The Kapre is a Demon Tree, but with more human characteristics. They are giants with glowing red eyes, sharp teeth, very long fingernails, huge trunk-like legs, brown hair and usually have a beard, they are as tall as 7 to 9 ft.


Another characteristic of this monster is that they love to smoke a big ganja pipe that never burns out, and is believed that the smell of it would attract human attention. Also they are know because they like to drink, smoke and gamble. They like to wear indigenous Northern Philippine cloth call Bahag, and a belt that can make him invisible.

The name Kapre comes from the Arabic word "Kaffir", which mean Non-Believer in Islam. Historians believed that the myth of the monster was started and propagated by the Spanish to prevent the Filipinos from helping out any escaped African slaves.

Unlike most of Filipino monsters, they are not evil, or like to eat people or fetuses, they just enjoy to scare children that like to stay late at night. Also love to indulge in humans vices, like gambling, drinking and smoking.

Some myths describe them as pranksters, their most common pranks consist in make travelers get lost, confuse people in their own familiar surroundings, or while humans sleep, Kapre would put them on top of a tree while they are still in bed.

They are friendly beings, sometimes they get in contact with humans and offer their friendship, or if they are attracted to a woman, they follow her all the time. But be careful, if you take them for granted or offend them, they will harm you, usually peeling your skin off. So remember, when passing by a tree, always ask permission (Tabi-Tabi-Po).

Some myths say that he always carry a beautiful white stone, and if you manage to obtain it, he will grant you wishes, another interesting thing is that if you become friends with him, you will be able to see it, and if you sit on it, the rest of the people will see it as well.

There are various ways to know if there is one of them nearby:

  • At night you can see big fiery eyes from a tree.
  • If the trees sway when there is no breeze.
  • Is believed that abundant fireflies in woody areas are the embers from the his pipe.
  • There is a loud laughter that comes from an invisible being.
  • You see faint smoke coming from above, which is the one that comes from it's pipe.

A tradition that is still being followed, is to put fruits and sweets such as papaya or tamarind on a coconut shell, as a token of respect towards the creature, in exchange he would leave fish and rice.

They are believed to hang out on tall tress such as Acacias, Bamboo and Mangoes, while sometimes they hide in abandoned houses and ruins. The area around Mount Banahao, Luzon, is well know for having a lot of activity from this creature.

In the old stories, is found that an one eyed Kapre, whose name was Agyo, fought against the first Spanish conquistadors.

This creature is probably is related to Big Foot from North America.

Return From the Kapre Page To Philippine Myths Page

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