The term kapre was derived from the Spanish "kapfre", in turn from the Moors, from the Arabic Kaffir, an African non-believer. It is suggested that when the conquistadors first came to the Philippines, they heard about the mystical creatures approximating their kafre, and soon the conqueror's lexicon prevailed in any areas.
Be very careful when trees move without wind. This means that a kapre is present at the very top of the tree. The kapre sits quietly smoking a leg-sized cigar that never burns out. It terrifies passerby with its size, glowing eyes and cigar, but it is otherwise harmless. It is said to live in trees, abandoned houses and ruined buildings. They are believed to appear only at night.
Many audacious youth has been known to creep up to a kapre, tie a rope around its neck, secure the rope to the tree, and return in the morning to find the noose sunk to its turf. With a spade he digs out the spot and discovers a jar of gold. It is his if he can take it home secretly.