Friday, February 24, 2006

The Kapre

The Kapre are giants! How giant they are though is a mystery. Some say they are only 7-9 feet tall while others say they're so big that the cigar they smoke is the size of an average human leg! That, my friends, would be a giant! The Kapre are sort of the Filipino Saskwatch. They're tall, hairy, and I bet they have nasty wicked breath from smoking all the time. The Kapre love to just chill in trees, puffing away on their stogie, and watching over the forest. Some believe that the Kapre are responsible for making travelers become lost while others believe it is the Kapre who help lost travelers find their way. So, I once again chose them to be the good guys, and they are the watchers of the forest. They are my gentle giant gaurdians in all the stories I have developed about them. Despite the small controversy over how tall they are and whether or not they are malicious, there is no debate over what happens if you lasso a Kapre! If you ever come across a Kapre you're suppossed to lasso it and tie it around a balete tree. In the morning return to the same tree and the Kapre will be gone, but if you dig in the spot where he was you will discover a jar full of gold! Next week I'll talk about an animal-like creature with quite the hobby...eating shadows! Stay tuned for the Segben!!

Scared Of Fire?

Yes! The almighty Kapre are afraid of fire and metal objects. Many farmers carry jewelry and matches while traveling at night to ward the Kapre off. The Kapre are infamous for always smoking giant cigars so I used to always ask the Filipinos how the Kapre lit his cigar if he was so scared of fire....I never got an answer!!

Kapre Sketches

Just a few sketches through the week trying to capture what I thought a Kapre to be. Enjoy!!

Friday, February 17, 2006

The Bulalacao

The Bulalacao are by far my favorite out of all the aswangs! These monsters are the Filipino's explanation for shooting stars. They are human-like in form, are able to fly, and have fire for their hair. Thus, whenever they fly through the air at night, their flaming scalp is what we Americans perceive as a shooting star. You can tell the males from the females by whether or not the shooting star has a tail. If there is a tail you are looking at a girl with her long hair. If it has no tail then you're looking at a male with his short hair. I really never heard many stories about the Bulalacao other than that. The rest was left to my imagination and because they were never depicted as bad I imagined them to be helpers and protectors of sorts. With all the scary aswangs out there I knew there had to be noble ones and these are the ones that fell in that category! And because I imagined them as noble protectors I attached the image of the native Philippines to them. I dressed them in native clothes, gave them native bracelets, and, lastly, the tattoos. The women were traditionally topless but I wasn't going to have my noble protectors be skanks!The men had tattoos all over their bodies and the more they had the higher up in the tribe they were. The women usually only had tattoos on their arms and legs to accentuate their sexual appeal. They also believed that the tattoos held magical and protective powers and that's why in my picture I drew clouds and scales on the male. These tattoos gave him the power to fly (the clouds) and to protect (the scales). So, the next time you happen to see a shooting star you can ponder where the Balulacao are off to. Next week.....the Kapre!

Friday, February 10, 2006

The Manananggal

The aswang may be the most popular aswang but the manananggal is by far the most feared of all the aswangs. It is the Philippines' version of the vampire. It usually is depicted as an older beautiful woman but where I lived it was usually a man so I drew it as such. It is similair to the aswang in that it's nocturnal and feeds on blood, liver, and fetus'. A few of the differences are that it does not eat the fetus. It feeds on its blood of the unborn child and when the baby is born it has some sort of facial abnormality. Another difference is it feeds from outside the house using its really long tube-like tongue to drink everything down. It can turn people into a manananggal by tricking them into drinking the cooked blood of another person. The biggest difference of all is that it can grow huge bat-like wings from its back and fly! The only problem is that in order to fly its torso must seperate from the legs. So, while the manananggal is flying through the night, its legs are just chilling somewhere and, funny enough, this is how you kill a manananggal!! If you're out late at night and happen across a pair of legs you're to pour salt, garlic, or anything extremely acidic on the top of the legs. Then, when the torso returns to reconnect, it cannot because the salt burns up his insides. If the manananggal can't return torso to legs by sunrise it dies. Many farmers to this day still carry salt in pouches on their belts in case they ever come across a pair of legs on their way home from farming. Enough of this scary stuff for now! Next week I'll share about my personal favorite....The Bululacao!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Colored In Illustrator

I usually color in Photoshop because it's easier to do. I did all of these pictures in Illustrator (both the line work and the colors) which is a first for me. I think they turned out alright.

Friday, February 03, 2006

The Aswang

The Aswang is the most popular aswang in the Philippines. I don't know if it's because the word aswang is also used as a generalization of all their mythological creatures or if it just simply popular. Aswangs are human in form during the day and at night turn into demonic creatures. They can be indentified during the day by it's thin and sickly body and by seeing an upside-down reflection in their eyes but at night their eyes blaze, the body grows in size, and the fingers sharpen. It has a tubular tongue it uses to feed on a victim. It likes to eat fetus' from out of pregnant women while they sleep. It will attack anyone who sleeps in the middle of the sleeping mat but not those who sleep on the edges. It also makes a fake body out of banana stalk that it will replace the victim with. The fake body will grow sick and die but you can tell it's not real if the dying person has no fingerprints. The aswang's presence is announced by a bird called a tiktik. The louder the tiktik the farther away the aswang is. The aswang can be warded away with calamansi and garlic rubbed on your body or having a stingray's tail displayed in your house. It's uncertain if the aswang can fly but next week I'll share about a flying aswang called the manananggal!

A Valentine For My Wife

I drew this for the love of my life, Rachelle, who is also my wonderful wife! Happy Valentine's Day Sweetie! I love you!!