Nuno sa punso

Text: Nuno sa Punso

My informant is a friend of my family. 

Context: This creature is a small mythical creature that lives in the mounds. It is a dwarf (or dwende in the Philippines) creature that curses people who enters its home or forbidden areas. Usually people say that they live in anthills.

She said she first heard it during the time we first wandered around outside the house, or any unfamiliar older looking places. She believes in it’s message that you have to respect the old mounds or old places where you think the “Nuno sa Punso” lives. And you have to say “Tabi Tabi po” and repeat it 3x. It means “can I politely pass through your place”. It will protect you from them being angry and cause you to have bad luck, and sometimes cause you to get sick. She states that it’s relevant because the story has been passed down for generations. It also teach a good moral value of being respectful for the places and beings around you. Some people still think it’s real, especially in the province. The Philippines has a lot of old forest and mounds. So every time people from the city wandered around the place the locals usually educate them to pay respect to the inhabitants of the forest. Sometimes they have to do rituals and offerings for protection and safe passage of the travelers.


Analyzing “Nuno sa punso”, this story comes across as a legend. The main drive of this story is of the creature that brings fear onto people who visit places they should not be in. The overall message of this story is to respect places you go to, as stated by my informant.

Though this message can hold to any place or anything because you should respect the places you go to regardless of whether they are sacred or not. The creature’s punishments show a consequence which is a punishment to people who go and do what they are told not to do. I think that this legend makes people become more wary of places but also more self aware. Doing bad things can lead to bad consequences.

I think this story circles back to how Filipinos deeply value respect to the elderly and respect in general. A lot of cautionary stories attached to creatures have to do with avoidance of bad actions. Filipinos deeply value their home in the Philippines, and this creature embodies that sentiment.