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This upcoming book features the lesser known creatures of PH mythology

This upcoming book features the lesser known creatures of PH mythology

  • “Mythica Obscura” is a compendium of creatures and gods in Philippine mythology who would otherwise be left in the shadows

Manananggal and aswang aside, there are creatures of Philippine mythology that have yet to reach the mainstream. “Mythica Obscura” is a local zine series that uncovers the mysteries of the lesser known characters of Philippine folklore and brings them into the light. 

It was announced that the four-volume zine featuring 44 mythical creatures will be released as a book. Published by PaperKat Books, the complete collection of zines will come out on Apr. 28 during the Philippine Book Festival. 

The knowledge of these creatures are usually passed down through the generations through oral tradition, in the form of bedtime stories, local practices, and superstitious beliefs. Though never written down, many of these stories have been engraved into the minds of the communities they belong to. 

Majority of these creatures and their stories are well known, but only within the confines of the spaces that they’re said to exist in. Author Karl Gaverza has traveled all over the Philippines to extensively document the existence of these beings. 

Through his project, Philippine Spirits, the University of the Philippines – Diliman linguistics graduate has collected immense information on the things that go bump (and sometimes woosh) in the night. 

“I wanted to turn my thesis into a book and that’s where the idea of a mythical creature encyclopedia came from. I wanted to share my love of mythologies in the Philippines and also to give me a set deadline that kept moving from 2016 to now,” Gaverza said. 

The book will feature each creature with matching description and illustration, as well as a short story by Gaverza. 

Active since 2016, Philippine Spirits has been documenting our culture’s more obscure mythical beings through the forms of stories and collaborations with local artists.

The stories have been translated into different local languages in order to reach a wider audience and more easily connect with readers. As an advocate of Philippine languages, Gaverza also calls for a translation of his stories every few months. 

To date, Gaverza has cataloged over 2,500 creatures and 1,500 gods. 

Of the thousands, his personal favorites have made their way into the book. 

You can grab your copy during its launch at the Philippine Book Festival on Apr. 28. Just make sure to leave the lights on when you’re reading it at night. 

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