The Santelmo (St. Elmo's Fire) is a creature of Philippine mythology. The term santelmo is the shortened form of the Tagalog words "Apoy ni San Elmo "-"St. Elmo's Fire". St. Elmo's Fire has long served as an omen of heavenly intervention to sailors. The ancient Greeks termed a single jet of the fire, Helena, and a double jet, Castor and Pollux. It has also been known by the names St. Nicholas and St. Hermes, corpusante and Corpus Santos. The name of St. Elmo is attributed to an Italian derivation of Sant 'Ermo or St. Erasmus (circa 300), the patron saint of the early Mediterranean sailors challenging the powers of storm and sea in small sailing vessels.
St. Elmo's Fire have ranged from a ghostly dancing flame to natural fireworks. It usually is of a blue or bluish-white color attached to fixed, grounded conductors and has a lifetime of minutes. The flame is heatless and non-consuming, occasionally accompanied by a hissing sound. These latter properties prove the myths of spiritual presence. The biblical burning bush that was not consumed may have been displaying one form of St. Elmo's Fire.