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Dec. 13, 2021

The Dark Side of the Philippines: A Look at the Legend of the Aswang

The Dark Side of the Philippines: A Look at the Legend of the Aswang

What are Aswangs?

According to Filipino folklore, the aswang is an evil shape-shifting creature that shares the grotesque characteristics of werewolves, vampires, and ghouls. Aswang is a general term for various evil shape-shifting creatures in Filipino folklore, such as vampires, ghouls, witches, intestinal suckers, and werewolves (usually dogs, cats, pigs). Aswang is an evil werewolf and vampire-like creature that is told about many myths and stories. 

History of Aswang

Spanish settlers pointed out that even in the 16th century, Aswang was the most dangerous creature in Filipino mythology. Aswang comes from Philippine folklore, and the story of this terrifying creature can be traced back at least to the 16th century, when Spanish explorers created the first written record of this monster. “The researchers pointed out that of all the monsters in their legends, Aswang is the most dangerous to the locals. Aswang’s folklore is interpreted as affecting certain characteristics of the Filipinos.

In terms of popularity, it is the Filipino equivalent of a western werewolf / vampire. Also based on the Sanskrit Hindu concept of Asura, it is a shape-shifting monster in Filipino folklore that usually possesses a combination of the traits of a vampire, ghoul, sorcerer / witch, or several species of werewolf beast, or even all of them together.

The history of this creature dates back to 16th century Filipino folklore. It is most commonly seen in the Visayas, southern parts of Luzon, and parts of Mindanao. 

The main feature or feature of Aswangs that distinguishes them from other Filipino mythological creatures is their tendency to replace stolen corpses with a banana tree trunk, carved in the likeness of corpses. Both the wak-wak version of Aswang and manananggal, another monster, leave half of their human torso when they transform into a predatory form overnight. Aswangs are also associated with witchcraft in the Philippines and are commonly referred to as women.

They are sometimes used as a general term applied to all kinds of witches, vampires, manananggal, werewolves, therianthropes, and monsters in general. The stories and definitions of Aswang vary greatly from region to region and from person to person, and the term cannot be attributed to any particular set of characteristics. However, this term is often used as a synonym for manananggal, that is, a special creature with a certain set of characteristics. People have often characterized them based on hearsay, which is why the term aswang is commonly used as a general description of most of the evil creatures that hide in the night.

The Aswangs are traditionally described as one-dimensional monsters and are inherently evil in nature for no reason other than harming and devouring other creatures. Their outright evil behavior can be described as a rejection of traditional Filipino values. “The Aswang are traditionally described as one-dimensional monsters and are inherently evil in nature for no reason other than to harm and devour other creatures.

In a broader sense, the term aswang can be used to refer to the entire menagerie of evil creatures in Filipino folklore. However, strictly speaking, aswang is a person who can change shape at will, without tearing off any part of his body. The term aswang comes from the Filipino word aso-wang, which means dog, because animals usually take the form of dogs.

Aswang Today

Contemporary Western depictions of living things in popular culture can be found in the contemporary Aswang TV series Green. The 1994 horror movie Aswang (aka Unearthing) depicted a mythical vampire creature. 

In the World of Darkness reboot, Aswangi is a unique variety of pseudo-vampires who resemble ordinary (albeit beautiful) Filipino women during the day and terrify witches at night. Filipinos are familiar with the aswang, a fickle creature from Filipino folklore that hunts animals and humans at night. But while Filipino belief in other superstitions has waned over the years, the Filipino cult's dedication to the existence of the aswang seems to be growing.

But there is nothing more exciting than the stories of Aswang, an evil shape-shifting entity who is half vampire, half witch, and half werewolf wrapped in horrific packaging. Here's everything you need to know about the scariest creature of Philippine folklore

A very interesting and little-known creature from the Philippines is the ashwangi. The Aswangi appear as the mafia in Trese, a Filipino dark fantasy comic that follows supernatural beings from Filipino folklore

Aswang stories are popular in the Visayan region of the Philippines, especially in the western provinces of Kapis (province on Panay Island), Iloilo and Antiques. While Aswang folklore can be found throughout the Philippines, it is especially present in Kapis, where many Filipinos point to the province as the homeland and origin of Aswang.

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