In Philippine mythology, the Sigbin or Sigben is a creature that roams in the night to suck the blood of its victims from their shadows.
The Sigbin looks like a hornless goat with big ears that can clap like a pair of hands. Its tail is so long and flexible that it can be used as a whip. Typically, the Sigbin walks backwards, lowering its head between its hind legs to stay hidden from other creatures particularly humans. Sigbins also are known to give off disgusting odor when they fart.
Stories of old folks regarding the sigbin are usually found in Visayas, especially in Cebu. In the Eastern Visayas, the creature is also known as the Amamayong. Other countries have reports or urban legends of similar creatures, known as chupacabra.
The Sigbin is usually believed to be nocturnal, and to reside in the province of Cebu. Some people believed that the Sigbin attacks children during Holy Week.
Based on the legend, a clan known as Sigbinan ("those who own Sigbin"), are said to have command over the Sigbin creatures. They keep their Sigbin in jars of clay. Aswangs are also believed to have Sigbin as pets together with Wak Wak.
A Sigbin is believed to attract wealth and luck to its owner and that is the reason why successful businessmen are said to be descendants of the Sigbinan families.
There is speculation that the legend might be related to the kangaroo. With the recent discovery in the island of Borneo of the cat-fox, a potential new species of carnivore described as having hind legs that are lower than its front legs, it has been postulated that reported sightings of Sigbin may actually be sightings of a member or relative of the cat-fox species.
Other pretend that the sigbin is a spiritual animal with no physical form, which could be the reason for the varying or conflicting descriptions, and the lack of concrete evidence of its existence.
The sigbin is the subject of the song, Original Sigbin, popularized by the Visayan band, Junior Kilat.
- Ramos, Maximo D. (1971). Creatures of Philippine Lower Mythology. Philippines: University of the Philippines Press.
- Tiempo, Edilberto K.. The Witch
- Meek, James (2005-12-07). On the trail of the Borneo cat-fox. The Guardian.