Description: A ghoulish combination of a vampire and a werewolf.
Commonly depicted as female orientation.
Also known as - bal-bal, manananggal.
There seems to be no fixed description of the Aswang, as it is dependent on the region. Some describe it as purely a were-dog, whilst others state a ghastly looking vampire. The common theme between regions is that Aswang’s are shape-shifters. It is thought that the Aswang will live among the villagers and carry on a regular life, then at night it will morph into various creatures of nightmare.
Some are said to have a long snout that sucks the unborn babies from mothers’ wombs, and feasts on the liver and hearts of small children.
Some regions call the Aswang "Tiktik", due to the noise it makes.
Often very quick and quiet when up close to its prey, it makes more noise in the distance to confuse its potential victims.
Even in the present day the Aswang is a strongly feared creature in the Philippines. A newspaper heading dated 31st October 2013 reads - ‘Dad hacks daughter mistaken for Aswang’. Winnie Ratista from Manila mistook his mute 17 year old daughter for the Aswang after she had woken at 9pm to use the outside bathroom. He thought he was about to become a victim of the vampire like creature, so he set to defend himself and his family. He ferociously hacked at it (her) four times, before realising what he had done. As far as I can find, she survived her injuries.
Because the Aswang is said to walk among humans during daylight, they are also thought to be weaker at this time. Their defences are low, making them vulnerable. They do not to attack their neighbours unless their identity is exposed, then they will ruthlessly kill. The Aswang is apparently afraid of, and/or avoids calamansi (citrus fruit), the case of a bullet, salt, garlic, charcoal, coconut stick and a bamboo broom.
The only way to identify the Aswang during the day is to look into their eyes. If your reflection in their eyes is upside down, you are standing face to face with an Aswang.
Put together by Ashley Hall 2014