Boo! There’s nothing like a good scary story to get you and the kids cowering and laughing in delight. Here are beautifully told and illustrated children’s books featuring monsters and ghouls and the so-called dark creatures of Philippine folklore. 1. Ang Halimaw ng mga Kulay By Anna Llenas
There’s nothing scary about Ang Halimaw ng mga Kulay. This little monster is just trying to figure out all the emotions he's feeling: happiness, sadness, anger, fear, and calm. In the book, feelings are represented by different colors (green for calm, for example).
Ang Halimaw ng mga Kulay helps little ones identify and give a name to their feelings and encourages young children to open up to parents, teachers and other caregivers.
2. Kalipay and the Tiniest Tiktik Written by Christina Newhard Illustrated by Happy Garaje
A tiktik or manananggal is no doubt one of the scariest creatures in Filipino folklore. But Kalipay's friend, Gamay, is not like other tiktiks. Yes, she does have big bat-like wings, a long tongue, and she can split her body into two. However, unlike other tiktiks that like to snack on babies, Gamay is a vegetarian and likes to snack on tomatoes and cassava cake!
Kalipay and the Tiniest Tiktik has a few spooky pages (with enchanting and colorful illustrations). But it's a story that tackles courage, friendship, and acceptance.
3. Si Ching na Takot sa Dilim Written by Aleli Dew Batnag Illustrated by Paul Eric Roca
Got a little one who's afraid of the dark? It may be just the thing to get her to see the wonders that appear only when the lights are dim like the stars at night! It's also a tiny bit spooky, but all ends well!
Si Ching na Takot sa Dilim won the Gintong Aklat Award for Best Children's Book in 2000. Kids will relate to Ching, a young boy whose imagination can sometimes get the better of him. Hopefully, by the end, your little one will have learned a trick or two on how to face the “scary things” in the dark—just like Ching did!
For ages 6+ Language: Filipino Find it in bookstores and online at Adarna.com.ph for P99.
4. The Day of Darkness By Gutch Gutierrez and Zig Marasigan
“All through those years, when the darkness would fall no one dared speak of the Beast at all.”
Told in rhyme, this is the tale of a village that lives in fear of the Beast who comes on The Day of Darkness. But what exactly is this monster? Why is everyone so afraid of it? And is there a way to defeat it? One curious boy named Marius is determined to find out.
Expect a twist in this story that can make it a bit too spooky for toddlers. But it is perfect for your 7-year-old who loves getting a little scared. It also comes with a valuable lesson to learn. Winner of the Kids' Choice Award at the 2014 National Children's Book Awards, your brave little one will be asking for you to read this one over and over again.
5. Bru-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha… Bru-hi-hi-hi-hi-hi… Written by Ma. Corazon Remigio Illustrated by Roland Mechael Ilagan
A witch is living next door to the hero of this story! All of Mrs. Magalit's hair on her head is dead, but she has perfect teeth. How can this be? And her gaze is sharp and her nostrils are huge! Most of all, she has a cackle that can scare any child. Loud and echoing, it goes, “Bru-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!”
Winner of the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) Writer’s Prize and Illustrator’s Prize in 1995, this children's book is still as relevant decades later. It's a story with real heart and will warm the hearts of both young and old, including any witches who happen to be reading it.
For ages 10+ Language: Filipino with English translations Find it in bookstores and online at Adarna.com.ph for P99
6. Ma-Me-Mi-MUMU! By Jomike Tejido
The Philippines is rich in folklore, especially the creepy and spooky kind, and this book is a great way to introduce some of the most well-known to your big kid. Instead of being terrifying, however, your halimaw like the tikbalang, tiyanak, kapre and aswang, are amusing and friendly characters in this tale of a little girl overcoming her fear of monsters.
Both written and drawn by National Children’s Book Awardee Jomike Tejido, we love how both the text and illustrations are playful funny, considering the book is about monsters! It also includes a gallery of Filipino supernatural creatures at the end.