5 Filipino Urban Legends Fil-Ams Should Know | 5 Filipino Urban Legends Fil-Ams Should Know

5 Filipino Urban Legends Fil-Ams Should Know

/ 07:02 AM June 13, 2023

If you are a Fil-Am seeking to reconnect with the Philippines’ rich heritage, the mystery of Filipino urban legends is an interesting avenue for exploration.

These tales that go way back through generations give a glimpse into the country’s history, folklore, and cultural beliefs. From haunting locales to mysterious figures and personalities, Filipino urban legends have a unique way of captivating the imagination and fueling a sense of wonder.

Top 5 Filipino Urban Legends

Top 5 Filipino Urban Legends
Whether you’re planning to visit the Philippines and want to know some of the famous enigmas of your country, join us as we navigate the journey and unveil the truth behind these interesting narratives and dig into the heart of Filipino legend.

1. The Mythical Serpent of Robinsons Galleria

If you’re a Fil-Am who grew up in the Philippines, you might already hear of this famous urban legend. This legend is about a large snake situated in the ladies’ room of a mall, Robinson’s Galleria.

Stories tell that the huge snake was the twin brother of Robina Gokongwei-Pe, the prominent owner of the Robinsons Mall retail business. The tale revolves around the serpent who preys on unsuspected women.

There are even rumors of a romance between the snake and the Filipina actress Alice Dixson. However, the actress debunked the Filipino urban legend in one of her vlogs.

She said, “Nothing really happened in the way the urban legend or the myth dictates.” Still, the allure of this Filipino tale stays, especially backed by speculations and comments from those who still believe in the mystery.

If ever you’ll visit the country and want some fact-hunting, you might want to check this mall and see the place for yourself. When hunger strikes, we’re sure you’ll have plenty of Filipino food choices around the mall.

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2. The Mystery of Jose Rizal as Jack the Ripper Plot Twist

Jose Rizal is Jack the Ripper? As absurd as this may sound, it is an intriguing tale as it suggests a dark alter self of the Philippine national hero.

Some “theorists” connect Rizal, the Philippines’ national hero to the killer in London’s Whitechapel district in 1888 because Rizal stayed in London during the times of the killings, he had knowledge of human anatomy as a doctor, and the initials of  “Jack the Ripper” matched “Jose Rizal.”

This Filipino urban legend still intrigues the public. In addition, historian Ambeth Ocampo noted that Rizal mentioned the Ripper in his essay for the newspaper La Solidaridad.

Whether truth or fiction, this Filipino tale shows the fascination and curiosity that connects history and myths in Filipino minds. If you’re planning to visit and want to fact-check, you’re always welcome to visit Jose Rizal’s house, where he was born in Calamba, Laguna.

3. The Siomeow and the Myth of Cat Meat

5 Filipino Urban Legends Fil-Ams Should Know
This Filipino urban legend once caused a drop in siopao sales. Siopao is a beloved Filipino snack brought by the Chinese to the country. It is a white bun with a meat filling topped with a thick brown sauce.

Legend has it that siopao and even the whole menu of Chinese restaurants allegedly contain cat meat instead of pork due to its lower cost. This myth created xenophobia and sarcasm.

In addition, its story goes back to the 1850s America and the British Empire. Stories went around about a police finding skinned cats labeled as rabbits in the refrigerators of Chinese restaurants.

Despite the emergence of this Filipino urban legend, the Philippine Food and Drug Administration has consistently checked restaurants. They confirmed that they hadn’t found one single cat meat.

Furthermore, the myth reminds us how powerful are cultural stereotypes and the persisting effect of historical stories on modern beliefs. Nowadays, Binondo has been a popular food hangout for many, thanks to social media influencers.

If you’re a Fil-Am visiting the country, Binondo or Manila’s Chinatown is a melting pot of sumptuous Chinese delicacies. Just be prepared to fall in line with some of the most popular restaurants in the area, as they have been mostly full-packed.

4. The Mysterious White Lady of Balete Drive

5 Filipino Urban Legends Fil-Ams Should Know

Photo Credit: paranormal.lt

As modernization kicks in, most of Manila’s areas boast of its sky-high buildings, but this famous Filipino urban legend hasn’t died down. It is a well-known myth about a lady dressed in white that appears at night on the streets of Balete Drive in Quezon City, Metro Manila.

Witnesses claim their encounters with the lady ghost. Moreover, some are even saying that due to fear, accidents happen that sometimes lead to untimely deaths.

Many believe that the White Lady was a restless soul searching for justice and peace. Her presence has become a famous discussion among paranormal groups.

5. The Cursed Waters of Romblon Triangle

5 Filipino Urban Legends Fil-Ams Should Know


“Don’t swim into the Romblon Triangle,” a cautionary phrase similar to the warnings about the Bermuda Triangle. This serves as a caution to travelers in the Philippines.

The Romblon Triangle has seen several shipwrecks over the last six decades. Thus, it earned the reputation as the grave of sunken ships.

Eerie phenomena and stories of tragedy surround the Romblon triangle. In World War II, four Japanese warships met their deadly fate in the depths of the Romblon Triangle.

In the following years, tragedies like the Don Juan collision with an oil tanker took a thousand lives. Moreover, the Doña Paz and the Princess of the Stars’ sinking also resulted in tragedies.

Nearby island residents claim ghost ships sightings and enigmatic fireflies in Concepcion Cove, where the Japanese ships sank.

While others associate the Romblon Triangle with supernatural causes, the Philippine Coast Guard observes that human error, natural phenomena, and the topographic features of the area contribute to the dangerous waters.

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This union of Filipino urban legend and reality adds mystery to the region. It still intrigues  visitors  looking to visit the beautiful beaches of Visayas.

Understanding Filipino Urban Legends: A Guide for Fil-Ams

Understanding Filipino Urban Legends: A Guide for Fil-Ams
These folklore tales have valuable cultural significance for Fil-Ams. With the knowledge of these legends, they can foster a better understanding of Filipino culture. These mysterious and spooky tales have been passed down through generations.


As Filipino Americans embark on their journey of knowing their roots, the realm of Filipino urban legends is an interesting window into the Philippines’ vibrant cultural fabric and folklore.

Whether it’s exploring the supernatural aspects of these local lores or uncovering the mysterious connections between historical figures, these urban legends offer an avenue to dig deeper into the colorful tapestry of Filipino culture.

For more updates on the latest news and interesting articles, stay tuned at Inquirer.net.

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TAGS: Fil-Am, Filipino culture, interesting topics, Trending
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