Aussie Pinoy-at-heart Dwaine Woolley creates Filipino Engkanto board game

HSBC Philippines
Dwaine Woolley Filipino Engkanto board game
The war heroes and monsters of Philippine legends are brought to life in ENGKANTO: Filipino-inspired Board Game. Photo from Dwaine Woolley.

Australian celebrity Dwaine Woolley has created an adventure board game set in the time of pre-colonial Philippines with the legendary heroes and beasts of Filipino folklore.

Woolley describes himself as “one hundred percent Australian with pusong Pinoy” (with a Filipino heart) and runs a YouTube channel with his wife, Shanta. His channel with over one million subscribers is dedicated to Filipino culture and family.

The YouTube star designed a Filipino-inspired tabletop game to bring the fascinating stories of Philippine mythology and folklore to a wider audience. The Engkanto game is filled with the ethereal monsters, heroes, and deities of indigenous legends.

“We are in the process of creating the Philippines’ first mythological adventure board game. Kind of like a Dungeons & Dragons but for the Philippines…in the game you’ll find engkanto such as the Kapre, Tikbalang, and even the moon-eating dragon, Bakunawa,” Woolley explains in his YouTube video posted on September 19, 2020.

Players can control a Bayani (hero) hand-painted miniature of their choice to navigate the quest which begins on the island of Panay and ends in the fabled land of Biringan City, said to be located in Samar. During the game, heroes will encounter enchanted beings or Engkanto, face many challenges, cross rivers, fight off monsters, and venture into unknown lands to get to the goal of reaching the mythical city.

Here is the story:

“Far off the coast of Samar lies a mysterious island that the Tribes say is cursed. All who venture there never return. Enchanted beings called Engkanto disguise themselves as humans and lure innocent villagers to the island where they are taken to another plane of existence known as Biringan City. Legend says that once a human enters Biringan City, they can never return to the human world.

The Engkanto are under the command of the Great Moon Eating Serpent, Bakunawa! Every night the native tribes of Samar perform a ritual to stop the Serpent from devouring the seven moons. But now the fear of being taken to Biringan City has caused them to cease performing the ritual, leaving Bakunawa free to feast!

To challenge Bakunawa, the Gods have called upon four heroes endowed with the power of the legendary bird, Sarimanok to sail to the cursed island, find Biringan City, rescue the lost villagers and defeat Bakunawa.”

You can already pre-order “ENGKANTO: A Filipino mythology-inspired board game” on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to pledge your support for Woolley’s dream and creative idea.

Pre-order ENGKANTO on Kickstarter here.

The rich and diverse stories of Philippine mythology have become the inspiration for local and international works.

The Philippine-made anime Trese that will soon be on Netflix is based on the Pinoy graphic novel that centers on a supernatural crime investigator that solves cases that deal with supernatural origins and unravels the mysteries hiding within the streets of Metro Manila.

Jason Tanamor’s new “Vampires of Portlandia” novel features Filipino characters based on Filipino folklore (aswang) and is among Parliament House’s new book acquisitions for 2020.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to Aussie Pinoy-at-heart Dwaine Woolley for creating a Filipino Engkanto board game.

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Margo Hannah De Guzman Quadra
Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.