Aswang in the Philippines

Aswang is the equivalent of any bloodsucking creatures in the Philippines.  The story about such creature started even before Pre-Spanish colonization era.

There’s a popular story in the Philippines about aswang, some says it’s real other’s says it’s just a part of their culture, a hoax, urban legend.  Some aswang stories have variations depending on the province.  But there is one story about a certain Teniente Gimo that seems to be consistent though a long time has already passed.

Teniente Gimo’s daughter was studying in a University. She invited two of her college friends to visit their province and experience the grandeur and beauty of the environment, something that a city cannot offer you.  She also added that they will be celebrating the town fiesta.  The two classmates quickly agreed to her offer since it is not that often that someone asked you to spend your summer vacation in a far away province, plus Fiesta in the Philippines are known to be colorful and lively.

They took the first trip the other day and arrived at Duenas, Iloilo that night.  Feeling tired cause of the long trip, they decided to sleep early.  But one of the girls is finding it hard to sleep, since she’s not used to spending her time on other houses, it will take time before she can adjust herself to a new house.  After sometime, she heard voices and giggles of some people down stairs.  She felt excited, they are known to be hospitable and from the sounds of the people downstairs, they are really planning to throw a big feast for the Fiesta.

She tried to peek on a small hole, there are number of women slicing and peeling veggies, men and children are having the time of their lives.  She saw a big iron cauldron, judging from its size, they are planning to cook something bigger than a goat, probably a cow.  Then she heard Teniente Gimo asking one of the men.

“Which one is it, the one in the middle or the one on the left?”

“Let’s just hack its head quickly to avoid commotion”

“Bring the others with you in case one of them would struggle”

The hair at the back of her neck stood up, they were talking about them.  She quickly returned to her sleep, she pushed the daughter of Teniente Gimo at the middle and took the right side of the bed where the daughter of Teniente Gimo used to sleep. She also wrapped each of the girls with a blanket covering them from head to toe. After that, she covered herself with the blanket and pretended that she’s sleeping.   She can clearly hear the sound of the footsteps of men walking through their directions; she tried hard not to panic.  Moments after, she heard a hack that jolted their bed.  She can feel the commotion while the men picked the body of Teniente Gimo’s daughter whom they thought was hers. 

When she was already sure that the men are no longer upstairs, she tried to wake up her friends but to no avail.  She decided to left the house in silent.   The sound of someone pounding a pound of meat resonates as she leaves the house.  She took advantage while they are busy beating the body of Teniente Gimo’s daughter. 

She ran as fast as she could, with no idea what direction she’s taking, the only thing she knew is that she had to reach the main road and ask for help.  While running for her life, she heard the sound of agony and scream, right there and then she knew that the villager are now aware that they killed the wrong person.  Moments after she heard the sound of men running through her direction, she decided to hide but she couldn’t find a good hiding place.  Then she noticed a not so tall tree.  She immediately climbed the tree and hide on its bushes.  The men searching for her passed her location, they could’ve seen her if only one of them looked up, but thank god no one did.   Then after a few minutes they came back, tired and hungry, these time they did not passed under that tree.  She decided to wait until dawn thinking that if they are busy partying all night, they would probably be dead tired by now or sleeping.

It was not clear how she found a help that day, but accounts told that she managed to return to her home.  Unfortunately, her state of mind was affected due to the incident.  She was admitted to a mental institution right after.  As for Teniente Gimo, legends says that he was so furious, the image of his dead daughter devastated him so he decided to pack his bags and move to other place.

Last April 9, 2014.  An old lady suspected to be an aswang was killed in Capiz.  She was hacked to death by her daughter in law and two sons.  They removed her organs to prevent her from regenerating.  Capiz, a place in the Philippines believed to be infested by Aswang is only a few miles away from where the story allegedly happened.


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