Philippine Folklore Characters: Its Significance to Religion and Environment

Topics: Philippine mythology, Aswang, Filipino people Pages: 7 (2000 words) Published: August 26, 2012


The Philippines today is facing a huge problem when it comes to environmental issues. Illegal logging, erosion and landslides are always been in the news lately. That’s why; flash floods always come and go as if it is only a natural situation. In addition to this problem, another one is religion, with its diverse faith because of many beliefs. Strong or not, Filipinos are always been faithful and the researchers believed that there is a factor behind these two issues. Philippine folklore is rich in culture. These characters became a symbol for many people to add color in their stories as well as a tool to discipline children. These tales about these supernatural beings originated during Spanish time and has been passed on to generation. There are reasons why these beings existed. Ancestors created these beings to help strengthen their faith and help the environment. Aswangs, Manananggal, Tiyanak, Kapre, Kutang, Mangkukulam and Tikbalang are among those Philippine folklore characters famous in our literature. In this study, the researchers aim to find the significance of these creatures to religion and conservation of the environment. In this modern day, these characters may no longer exist in the minds of the people yet it is still in our identity and culture as Filipinos.


The Philippine folklore is rich with mythical and supernatural creatures. It is not as popular like the Western cultures since it is mostly composed of fragmented tales of horror and wonder. Nevertheless, it has influenced the lives of many Filipinos. According to Robert Munson, that a greater belief in supernatural beings leads to a greater faith. And those who have stronger faith are most affected by these beings. When interviewed, Director Peque Gallaga, a famous horror director, said that there is also an environmental angle why “aswangs “in movies tend to hunt in less wooded area. Professor Ephraim Areno of West Visayas University of Iloilo City said that there is a beneficial impact in this belief of the spirits. ”The concept of dangerous zones, for example, where you can’t cut down trees because spirits live in them, actually helps preserve the environment. For example, magtitima – invisible beings who live in balete trees – allow those they favor to harvest the wood, but punish those they dislike with illness. The laman lupa, part of the dwarf family of creatures, live underground and behave similarly to trolls guarding their territory and prohibiting certain uses of the land. To placate these spirits, farmers are expected to make offerings before planting and after harvest time – a practice that has existed in one form or another since time immemorial, helping to foster a necessary respect for the land.”

These supernatural beings can be more effective because of movies and story-telling of people. This will generate the views and opinions of the viewers on how they will react to what they have seen or heard.

This study aims to determine the significance of Philippine folklore characters in: a.Religion.
b.Conservation of the Environment.

H0- the Philippine folklore characters have no significance in religion and environment.
H1- the Philippine folklore characters have significance in religion and environment. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK:
It is through media and story-telling that people knows about the supernatural beings of Philippine folklore. Graphically speaking, this could be shown as follows:

This study will benefit the person who doesn’t believe in the Divine Being and who never cares to the environment. This will also explain how folklore characters influences people in their faith and conservation of Mother Nature.

This study will focus more on the Philippines Folklore Characters such as:...
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