A tiyanak (also known as patianak) is a creature in Philippine mythology that resembles a human infant. It is said that a miscarried or aborted fetus, or a baby who dies without being baptized, becomes a tiyanak. Evil spirits use the infant's body to attack victims, eating their inner organs and drinking their blood.
Appearance and behavior
During the day a tiyanak might appear to be an ordinary baby. By night, however, it grows sharp teeth, long fingernails, and black and hairy skin.
It lures its victims by imitating the cries of an abandoned baby. Anyone who makes the mistake of approaching or picking up the "baby" is attacked. Aside from slashing victims, the tiyanak also delights in leading travelers astray or in kidnapping children. In some instances, it is said that once given the chance to suck milk from the breast of a mother, the tiyanak will drain all her blood.
- Mantianak - Described as a baby with a long beard. Pregnant women who hear its cries end up miscarrying.
- Muntianak - A baby who died in the womb. Lives in the forest and terrorizes people.
Tiyanaks have appeared in various movies and television shows.
- Tiyanak (2007) - Directed by Mark Reyes which top-billed Rica Peralejo, Mark Herras, and Jennylyn Mercado. In this version, tiyanaks are featured in three forms — those that thrive on land, water and air.
- Tiyanak (1988) - Popularly called "Ang Anak ni Janice", Janice de Belen being the lead character who portrays the mother of the monster baby. Also starring Lotlot de Leon, Ramon Christopher, Mary Walter, Carmina Villaroel, and Smokey Manaloto. Directed by Peque Gallaga and Lore Reyes.
- Tianak (1953) - The first movie tackling the tiyanak theme. Filmed in black and white, it starred Nena Cardenas, Rosa del Rosario, Ramon D'Salva and Pedro Faustino.
- Da Adventures of Pedro Penduko - ABS-CBN telefantasya series which in its 10th episode featured the tiyanak. Starring Matt Evans, Juliana Palermo and Denise Joaquin in guest roles.
- Demetrio, Francisco, S.J. Encyclopedia of Philippine Folk Beliefs and Customs. Cagayan de Oro City: Xavier University, 1991.
- "Mythical Creatures of the Philippines." Associated Content, 10 March 2006. http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/21178/mythical_creatures_of_the_philippines.html (Accessed on September 14, 2007).