Tikbalang by Vince Gotera

Vince Gotera

switched-up Centaur stalks
evening, brown baton like stone
horse head, hooves silent


In Philippine mythology, the tikbalang is a hybrid creature with a horse’s head and hooves on a human body—or humanoid, since he has limbs proportionately longer than a person’s. The tikbalang is a trickster figure that likes to lead travelers astray. In some stories, the tikbalang is sexually interested in human women. Although the tikbalang has hooves, its footsteps are soundless, so one cannot hear a tikbalang approaching. In some traditions, the tikbalang is a benevolent creature, while in others, a demon.


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