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Sigbin Philippines – Witch Dog: Sigbin

Sigbin Philippines – Witch Dog: Sigbin

Sigbin Philippines
Sigbin Philippines

Myths and legends reign our childhood, resounding stories about ghastly creatures we fear might come out of the closet. Do you remember sprawling wide awake all night after a horrifying bedtime story hooked you panicking? Those sleepless nights leave us gaping at shadowy corners, eagle-eyed and watchful for any commotion on the brink. Such flashbacks are something we’ve all experienced, don’t we? 

Wherever we are in the world, stories flock to our ears as we attend to these intriguingly quivering tales of make-believe entities. Ghosts, beady-eyed animals, giants, and many more roam the earth alongside our approval of their so-called existence. Witnesses claim to have experienced them with insufficient proof. 

As we grow up, facing the world straightforwardly and bare, we re-evaluate our faith in these tales as our sense of reason expands. “But are they just figments of people’s imagination?” we all ask. 

Monsters and supernatural entities are common in folklore throughout the world. Like the ubiquitous fairy, some characters appear in many different manifestations in the mythologies of many different countries and civilizations. Others are native to just one location.

Filipino Folklore

Sigbin Philippines
Sigbin Philippines

In the Philippines, its mythology and epic tales originate from the indigenous Philippine folk religions, including diverse ethnic beliefs unique from one another. Every single one of the mythology of the Philippines has its roots in oral tradition. As oral literature is handed on orally, alterations in tales and additions to stories with time are natural events and part of the dynamic nature of Philippine mythology.

In this article, we speculate the existence of a Sigbin or witch dog. It is one of the most popular stories told in local areas across the Philippines. 

Sigbin Origins and Definition

El Chupacabra, the Latin American mythological monster, has an Asian counterpart. The Sigbin in Philippine folklore is a nighttime predator that feeds on the blood of its prey by sucking it up in its shadow. It is supposed to move backward with its head buried between its hind legs and to be able to disappear from the view of other animals, including humans. They are hornless goats with long, flexible tails and enormous ears. It can clap its ears like a pair of hands. According to legends, the Sigbin has a foul odor. 

During Holy Week (which falls in April), it is said to emerge from its cave and seek out youngsters to steal their hearts off, which it uses to make amulets. While hiding throughout the Holy Week, it ventures into human territory searching for charcoal, which it is reported to consume. Those who manage to capture the monster are expected to perish.

In rural parts of the Visayas and Mindanao islands, this legend is particularly well-known. It has also been said that the creature resembles a dog preserved by wealthy individuals who kept it in a container.

Families called Sigbinan, or in other words, Sigbin owners, are claimed to hold the Sigbin in clay jars and have the ability to command them, according to folklore. It’s been said that the Aswang had them as pets. The Sigbin will produce a kid for the Aswang child if its Aswang master becomes pregnant. The Sigbin may be linked to the common kangaroo species depicted in popular fiction. Furthermore, there is suspicion that the public may have already seen this animal species.

Killing a Sigbin

Sigbin Philippines
Sigbin Philippines

Despite possessing the ability to turn invisible, the Sigbin is most apparent through the latter stages of the moon; but somehow, rubbing the tears of a dog over your eyes will allow you to see the Sigbin well. Although a Sigbin cannot be drowned, after it has been killed, the Sigbin must be burnt down to its absolute strand of hair, or else its Aswang master will be able to bring it back from the dead.

El Chupacabra and its Similarities to the Sigbin

Sigbin Philippines
Sigbin Philippines

In reference to popular Latin American folklore, the Chupacabra is a hideous monster that attacks and devours animals. “Goat-sucker” is the literal translation of the Spanish term Chupar Cabra, which means “to suck.” Chupacabras, like Sigbins, are relatively new additions to the vampire family tree. There were early reports of chupacabra assaults on goats, lambs, and other domesticated animals in Puerto Rico around the 1970s when they were purportedly responsible for leaving blood-drained corpses behind. 

Early tales reported a giant reptile kangaroo-like creature with bright red eyes, believed to be hunting prey when the world is asleep. From Maine, Chile, Russia, the Philippines, and even farther afield, sightings of this mysterious creature have been recorded too. This citation explains why the Sigbin exists in the Philippines. It is, therefore, the same creature but at different sightings.

Sigbin Sightings

Source: 5th Photo


On a cold January morning in 2016, the residents could capture this terrifying beast. Leading to its capture in Cebu, Philippines, this particular Sigbin had already done a great deal of harm to the community. 

Source: Philnews

Don Luman-ag, a Facebook user, says that a Sigbin is no longer an urban legend. Several images of the Sigbin were posted on his account, certifying that these harmless dogs on the outside can wreak havoc when they are told to do so by their witch owner.

Chupacabra Sightings

Source: https://remezcla.com/features/culture/chupacabra-sightings-this-year/

In February 2017, a Chupacabra was allegedly sighted by a local in Victoria, Texas, at Highway 185 and Guadalupe Road. A tip from a Crossroads Today viewer led the news station to a dead animal by the side of the road. Onwards, they discovered a hyena with dog-like legs and paws as described.

Source: Abc7news

A passerby saw a bizarre animal exploring the west side of Houston, Texas. He immediately filmed the incident as it happened. However, there is no way to know whether the animal seen on video is the fabled or mythical Chupacabra unless there is supplementary footage.

The Verdict

Although there is some theory that the Sigbin is not a monster of any kind but rather a completely unknown species, the people of the Philippines have proof that the Sigbin is a genuine and terrifying creature. It is prevalent in the provinces and is still believed by many city dwellers. There have been multiple reports of sightings, as well as shadows of it lurking in the shadows at night. Others lost their children and discovered their cold corpses in the woods, while others lost their own lives. On the other hand, others found empty Sigbin jars at the homes of executed witches. Others have reported seeing Sigbin’s footprints.

When you consider these tales and assumptions from witnesses worldwide, this legend may have a little grain of truth. Although this truth may arguably hold personal prejudices and judgments based on fragments of the mind, respect for these stories is what we need. After all, these stories shape our culture, recreating a massive part of who we are. At the end of the day, there are more things we don’t know. And sometimes, some questions are better off unanswered.



I’m a writer, an artist, and a teacher. I enjoy English literature. In my spare time, I indulge in reading books, or in painting my thoughts on a canvas.

Jace Sinclair
Jace Sinclair
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