FFE Magazine

Philippine Myths & Legends: Kapre

The Kapre also has the penchant for falling in love with female humans that pass by his tree and tends to get obsessed with them.

A blurry shot of a supposed Bigfoot.

In Western culture, the Kapre has some similarities with the Bigfoot, a large, hairy ape-like creature that resides in forests, mainly in the Pacific Northwest region of North America.

Etymology:

The Kapre has a rather religious and historical origin. The name Kapre comes from the word “Kaffir” that means non-believer in Islam. The word kaffir is what early Arabs and Moors used to call non-Muslims that are from India and some of its neighbouring countries.

Physical features:

 

Source: bagoh2.deviantart.com

The Kapre is a huge creature that is said to be seven to nine feet tall. It is always described as a dark-skinned male with hairy features.

The Kapre does not wear anything except for a loincloth or a bahag, similar to the traditional attire of Igorot men from the Mountain Province.

Activities:

The Kapre likes to play tricks on humans. It likes to show itself to passersby to scare them. It also likes to disorient them so they will lose their way home. But sometimes, the Kapre also shows itself to befriend people.

The Balete tree is one of the trees that the Kapre is said to reside.

When a beautiful woman passes by its tree, it is not uncommon that the Kapre falls in love with her. The Kapre will use the smoke from its tobacco to make the woman unconscious. It will then abduct her and bring her to its tree.

The Kapre can be violent when people intrude its home, try to cut its tree down, or harm his human friends.

Weaknesses:

Aside from beautiful women, the Kapre does not have any weaknesses. When encountering a Kapre, make sure to say “tabi tabi po” or “excuse me” to pay respect to it and the Kapre might let you pass without harming you or playing tricks on you.

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