About a week and a half ago, I was out with a friend enjoying a beverage. A tall man sitting nearby joined our conversation, which eventually turned towards bigfoot (as my conversations usually do). Giving him my card, I invited him to contact me with anything interesting he hears about the subject. I’m glad I did, as the following email from the man is quite interesting:
My wife is from a fairly remote part of the Philippines- Southern Leyte in the region known as the Visayas. Her town is in the province of Malalitbog. Her village is Timba.
Often the male members of the family go out fishing in Sugod Bay at night. One such night, Gemma was awakened around pre-dawn and thought that her father had gotten wet and had hung some dark pants on the porch area (note: their old thatch house is mostly open). When she asked her father about it in the morning he told her that the fishing was bad and that they had returned early. So they went outside where she thought she saw the dark pants and they found a very large footprint. Then some of the other villages came running up from the bay and said that they found another large footprint close to the shore.
She referred to the animal as the Kapre. Apparently there are a fair number of sightings. I’m not sure about the legend of them smoking, but who knows?
I had never heard of the kapre, as my specific interest lies in the North American sasquatch. However, I am a fan of all things bigfoot, so I looked it up. Apparently, the kapre is a 7 to 9 foot tall hairy, man-like “tree demon” that has much in common with our local bigfoots. There are also several common mythological aspects to the kapre that can be found in other cultures’ view of various hairy bipedal hominoids, such as enchanting humans so they become lost, or wearing loincloths. Kapres are also reported to smoke cigars and have glowing red eyes.
An artist’s rendition of the kapre.
The “tree demon” aspect caught my attention. It immediately brought to mind the legend of the splintercat, a hairy (possibly feline) monstrosity that leaps from tree to tree and screams in the night. Nearby one of my favorite bigfooting spots on the Roaring River is a small tributary called Splintercat Creek. I believe this is yet another geographical bigfoot reference. However, more on the splintercat in a later blog…