Myths and Folklore Wiki
Myths and Folklore Wiki


The Bakunawa is a serpent-like dragon in Philippine mythology. It is believed to be the cause of eclipses, earthquakes, rain and wind. It was generally believed to be a sea serpent but are also variously believed to inhabit either the sky or the underworld. It's name means 'bent snake' in english from the word baku meaning 'bent' or 'curved' and nawa meaning 'large snake' or 'python'. It is mostly believed in the Cebuano Mythology.

Myths & Legends

It is believed that there used to be seven moons in the night sky created by a supreme god known as Bathala but the Bakunawa, who was amazed the seven moons' light would rise up from the pitch black ocean and swallow one of the moons whole once every one hundred years, thus leading to eclipses and earthquakes. This angered Bathala and thus, the two are longtime enemies.

Six centuries later, when there was only one moon left, the Bakunawa was tempting to eat the last one and if it does, eclipses would darken the night, making it even harder to see and earthquakes would shake the world. The ancient Filipinos knew they had to do something or else the world would be gone. Finally, they thought up of an idea. The Bakunawa is scared of loud noises so all of the ancient Filipinos gathered some pots and pans and they all ran towards the ocean.

Soon, the Bakunawa leaped out of the ocean, pointing towards the last moon and locked its jaws around it. When the Bakunawa's teeth grabbed hold of the seventh moon, the ancient Filipinos started to bang their pots and pans and they would shout and yell and started to bang loud drums. The Bakunawa got so scared, that it spat out the seventh moon just as it was about to swallow it whole and crashed towards the ocean. The Filipinos then cheered and Bathala looked over the people smiling that his mortal enemy has finally been defeated.

From then on, once every century, the Filipinos would bring their pots, pans and drums and would shout and yell to scare the Bakunawa and protected the seventh moon as Bathala looked over, happy for the people.


Bakunawa is said to be an water dwelling serpent-like dragon that lived in a pitch black ocean. Not only does the Bakunawa wants to eat the moons because of the moons' beauty, but also to illuminate the ocean but their light dims every one hundred years.

Bakunawa is sometimes described to even have front limbs or wings or both but is always depicted as a sea serpent-like dragon with a mouth the size of a large lake, a bright red tongue, whiskers, gills and small wires at its sides. Its color depends on how its legend is told but is mostly white, dark blue or red.


  • It is one of the five brand new creatures from Philippine mythology to be in the game Everwing.
This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Bakunawa (view authors). As with Myths and Folklore Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported).