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Tikbalang are a species that resemble anthropomorphic horses.


The tikbalang are tall, horse-like creatures that have anthropomorphic features. Their equine features display regality and class,[1] and lexicon such as herd and colts are often used to refer to their collective tribes and young, respectively. They have the ability to use glamour that masks their true nature and thus are able to appear as regular humans. This also extends to hiding their actions and movement, as they have appeared as sports cars to rationalize their speed to those unaware of the Underworld.[2]

The most prominent feature of their species is their intrinsic speed, which rival that of racing cars.[1] Mature tikbalang are formidable warriors that utilize their speed to serve their tribe.[1] Tikbalang are also highly valued for their body parts; their mane and skin are highly prized. Their bones are also very valued ingredients in making anting-anting, magic spells and enchanted weapons.[3]

A collective attack by an army of tikbalang is referred to as a stampede. This mass attack utilizes the tikbalang's speed, rivaling typhoon winds, and is known to be very deadly. From a distance, the winds created by the speed of the tikbalang during a stampede give an appearance of a tornado. Only three beings have ever survived a stampede.[3]

Younger colts tend to be mischievous and impulsive, often competing against fellow tikbalang or even other humans. They would go to great lengths to demonstrate their superiority in speed and strength, even taking home trophies that serve to remind them of their victory.

They have been known to manipulate travelers to walk in circles or challenge them to a wrestling match. Alexander Trese notes in his journals that they usually pick easy targets in order to assure their victory. It is said that grabbing a strand of their hair during a wrestling challenge would earn the challenger a favor from the beast.[1] Tikbalang have still shown to be loyal to any favors incurred during a fairly-earned defeat, no matter their contempt or opinion about it.[2] They can establish supporting relationships with humans, deeming them their alaga.[3]


At one point, Señor Armanaz's clan resided in Bukidnon, where they were discovered by a group of hunters. Armed with anting-anting that granted them invisibility, they successfully hunted the tikbalang for their body parts. The events later came to be known as the Bukidnon Massacre.[3] With the help of Professor Alexander Trese and the Trese family, Señor Armanaz and the tikbalang tracked these hunters down in retaliation. Since then, the tikbalang have helped him and his family in implementing The Agreements.[4]

When Alexandra Trese was born, her stillborn sister was carried by the fastest tikbalang to the Metalero, who forged her into a kris named the Sinag. During Alexandra's baptism, they gifted her a bracelet made from the mane of their fastest warrior as acknowledgement of her fulfillment of the prophecy.[5]

She brought this, along with the kris and many other gifts, with her on her eighteenth birthday as she undertook the Great Balete Tree Trials. A few tikbalang are shown defending her and the Great Balete Tree from the onslaught of the four rebel clans of aswang.[5]

Currently, the Armanaz Clan is the most prominent clan in Metro Manila, headed by Señor Armanaz. They are based in Armanaz Tower, the tallest building along Ayala Avenue. Using their human alaga, they manage to stay hidden under the guise of a human company bearing their name.[3]

Notable Tikbalang[]