The interlocutor (JP) is the mother of the interviewer (INT). She and her family grew up in Bacolod, Philippines, and lived there up until she moved to Los Angeles in her twenties.
DESCRIPTION: (told in person)
(JP): “The manananggal is this mythical creature that separates from their lower body. She usually has fangs and wings, like um… a vampire witch, and she likes to hunt for her victims at night.
Most of her victims are pregnant people since she can such the blood or heart out of the fetuses, or, um…. or even the mother, but she also will attack newlyweds and abandoned grooms. A lot of people who fear the manananggal will put out salt, holy water, or garlic to keep her away from their home. She also doesn’t like the sun, I think.
Some people say that since the manananggal leaves her severed legs just standing in the middle of the forest… if you see the legs, you should sprinkle salt or ashes or even put garlic where the body is supposed to meet. And they say that…if you do that, you will kill her.”
There’s a lot of similarities between the manananggal and other monsters and legendary figures we’ve studied, such as the Balkan vampire. While there may not be a distinct cultural connection, it’s definitely interesting how different cultures can come up with similar mythical creatures that are meant to scare people. It definitely reflects the cultural fears people have. In this case, based on the fact that the manananggal is represented as a woman with the ability to suck blood or eat fetus hearts, I believe the manananggal could possibly reflect a fear of miscarriages or other issues regarding childbirth, as well as divorce or young relationships being ruined.