin, which this discussion will regard to as one of Philippine origin, is from a Shake, Rattle and Roll movie. The Undin could be one of the most popular spawn of Shake, Rattle and Roll. The story is about this mother Undin who goes to the city to look for the undin eggs which were stolen from her. The Undin goes to find her children and uses the city’s sewers to look for the eggs which were kept in a blue Coleman (or was it red?). Manilyn Reynes eventually set the Undin eggs free but not after flushing the Undin down the toilet and even stepping on the toilet cover to keep the Undin away.
The Undin looks like you a frog. It looks like an aborted fetus which had green slime all over its face. It was effective to scare me when I was 6.
The tikbalang is a half-horse, half-human creature which likes sex. Unlike many creatures (humans or mythological) who like sex and will go to means such as getting a girlfriend or going around enticing girls to have sex with them (such as the case of some diwatas) The tikbalang is known for its libido, precisely because of the fact that the Tikbalang likes to go around town raping girls. Once it gets one of these girls pregnant the host human is said to give birth to a tikbalang baby.
There are some claims that all tikbalangs are males. This might perhaps be the reason why they go about town raping girls as they have no one to spend their libido on. Tikbalangs have no desire to eat human flesh or suck human blood. They are known to be mischievous creatures which play tricks on travelers by making these travelers lose their way–similar to a santelmo.
When it is raining, it is said to have a tikbalang getting married. The tikbalang also has three golden hairs on his back, that if you get hold of them, the tikbalang will be yours to command.
It is a Saturday night when I am writing this. Some 15 years ago, on a Saturday night like this, Magandang Gabi Bayan Halloween Specials would be showing and we would be cowering like 10 year olds in the sofa. Now, I feel bad that the children of today will have very little memory of the undin and perhaps very little idea of those Magandang Gabi Bayan shows.
(I have been badgering N to believe that there are tiktiks in Marikina only because Marikina seem to be one of the most organized cities in this country, making it look like the city is trapped in the 80s.)
These days, many kids are crazy about vampires and zombies. They turn into the mythology of the Western culture in order to be fascinated about the supernatural. Philippine Mythology has a rich landscape which makes one wonder why there are less and less kids who listen to these stories. I am writing this now in order to make the idea more available for the future generation.
cute ang manananggal na ito
I have been making constant jokes to a friend of mine that there are many tiktiks who live in Marikina. The verity of this statement is, of course, unverified but the constant discussion of the topics makes one wonder about these creatures of the night.
I have a particular fondness for tiktiks. The tiktik is a type of aswang. There is an Indonesian version of the aswang wherein it casts off its entire body from the neck down and uses its hair as a propellant to seek human viscera.
In my opinion, the aswang is the most fascinating Philippine mythological creature. This is precisely because of their viciousness and ruthlessness. Many Philippine mythological creatures have little desire to eat human flesh and blood, save for the Aswang group. This is what makes the aswang fascinating. They do not identify with human beings–unlike the dwende, the kapre, or the diwata–except only to eat their inner organs. The dwende, the kapre, the diwata have stories of them identifying with human beings even giving them wealth and fame if their fancies are tickled.
The tiktik is commonly mistaken for the other types of aswang. The manananggal or the aswang are usually portrayed in local movies as individuals who lead double lives. In the morning, these individuals would interact with the society as openly and normally as any other, but on some nights, the manananggal would seek out human organs to devour on them. The tiktik, on the other hand, is not human; it does not turn into a human being in the morning.
Seeing as the tiktik is already deceased and has no human form, the tiktik takes the form of a flying creature such as birds or bats. It cannot and does not take on a human form. The tiktik serves as a spirit guide to the aswang. The tiktik is a deceased aswang, that which died from old age. It continues to become a tormentor. The tiktik is underscored to have a particular liking for human hearts, while the aswang has a particular liking for human guts.
The tiktik is named for its cry: a distinct shrill sound which could be heard even miles away. It sounds like tik-tik-tik-tik or a ticking. However, the distinctness of the cry lies in the fact that when it is far away the sound is louder, while it gets quieter the closer the tiktik is to its victims. This, I think, gives an eerie angle to the idea.
I have yet to see a tiktik in real life, I wonder these days whether the tiktik had really existed centuries before. I guess there will be very little chance for me to find out about this now, for now, here is to hoping that there are really no tiktiks in Marikina.
 The aswang for the benefit of this dialogue are confined to creatures whose drive is to eat human visceral organs. This does not include vampires, giants, witches and the like. We are adopting the Aswang of Maximo Ramos classifcations, thus vampires and witches fall in a different category. However some local classification would put them together as a mean-spirited evil creature.