MAMBABARANG: Facts About This Type of Witch in Philippine Mythology

Mambabarang – Here are some facts about this type of witch, who employs black magic to cast curses or harm their victims.

The term “Mambabarang” refers to a practitioner of witchcraft or sorcery, deeply rooted in the beliefs and traditions of the Filipino people. They are believed to possess supernatural abilities, using insects and spirits to exact revenge or punishment on individuals they despise.

They are ordinary people who use black magic to torture and then slay their victims by infesting their bodies with insects. They enter the body of their victims through various body holes, including the nose, mouth, ears, anus, or even open wounds.


The practices of Mambabarang are quite different from ‘mangkukulam’, they often involve the use of various elements to achieve their goals. They use insects and spirits to enter the body of any person they hate.

Barang practitioners tie a piece of hair from their chosen target to the bugs or worms that will serve as a medium. When they pierce the bug, their intended effect is felt right away by the victim.

Barang describes the malignant sorcery or the presence of familiar spirits, often taking the form of destructive insects, particularly carnivorous beetles. In various parts of the Philippines, synonymous words like “haplit,” “paktol,” and “anyaw” are used to refer to these dark entities.


Due to the belief in the potency of Mambabarang practices, many Filipinos seek protection against their hexes. This can involve wearing amulets, consulting healers or shamans, or performing rituals to counteract the hex.

Herbal doctors, known as “albularyo,” and faith healers, such as “mananambal” (female) or “sorhuano” (male), treat diseases attributed to barang. In rural areas, these healers are trusted for their ability to heal diseases believed to be the result of dark sorcery.

While modernization and science have reduced the belief in such practices, the mystique surrounding Mambabarang remains a part of the rich cultural history of the Philippines.

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