The Nuno is similar to a duwende, but they’re more likely to be easily angered. The Nuno, like a duwende, is a dwarf from Filipino mythology. They are believed to look like one of the bearded dwarves in Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” and live in mounds of dirt. I have heard good and bad things about the Nuno, but when I lived in the Philippines, whenever someone told me about the Nuno, people would include the phrase “Tabi-tabi po.” “Tabi-tabi po” is roughly translated to mean “Excuse me.” People would say this when they passed mounds of earth so that a Nuno, if one happened to live in a mound they pass, would not harm them.
People believe that the Nuno will curse a person if the person disturbed them. Disturbing them could include accidentally stepping on one of their mounds. When I was a little girl, around six years of age, I accidentally stepped on a mound of dirt. Suddenly, a squadron of red ants were swarming my feet. I did not see any red ants coming in or out of the mound prior to me stepping on it. (Thankfully, I wasn’t allergic to the venom of the red ant bites. However, there is a lot I could say about the searing pain. But I digress.) That was the first time someone told me about the Nuno. One of the neighbors said that I must have angered a Nuno. An hour later, after having the bites treated, I was told to bring food to the mound, which I saw was being rebuilt by the ants. Bringing food to the mound was akin to an apology for stepping on it. Whether it was a Nuno or an animal that ate the food, it was gone the next day, leaving only the white, ceramic plate on the dirt floor.
This may have been the closest experience I’ve ever had with a Nuno sa punso, which translates to “dwarf of the mound,” or Nuno for short. I should be glad that the Nuno didn’t spit on me, which would have brought me aches or swollen body parts. I am also thankful that I didn’t get sick. Ever since I was a little girl, I have been curious about what a Nuno looks like. They are probably darker than the dwarves in “Snow White” because of their association with Filipino culture, but I wouldn’t know, for I have yet to have ever seen one.
Den. “A Filipino Belief: Nuno Sa Punso.” The Lucky One. WordPress. 1 May 2010. Web. 16 May 2014.