Tales of Chimay-I. A graphic novel. Story by Jessica Zafra and Jay Lozada. Artwork by Steph Palallos. Flying into stores in 2008.
Over the years Iâ€™ve heard of all sorts of mythological monsters, and they have certain similarities (gryphons and sphinxes, for instance), but the manananggal appears to be unique to the Philippines. In Borgesâ€™ book of imaginary beings, thereâ€™s a creature called nasnas that is also divided in half, but vertically, from crown to crotch. It hops around on one leg, whispering nasty things into childrenâ€™s ears. It is not nearly as scary as the creature who sits on the roof turning babies into balut.
At a film festival I saw a Thai horror movie called Ghost of Valentine. It features a monster called kraseur, basically the head of a woman flying through the air with glowing intestines attached to it. It was supposed to be terrifying, but each time it appeared the audience members burst out laughing.
Monsters and Metaphors in Emotional Weather Report, today in The Star.
A note on the wing design: The manananggal is traditionally portrayed with batwings, but Steph decided to use angel wings instead because angels are scarier and more badass.