Philippines is not new when it comes vampires, werewolves and among others, but the monsters you would know in this article is more feared. Some say that it is just a folklore just like what other countries thought, but it is not. Many filipinos have experienced battling with these monsters, especially in the remote towns in the Philippines where there is no electricity. This article would surely open your minds to the world supernatural creatures are real and they are somewhere out there in the Philippine Islands.
The aswang are the most feared of supernatural creatures on the Philippines. They can enter the body of a person and through this person they inflict harm on those the they dislike. Most common are the female variety who appear as an ugly old woman with long, unkempt hair, blood-shot eyes, long nails, and a long, black tongue. She has holes in her armpits which contain oil. This gives her power of flight.
A being of enormous power, she can transform herself into any shape, even inanimate objects. She preys on children, pregnant women, and ill people. Once she has overpowered a victim, she will take a bundle of sticks, talahib grass, and rice or banana stalks, and transform these into a replica of her victim. This replica is sent home while she takes the real person back with her. Upon reaching its home, the replica will become sick and die. The victim will then be killed and eaten. She is said to be particularly fond of the liver.
I had a real experienced of seeing this monster, I was a young boy at that time and our house was in a small barrio (small town) with only few neighbors and surrounded with trees. The wife of our neighbor was pregnant at that time and their house was a small hut with windows that cant be closed, which simply means you can see the stars in their house during night time. It was a very noisy mid-night that i could not sleep, our neighbor dogs keeps howling in our backyards. So, I tried to check it, I slightly-openned our window good enough for my eyes to see everything outside, I am fascinated because the moon was so bright and there was no dogs in our backyard so i look at our neighbor’s house and there i saw the howlong dogs, BUT WHEN I LOOKED AT THE WINDOW, I SAW SOMETHING DARK FLOATING – ITS LIKE A PERSON FLOATING HORIZONTALLY FACING OUR NEIGHBOR’S OPENNED WINDOW. I was very scared because its hard to describe that dark floating thing, even the surrounding was clear. I closed the window and went straight to my bed covering myself with my pillow and sleep again.
On the next day I talked to my friend about what happened last night, and i asked him if there was something unusual that happened in their house that night. He said he and his siblings were guarding their mother all the time and they were aware of the possible attacks of the Aswang. He told me had stepped something like a hairy tail and then he had thrown Garlic unto it and then it suddenly dissapeared.
There are a wide variety of stories about the Aswang circulating between rural Filipinos, making it impossible to settle upon any fixed definition of their appearance or activities. However, one trademark or defining feature of Aswangs which distinguishes them from other Filipino mythological creatures is their propensity to replace live victims or stolen cadavers with a facsimile that it creates out of tree trunks and other plant materials. Aswangs are particularly feared for their fondness for eating unborn fetuses and small children. Their favorite body parts are the liver and heart.
By some accounts, Aswangs are said to be able to enter the body of a person and through this person they inflict harm on those the they dislike. Most commonly, they are female and appear as an ugly old woman with long, unkempt hair, blood-shot eyes, long nails, and a long, black tongue. She has holes in her armpits which contain oil. This gives her power of flight.
A being of enormous power, an Aswang can transform itself into any shape, even inanimate objects. It preys on children, pregnant women, and ill people. Once an aswang has overpowered a victim, it will take a bundle of sticks, talahib grass, and rice or banana stalks, and transform these into a replica of its victim. This replica is sent home while the Aswang takes the real person away to be killed and eaten. The replica person, upon reaching its home, will become sick and die.
In many stories, an Aswang lives as regular townsperson by day, and prefers an occupation related to meat, such as butchery or making sausages. By some accounts, Aswangs have an ageless appearance and a quiet, shy and elusive manner. They can be distinguished from humans by two signs. One is the bloodshot eyes from staying up all night looking for opportunities to sneak into houses where funeral wakes are being held, and stealing the dead bodies.
Among its many talents, the Aswang can transform itself from human to animal and animal to human. The Aswang can disguise him/herself as a pig, dog, snake, bat, or black bird. Supposedly if a person looks at them in the eyes, the reflection would appear inverted. During their nocturnal activities, they walk with their feet facing backwards and toenails reversed.
One type of Aswang is the kikik, which transforms into a huge bird/bat at night and prowls. The kikik looks for a sleeping pregnant woman. When it has found one, it extends a very long proboscis into the womb and kills the fetus by draining its blood. It is said that while this is taking place, a ‘kik-kik-kik’ sound is often heard.
In some stories, the kikik is an Aswang’s familiar, said to confuse people by its ‘kikik’ sound. If the Aswang is near, the sound would be faint so that people hearing it would think that the Aswang is still far away.
The term wak-wak or wuk-wuk is frequently used for the same creature in the Cebu region. The legends of the wak-wak and kikik are much the same, but the wak-wak is specifically supposed to change into its birdlike form by leaving behind its lower body, much like the Manananggal, another Philippine vampire. The cry of a night bird which makes a “wuk-wuk-wuk” sound is believed to be the call of this monster and is feared by superstitious villagers. As with the call of the kikik, the wak-wak is believed able to make its cry sound distant when the creature is near.
In Panitan(Panit’an) Capiz, there is a myth of the Dangga or Agitot. This type of aswang is said to take the form of a handsome gay man that hunts women during the night and drinks blood like a vampire.
Another familiar is the sigbin or Zegben Some say that this is another form that the Aswang transforms into and yet some say it is the companion of the kikik. Its appearance is said to be similar to the chupacabra and Tasmanian devil in appearance, although with spotty fur. It supposedly has a wide mouth with large fangs.
One of the most popular legends in the visayas region is the infamous Aswang Tiniente Gimo(lieutenant Gimo) of the town of Dueñas, Iloilo.
A manananggal is described as being an older, beautiful woman (as opposed to an aswang), capable of severing its upper torso in order to fly into the night with huge bat-like wings to prey on unsuspecting, pregnant women in their homes; using an elongated proboscis-like tongue, it sucks the hearts of fetuses or blood of an unsuspecting, sleeping victim. The severed lower torso is left standing and it is said to be the more vulnerable of the two halves. Sprinkling salt or smearing crushed garlic or ash on top of the standing torso is fatal to the creature. The upper torso then would not be able to rejoin and will die at daybreak. The name of the creature originates from an expression used for a severed torso: Manananggal comes from the Tagalog, tanggal (cognate of Malay tanggal) which means to remove or to separate. Manananggal then means the one who separates itself from its lower body.
Superstition says that an Aswang can be revealed by using a bottle of a special oil extracted from boiled and decanted coconut meat and mixed with certain plant stems upon which special prayers were said. When an Aswang comes near or walks outside the house at night, the oil is supposed to boil (or froth into bubbles) and continue boiling until the aswang leaves the area.
A Buntot Pagi, a stingray’s tail, is also a very effective weapon against such beings, if one is brave enough to face the Aswang in combat, a shiny sword made of sterling silver or an image of an old crone (a grandmother’s) would effectively dispel their presence according to local folklore. The myth of silver weapons dispelling evil creatures is probably taken from western mythology.
In the case of the Agitot type of Aswang, freshly drawn seminal fluids thrown or whisked at the creature is said to distract it from attacking as it will lap up the precious fluids before pursuing its intended victim.
Throwing salt at Aswangs is said to cause their skin to burn due. This belief may stem from the purifying powers attributed to salt crystals by various traditions of witchcraft.
Sigbin is a creature is said to come out at night to suck the blood of victims from their shadows. The creature walks backward with its head lowered between its hind legs. It resembles a hornless goat, emits a very nauseating smell and possess a pair of very large ears which are capable of clapping like a pair of hands.It is also claimed to issue forth from its lair during Holy Week, looking for children that it will kill for the heart, which is made into an amulet.
It is also believed that there are families known as Sigbinan (“those who own Sigbin“), who possess the power to command them. The aswang is said to keep it as a pet, along with another mythical creature, a bird known as the Wakwak.The sigbin is said to bring wealth and luck to its owners. There are many sigbin roaming in Visayas and Mindanao, which mostly owned by witch doctors, according to many who had encountered it, it provide witch doctors with healing powers and mystical oils that can cure illness. In 2000, there was a hunt for sigbin in Central Visayas and Mindanao, they said it’s oil can cure AIDS and other harmful diseases. But sigbin is hard to find and when you ask a witch doctor, he surely answers you with “I dont know how it looks like!”
In the Eastern Visayas they are also known as the Amamayong.
There is speculation that the legend may be based on sightings of an actual animal species that is rarely seen; based on the description of the sigbin in popular literature, the animal species might be related to the kangaroo. With the recent discovery in the island of Borneo of the cat-fox,a potential new species of carnivore described as having hind legs that are lower than its front legs, the animal species that is the possible basis of the legend as well as the reported sightings of sigbin may belong to or is related to the cat-fox species.