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During pre-colonial times, a form of animism was widely practiced in the Philippines.Today, the Philippines is mostly Catholic and other forms of Christianity, and only a handful of the indigenous tribes continue to practice the old traditions.Animism, folk religion, and shamanism remain present as undercurrents of mainstream religion, through the albularyo, the babaylan, and the manghihilot.
Nominally animists constitute about one percent of the population.
According to national religious surveys, about 5.6% of the population of the Philippines is Muslim, making Islam the second largest religion in the country.
However, the National Commission of Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) disputes this and claims the adherence of about 11% of the total population. These religions are often syncretized with Christianity and Islam.
But animism's influence pervade daily life and practice of the colonial religions that took root in the Philippines.
Variations of animistic practices occur in different ethnic groups. Its practitioners were highly respected (and some feared) in the community, as they were healers, midwives (hilot), shamans, witches and warlocks (mangkukulam), priests/priestesses (babaylan/katalonan), tribal historians and wizened elders that provided the spiritual and traditional life of the community.In the Visayan regions, shamanistic and animistic beliefs in witchcraft (barang) and mythical creatures like aswang (vampires), duwende (dwarves), and bakonawa (a gigantic sea serpent), may exist in some indigenous peoples alongside more mainstream Christian and Islamic faiths.