Unexplainable paranormal tales in the Philippines

The Philippines has a rich history of supernatural beliefs that stem from our roots in animism. This makes many of us believe in enchanted entities living in parallel dimensions until today.

But whether you’re a believer or a skeptic, here are some unexplainable paranormal tales in the Philippines to dive into this Halloween that’ll surely give you and your friends the spooks.

1. Gil Perez – the soldier who teleported from Manila to Mexico

Paranormal Tales - Gil Perez Teleporting Soldier
Plaza Mayor in Mexico.
Image credit: Pierre Frédéric Lehnert via Wikimedia Commons

In October 1593, a Spanish soldier named Gil Pérez experienced an inexplicable journey that defied the laws of time and space. The soldier allegedly teleported from Manila, Philippines to the Plaza Mayor in Mexico, over 9,000 nautical miles away.

Prior to the incident, Pérez recalled that he was just resting against a wall inside the Palacio Del Gobernador in Manila after feeling dizzy and exhausted. He dozed off and when he opened his eyes, he found himself in a completely different place.

Of course, Pérez’s sudden appearance had the Mexicans in disbelief. They threw Perez in jail, accusing him of being a “servant of Satan”.

To prove that he came from the Philippines, Pérez told them the details of Governor General Gómez Pérez Dasmariñas’ recent death at the hands of  Chinese pirates. The Mexicans were only able to confirm that he was correct 2 months later when a galleon from Manila brought the news. Pérez was then allowed to return to the Philippines.

If this story is indeed real, no one knows how Pérez was transported to another country on the other side of the world.

2. Amomongo – local cryptid that attacks people and kills livestock

Image credit: The World of Animals

The Amomongo is a character in Visayan folktales described to be a hairy, white ape with long, sharp nails that stands at about 5’4″.

However, on 16th June 2008, SunStar Bacolod reported that 2 men were attacked by the Amomongo in La Castellana, Negros Occidental. The men came forward with scratches on their faces, backs, and hands. Several neighbors also attested to seeing the ape, which also disemboweled goats and chickens.

The town mayor believes that the Amomongo is not an aswang but a wild animal forced to come out of its lair because of hunger. Meanwhile, some say that Amomongo is an albino gorilla despite there being no species of ape native to our country.

3. Romblon Triangle – the Philippines’ Bermuda Triangle

Romblon Triangle
Image credit: Paranormal Philippines via Facebook

The area between Concepcion town in northern Romblon, the Dos Hermanas islands, and Sibuyan Island is often referred to as the “Romblon Triangle“. Much like the notorious Bermuda Triangle in the west, it has gained a reputation for being a hotspot for maritime tragedies.

Over the years, this area has been linked to nearly 40 maritime disasters, with incidents dating back to the early 1980s. Some of the most notable tragedies include the M/V Don Juan in 1980, the M/V Dona Paz in 1987, and the more recent M/V Princess of the Stars in 2008.

Prior to these modern-day passenger ships, it’s said that at least four Japanese ships from World War II also met their fate within the Romblon Triangle.

Local urban legends add a chilling twist to the story. Sailors claim to have witnessed a ghostly ship, supposedly commanded by a figure known as Lolo Amang, just before their own vessels sank to their demise.

4. Biringan City – phantom, golden city that’s home to engkantos

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Video credit: GMA Public Affairs via YouTube

Biringan is a legendary city situated along the Gandara River in Samar said to be inhabited by engkantos – supernatural beings.

It’s often depicted as a city with towering structures and radiant with light, which is remarkable given some of the accounts of this phantom city date back to a time when electricity was not available in the area. Even today, there are no buildings as tall and majestic as the ones described.

A few people have claimed to have been invited to the city, although some of them allegedly never made it back. Some women even claimed that engkantos from Biringan have asked for their hand in marriage.

According to locals, you shouldn’t eat black-colored food in the city if you wish to return to the real world. However, not many people get to go, or even see, Biringan as the city only shows itself when it wants to and to whom it wants to.

5. The Lost Island of San Juan – disappeared from maps after the 18th century

Jacques Bellin Map 1750
Bellin’s Map, 1750.
Image credit: filipiknow.net

Unlike the elusive Biringan, the island of San Juan was documented in maps from the 16th to 18th century before vanishing in later cartography. It was located in the northeastern tip of the Mindanao group of islands.

A naval officer and cartographer named Christopher Middleton even featured an illustration of San Juan’s inhabitants in his 1777 book. These island residents were described as taller than the average Filipino of that era, measuring around 5 feet and 2 inches, with thick, dark, curly hair.

There different theories as to why the island disappeared from maps. Some suggest it met the same fate as Atlantis and now rests in the depths of the ocean.

However, experts propose an alternative explanation – that San Juan was not an independent island but a segment of the Mindanao peninsula separated by a river. Modern maps no longer depict San Juan separately because it’s now accurately displayed as part of the larger island. Others speculate that the island’s name was simply corrected to Siargao, aligning with its actual location.

Another theory posits that the lost island is currently included within the Micronesian island groups just off the northeast corner of Mindanao.

6. Agrifino Lontok, the Banahaw hermit – the mountain’s guardian who mysteriously disappeared

Paranormal Tales - Mt Banahaw
Mt. Banahaw.
Image credit: Huegotpix via Wikimedia Commons

Agrifino Lontok, or Mamay Pinoy, was the first hermit who guarded the Mt. Banahaw and was allegedly the first person to declare the mountain as sacred. Legend has it that Santong Boses, a mountain spirit, commanded him to look after the mountain’s secrets.

Occasionally, Mamay Pinoy would disappear in a well inside a cave called Santong Jacob on the mountain. On his initial disappearance, he submerged himself in the well and then felt weak and unable to move. He recalled being sucked under the water before resurfacing on dry land.

Mamay Pinoy claimed that he was transported to the realm of the engkantos, where one day equated to three days on Earth. According to his daughter, Cristeta, he disappeared again on several occasions, vanishing for several days through the same well.

7. Las Piñas UFO Sightings – were these paranormal tales of alien real?

Paranormal Tales - Las Pinas UFO
Image used for illustrative purposes only.
Image credit: maxime raynal via Wikimedia Commons

Las Piñas City in Metro Manila has been a witness to numerous UFO sightings, particularly in 1993, 2000, and 2004.

The first notable sighting was in 1993 when 3 high schoolers sighted a silver disk floating in the air while they were playing basketball in Philam Village. This lasted for a few minutes before the alleged UFO vanished in front of their eyes.

In 2000, local businessman Antonio Israel managed to capture video footage of small orbs of light moving wildly in the night sky over his neighborhood, Carmela Homes IV. His neighbors as well as people from a nearby barangay also claimed to have witnessed the lights.

The next UFO sighting in 2004 was first witnessed by a group of children, which included Israel’s son. According to the residents, 10 reddish, etheric glares were seen on the evening of 28th August. One child said these couldn’t have been airplanes as they looked close to the moon.

Adrian Israel called his father who took a video of the event as more UFOs showed up. The Israel patriarch made sure to pan the video properly so the PAGASA Investigating Team wouldn’t dismiss it as quickly as the one before.

Paranormal tales to spook you this Halloween

Set the spooky atmosphere on Halloween night with one of these paranormal tales in the Philippines. Whether they’re age-old legends or more recent mysteries, they’re sure to send shivers down your spine. So gather your friends and come up with your own theories!

For true crime fans, read this list of unsolved crime stories in the Philippines. Or for a spooky road trip, check out these Metro Manila haunted places!

Cover image adapted from: The World of Animals, OpenArt, maxime raynal via Wikimedia Commons


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