My favorite bar, DVERSE POETS PUB,  has such a fun prompt this weekend – Poetics:  The Lighter Side of Ghouls and Goblins.  Essentially, the Pub asks for ‘lighthearted’ poems about scary creatures.  However, since I am more familiar with Philippine mythical monsters, I chose to write about our very own Tikbalang.   As a child, I was regaled with stories about this half-horse half-man creature who dwelt in the woods.  He was often responsible for people losing their way.  Some stories I heard had the Tikbalang playing tricks on people’s minds.  I also knew them to be dopplegangers.   Here is a link about this mythical creature (which is close to the lore I learned) and here is a scarier version of this same creature.


Poor Tikbalang.
He’s worried about his job
being the baddest monster around.

This globalization
brought too much competition
from ghouls and goblins
and the walking abomination.

He’s at a disadvantage –
this old fashioned guy
half-horse half-man
the centaur of his realm.

Hollywood’s horror trend
captivated his market
of impressionable minds
who used to be content
to scream at stories (of him)
told when the night’s darkest.

Alas! Alas!
The storytellers are gone
(must be some zombie now)
replaced by TV
and technology
that held captive the brains
(already) infected
with colonial mentality.

Oh, how could he ever compete
with the walking undead
maybe, he should grow the plants
that would eradicate their breed.


He thinks he’s too old
to reinvent his ways
but change he should
or be passe.


Don’t forget to visit the Pub for more fun takes on the prompt.  Thank you for coming by. 🙂



  1. haha. pretty bad when our old monsters have to start worrying about their jobs as well…replaced by a CGI zombie…at first i was thinking centaur but i looked at your link and very different from other centaurs i have seen…what an intriguing legend as well…hey i learned something and had a bit of fun too…smiles…

  2. I haven’t heard this word for a long time…thank you for reminding me…
    In our ‘alamat’ (legend) books, tikbalang is still popular. Hoping it stays that way…

  3. oh i feel sad for him…. even monsters and zombies can be out of the game quite quickly if they don’t be careful what the competition does…smiles…fun take..

  4. Oh we have our old monsters here in Sweden suffering the same destiny.. but I read the other day that they might be the next trend in monsters… wrote about the Neck once… pretty scary — luring young women into the water were he drowns them.. really there ar scary things there out in the dark woods..

  5. This is cute! Never thought I’d have sympathy for a past-his-prime centaur, but I do 🙂 He could always become a zombie centaur…now that’s something that would get him some notice…

    • Oh, thanks for the info, Madhu. I always thought that the tikbalang is exclusively ours, I am almost too possessive of the lore. 🙂 We do belong in a small world to have such common mythological figures. 🙂

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