In the Province of Samar, the Philippines, the mention of “Biringan” evokes awe, fear, intrigue, knocking on wood and innumerable signs of the Cross.
What is Biringan? It is reportedly an undefined location somewhere between Calbayog City and Catarman, Northern Samar, where a mythic city(ies) of indescribable grandeur is/are said to exist, unvisited by ordinary mortals, known only by magnificent folk stories that refuse to die despite the advent of television and the internet. Other reports extend its area to as far south as San Jorge, Samar.
They say Biringan is the legendary home of the encantos (enchanted ones) and half-encanto, half-human progeny. The encantos are most likely elementals, as old as the mountains and rivers in the area. They are apparently shapechangers because they have been reported to appear in whatever form they wish, human or not. But in human form, their distinguishing characteristic is the lack of the philtrum, the indentation below the nose and above the upper lip.