Creatures from the private dwellings of what we call mysticism can be linked to numerous allegorical tales & creations of modern-day entertainment. The Kapre exhibits both of those qualities. The origin of “Kapre” derives from the Arabic “Kafir,” which is a non-believer in Islam. The legend has roots that stem from Spanish settlers and folklore throughout Filipino communities about the “negative energy” surrounding escaped African slaves from South America. These lies were spread to install a network of fear amongst locals.
The Kapre doesn’t maintain the same evil qualities that relate to the Aswang, in fact, they often befriend humans & form lifelong friendships. Time loss and forgetfulness are signs of a nearby Kapre; familiar realms can be altered by their pranks. They have characteristics of darkened flesh and stand 7-feet tall; they enjoy cigars and the luxury of the treetops.
Philippines President Emilio Aguinaldo didn’t have the secret service, but no worries… he had a Kapre who oversaw his protection. Mystic stories tell of a tree giant who lived under a bridge near the residence of Aguinaldo. A white stone was given to the President by the cigar smoking giant thus granting him the power of immortality. Below is a video that will give you more details on this legend.
Variations of the “Kapre” have entered mainstream entertainment in the form of tree giants.
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
This is an official PROJECT ASTRAL article.
– Color Pessoa