Duwende are goblins, hobgoblins, elves or dwarfs. They are little creatures who can provide good fortune or bad fate to humans.In the Philippines, duwendes frequently live in houses, in trees, underground, termite like mound or hill, and in rural areas. They are known to be either good or mischievous, depending on how homeowners treat them. They usually come out at 12 noon for an hour and during the night. Filipinos always mutter words ("tabi-tabi po" or "bari-bari apo ma ka ilabas kami apo") asking them to excuse themselves for bothering the Duwendes. Filipinos would leave food on the floor, so that the duwende residing (or guarding) the house would not be angry with them.They also take your things,and laugh at you when you try to find it.They give it back when they feel like it,or when you tell them to please give it back.
- Duwende play a ton of tricks on people, and it is said sometimes that they take your souls and trap them inside kitchen equipment. Parents have warned their children about the dangers of sneaking into the pantry, and solely for the reason that the Duwende is known to strike at that poignant time.
- To prevent souls being stolen, Filipino mothers usually tell these warning tales to their children. Often, mothers use the thought of the Duwende to get their children to finish their food. “Don’t blame me if you get hungry later on. The Duwende might come find you!”