The Sigbin or Sigben is a creature in Philippine mythology said to come out at night to suck the blood of victims from their shadows.
Myths & Legends
It is said to walk backwards with its head lowered between its hind legs, and to have the ability to become invisible to other creatures, especially humans. The Sigbin is said to emit a nauseating odor. It is believed to issue forth from its lair during Holy Week, looking for children that it will kill for their hearts, which it fashions into amulets.
The myth is popularly known in Visayas Islands and Mindanao. It is also said that it looks like a dog and owned by rich people who hid those creatures in a jar. According to the legend, these families are known as Sigbinan ("those who own Sigbin") whose members possess the power to command these creatures, and are said to keep the Sigbin in jars made of clay. The Aswang (Filipino evil spirits) are also said to keep them as pets, along with another mythical creature, a bird known as the Wakwak.
It resembles a hornless goat, but has very large ears which it can clap like a pair of hands and a long, flexible tail that can be used as a whip. In some stories, it's feet are facing the wrong way, which is why it walks backwards.
There is speculation that the legend may be based on sightings of an actual animal species that is rarely seen; based on the description of the Sigbin in popular literature, the animal species might be related to the kangaroo. With the recent discovery in the island of Borneo of the cat-fox, a potential new species of carnivore described as having hind legs that are longer than its front legs, it has been postulated that reported sightings of Sigbin may actually be sightings of a member or relative of the cat-fox species.
These are creatures which some in the Phillipines still claim to see to this day.
- Of particular note was when a Sigbin was said to have been captured in Ceba, and a few pictures were taken, which have been included below.
- "Creatures of Darkness" Phillipine Facebook group - Sigbin (origin of the infobox picture)
- "Top Ten Sigbin Sightings" with pictures