Sirena (Philippine mythology)

The Sirena is a Philippine mythological sea creature. In some regions of the Philippines, particularly Bicol and Visayas, Sirenas are known as Magindara and portrayed as vicious mermaids. Like Sirens of Greek mythology, Sirenas are often portrayed as mermaid like creatures who live under the seas. In Philippine mythology, the Sirena is a mythological aquatic creature with the head and torso of a human female and the tail of a fish.[1] The Sirena is an Engkanto –' the Filipino counterpart of English mermaids.[2] Engkantos are classified as one of the Bantay Tubig, a Fillipino term used to describe mythical guardians of the water. In addition to the Sirena, other examples of Bantay Tubig are Siyokoy, Kataw and Ugkoy. The male version of a Sirena is called a Sireno. Sometimes Sirena are paired with Siyokoy. A popular mermaid character in the Philippines is Dyesebel.

It is also said that the Sirena has a very beautiful and enchanting voice that can attract and hypnotize males, especially fishermen. A Sirena sings to sailors and enchants them, distracting them from their work and causing them to walk off ship decks or cause shipwrecks. They sing with enchanting voices while hiding among the rocks by the shore. When the men hear these songs they are hypnotized and are abducted by the Sirena. Some folk traditions claim that the Sirena carry their victims under the sea, sacrificing them to the water deities. Other stories claim that the Sirena pretend to need rescuing from drowning, luring men into the sea, but proceed to squeeze the life out of any man who falls prey to their hoax.

A malevolent Sirena may tease and attract human males with its spellbinding songs; but reports of Sirena grabbing seemingly hypnotized humans and drowning them or taking them under water may only be isolated cases. Either the tempted human tried to chase the Sirena deep into the water until he drowned or he had a heart attack upon seeing such an Engkanto and plunged literally into the water to his death.[3]

Dugongs, sea turtles, and small cetaceans such as dolphins usually accompany the Sirena.[4]


Beautiful sea creatures with the upper body of a human with long, flowing hair which is often curly or wavy and the lower part of a fish or has a tail of a fish. In pre-Hispanic Philippines they are believed to be beautiful but very vicious and drown humans, however when a mermaid falls in love with a human she or he becomes tame and youthfully obedient to the human

Philippine Folklore

There are many Pangasinan myths where Sirena drown fishermen and warriors who worship Apo laki. In some stories they are guardians of the waters of "asin-palan" shielding it from the tattooed raiders from the Visayas.

In Pre-colonial Philippines, it is believed that in the full moon or in the Dayaw or Kadayawan one of the embodiments of the moon who is Bulan descended from the heavens to swim with the mermaids and that the mermaids protected the boy moon from sea monsters

Popular culture


Marina was a fantasy series that features a mermaid was aired on February 23, 2004 to November 12, 2004, starring drama actress Claudine Barretto

Mars Ravelo's Dyesebel (2008)

The first TV series adaptation of Dyesebel was broadcast on GMA Network in 2008. It originally aired on April 28, 2008 and ended on October 17, 2008, completing 125 episodes. It is top billed by Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes in the lead roles. Cindy Kurlteto was origanlly casted as Dyesebel

Mars Ravelo's Dyesebel (2014) In 2014, the second TV series adaptation was broadcast on ABS-CBN played by anne curtis


  1. Waterhouse, John William. "Mermaid". Retrieved 2008-08-09.
  2. Mga Engkanto: A Bestiary of Filipino Fairies. Philippines: eLf ideas Publication. 2003.
  3. Mga Engkanto: A Bestiary of Filipino Fairies. Philippines: eLf ideas Publication. 2003.
  4. Mga Engkanto: A Bestiary of Filipino Fairies. Philippines: eLf ideas Publication. 2003.

Template:Oceanic mythology

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 12/3/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.