The Aswang is one of the most fearsome monsters in the Philippines. This monster is very popular in the Western Visayan area, but the definition and stories vary from region to region. One of the cities with more population of these monsters, is believed to be the city of Antipolo in Luzon.


This monster is a shape-shifter, by day they appear as humans, usually they are really quiet and shy people, also have a job that is related to meat, such as butchers or making sausages. At night they can take the shape of various animals or take their true form.

The original definition of Aswang is Eater of Dead, and the name is applied also to witches, vampires, manananggals and shape shifters. They are usually portrayed as an ugly monster with wings which they flap loudly when is far away and quietly as they come closer.

When they are in their human form, you can identifying, just look at their eyes, they are bloodshot, and the reflection in them would appear inverted. They are also know for taking any chance to break into funeral homes to steal corpses, replacing them with bananas trunks.

But these monsters not only steal corpses, but also living people. When they kidnap a victim, they create a replica of the person using banana stalks and talahib grass, once the replica gets home, it gets sicks and dies after some days.

They need to eat every full moon, they like to eat the livers and heart of people, but they are better know for drink human blood and eat the unborn fetus from pregnant women.

When they know of a pregnancy, at night they would land on the roof of the pregnant woman's home, and trying to remain undiscovered, dig a hole to get inside, once they are close they use their razor-sharp teeth and their tongue that can stretch out as a thin wire, drink the blood and eat the fetus through the mother's belly button, this is why still in some regions, there are neighborhoods patrols in front of pregnant women's home.

The Aswang are consider to be female, and using an ointment based on the fat of a baby. Some walk with their feet facing backwards and their toenails reversed, and they are so thin that they can hide behind bamboo posts.

The male version of the monster take the form of board headed creatures and use the board to rend their victims. As humans they have dark complexion and have lots of hair. Usually they attack young children that like to wander too far from home.

Another two types of Aswang are the Tik-Tik, that turns into a bat or birds, looking for pregnant women, and the Wak-Wak, who changes into a bird, leaving the lower part of their body behind and makes a wuckwuck sound.

These monsters are fear also because they like to trick people into eating human blood or the liver of their own kind. This is why people don't eat liver, but if they do, they add calamansi juice, to show the true texture of the meat.

To destroy them, you need to destroy their hearts, also they avoid calamansi, salt, garlic, charcoal and coconut stick. And if you go to a different region, bring a bottle of oil with you, if the oil boils inside the bottle, it means there might be one of these monster around.

Even in these days, mothers tell stories about the Aswang to keep their kids off the streets at nights. And in most stories featured on tabloids related to kidnapped children, grave robberies or bizarre incidents, the monster is blamed.

Return From the Aswang Myth To Philippine Myths Page

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