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Home  |  Spirits   |  Asian Spirits   |  Philippine Spirits   |  Engkanto : The Filipino Elves

Engkanto : The Filipino Elves

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At a glance

Description
Origin Philippine Mythology
Classification Spirits
Family Members N/A
Region Philippines
Associated With Shapeshifting, Human contact

Engkanto

Introduction

In the Philippines, Engkanto are referred to as environmental spirits that can appear as humans. They are associated with the country’s indigenous people. They are also characterized by various types of spirits, such as beings from the dark elves and sirens. Belief in these types of spirits has persisted for centuries.

The term enchanted human beings refers to various types of mythical creatures in the Philippines. It was adopted from the Spaniards after they were greatly surprised by the number of unique races in the country. The environment where the Engkantos live is not accessible to the public. However, it has portals that are designed to allow people to enter and exit. Those who wish to leave should do so before the portals close, as they might get trapped inside.

Physical Traits

Due to their appearance, the Engkanto are considered to be very human-like. They come in various forms, and they can live either as a male or female creature. The male Engkanto are believed to have a fair complexion, while the female ones have a red-colored skin. Their dwellings are usually made of natural features, such as rocks or trees. They also prefer to live in balete, which is a type of environment where they can place their belongings.

There are various types of Engkanto tales. Although they have a wide variety of appearances, they are known to have a distinct vibe and feel compared to humans. Some variants have sexual dimorphism. As depicted in folk tales, an Engkanto may choose to remain on the side of a human protagonist, who may be experiencing a deep loss of energy or a sense of trance.

Family

Engkantos are often regarded as fallen angels due to their supernatural abilities and appearance. They usually have a few flaws, such as having pointed ears and legs. It’s believed that if a person becomes fond of them or if they seek their help, they will take them to their own space and grant them a powerful and wealthy ability. Strange individuals who have become comatose or lost their minds for a significant amount of time claim that they have been following strange beings to various places. Most of them have no idea that they have been in this state for a long time.

Other names

The origin of the Engkanto’s name can be traced back to the Spanish word encantado, which literally means “bewitched.” In addition, the native names of these creatures don’t stress their mysterious nature and are also known as tumao, tiaw, meno, panulay, tagbanua, or Ti Mamanua, or Tumatima. However, the Bisayans still provide further characterizations of them. They are often referred to as “dill ingon nato,” “dili ta parehas,” or “people not like us.”

Powers and Abilities

Some people believe that the presence of a good engkanto in a tree near their home can provide them with good luck. They can also be playful, though they can cause illness if they hate you. If you accept anything that they offer, they will take your soul in exchange. The Engkanto are known for causing severe and overwhelming luck-related effects. Those who do not like them reportedly experience mental disorders, depression, or even disappear for a prolonged period of time. They can also cause skin diseases and fevers.

Although they can be attracted to humans, you should avoid accepting their love. Men are drawn to the Engkantos by their appearance in rivers and forests. Some individuals reportedly encounter an Engkatada after they went crazy following a visit to the area. The creature reportedly cursed them after they refused to take her offer. Others believe that the creatures can cure illnesses through rituals performed by albularyos.

They will give you a reward if you are good to them. According to some villagers, good harvests are offered by engkantos to those who respect them. Sometimes, the Engkantos can lead people astray and even kidnap them. They are said to be able to ward off evil spirits by giving them an amulet or an “anting,” which can prevent them from harming the person who uses it.

Modern Day Influence

 In modern pop culture, there are not many references to Engkanto. However, there are some movies and TV shows that feature Engkanto as a character or as part of the story. One example is the Filipino horror movie “Engkanto” which was released in 1992. Some people in the country still attribute misfortunes and illnesses to the engkanto and rely on shamans to help them recover.

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Disclaimer: While it is the intention of Mythlok and its editors to keep all the information about various characters as mythologically accurate as possible, this site should not be considered mythical, legendary or folkloric doctrine in any way. We welcome you using this website for any research, journal or study but citing this website for any academic work would be at your own personal risk.
Disclaimer: While it is the intention of Mythlok and its editors to keep all the information about various characters as mythologically accurate as possible, this site should not be considered mythical, legendary or folkloric doctrine in any way. We welcome you using this website for any research, journal or study but citing this website for any academic work would be at your own personal risk.
Disclaimer: While it is the intention of Mythlok and its editors to keep all the information about various characters as mythologically accurate as possible, this site should not be considered mythical, legendary or folkloric doctrine in any way. We welcome you using this website for any research, journal or study but citing this website for any academic work would be at your own personal risk.