These strange soaring enigmas will sometimes take the form of bat winged females while they hunt their favorite delicacy… human flesh!
Sometimes associated with the vampiric ASWANGS, these creatures are referred to as “Tik-tik” due to the sound they make while in pursuit of their prey. It is said that they use this sound to confuse their intended victims, but it also may represent a form of bat-like bio-sonar, which they use to secure their prey during their nocturnal raids.
Much like the notorious VIETNAMESE NIGHT FLYER, these blood frenzied beasts assume the form of a beautiful woman with huge, leathery bat-like wings, but there is one key difference… Whereas the Night Flyer is a whole woman with wings, the Manananggal roots the lower half of her body into the ground and detaches her torso in order to take flight in search of new quarry.
The Manananggal is also notorious for its thirst for the hearts of human fetuses, which it bores out of the womb of its mother with a proboscis-like tongue. In a pinch these beasts will also feed on the blood of adults, although it does not seem to prefer it.
Like the European vampire, the Manananggals’ are said to hate garlic and salt. Another similarity they share with western vampires is the fact that they were allegedly human before they were infected by another Manananggal.
The method of infection is clearly the product of rich Filipino folklore. According to legend, women can be transformed into this beast by consuming a black baby chicken that was raised inside the throat of another of their ilk. It is said that a woman who has consumed one of these black chicks can only be cured by tying her upside down to a tree and spinning her around until she vomits the parasitic chick up.
In order to kill a Manananggal her lower body need be found, then the gaping wound where her torso would reattach must smeared with salt or ashes to prevent the two halves from rejoining before the sun rises and she returns to her human form.