In Philippine folklore, the Manananggal is a mythical, evil, cannibalistic, vampiric , witch that as well as sucking the blood from victims also eats them. Sometimes it is confused with the Wakwak which is a strange bird-like, vampiric creature. However, although they are both vampires unlike the Manananggal, the Wakwak cannot separate its upper body from its lower body. It is from this bizarre ability that the Manananggal gets its name. The term Manananggal comes from the Tagalog word, tanggal, meaning to separate.
Origin of the Manananggal
Philippine folklore gives varying accounts of the origin of Manananggals. One tradition says there is a black chick living inside the creature. This is passed on from the deathbed of those afflicted to another person who is usually a relative. The chick is then believed to reside inside the body of the Manananggal eating the innards of its host while keeping them alive. It is this that is believed to be the reason why the Manananggal craves the taste of human blood and flesh and transforms into its hideous shape.