BUSAW: Legendary Human-Like Creature in Philippine Folklore

The Busaw is a legendary human-like creature in Philippine folklore, known for its preference for human flesh.

The Busaw is a legendary creature in Philippine folklore, often described as a ghoul or corpse thief. It appears human-like in its behaviors and appearance but has some scary features such as pointed teeth, hooked nails, and a long tongue.

This creature shares similarities with other mythical beings in Filipino folklore, such as the Aswang and the Bal-Bal, which also engage in corpse theft and cannibalism​.


In some stories, it also attempts to feed this meat to its human neighbors, hoping to turn them into ghouls like itself.

In the stories of the Bagobo people, who live in the upper regions of the Polangi River and Davao, the creature is a monster that can take human form to deceive and prey on people.

This monster is also called buso and is a source of great fear. Because they look and act like humans, they are difficult to recognize when encountered. By day, the creature behaves like a regular human, engaging in activities such as farming and raising livestock.

However, by night, busaws reveal their true nature.

The creature listens for the sounds of death and preys on corpses, which it sometimes replaces with banana tree trunks in their coffins. It can transform the stolen corpses into pigs, which it then consumes.

According to Bagobo beliefs, busaws eat dead human bodies and can harm living people. They are also known to be fond of eating children. To prevent a busaw from eating a corpse, the body needs to be smeared with bitter-tasting herbs and leaves.

Sprinkling salt and vinegar on the body can help keep these monsters away.

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