The Aswang Phenomenon
Did you know that there is a mythical creature that millions of people believe to exist? What can happen in a country of 97 million inhabitants if 80% of the population were all brought up to believe in the boogeyman? This mythical creature, known as the Aswang, is a belief so ingrained in Filipino culture that the line between truth and myth can be very blurry.
Although the superstitious stories had been passed down from generation to generation for years, they became truly horrifying after Spanish colonizers “Christianized” the indigenous beliefs. The stories spoke of a being, predominantly a female, which would destroy or kill anyone that crossed its path. This creature is known as Aswang. This being can allegedly transform itself into any animal, heal itself, eat human flesh, and cast magic spells. Each person has his or her own interpretation of the Aswang but they all agree on one thing, though: the creature is the embodiment of evil.
People in the Philippines who believe in the Aswang will go as far as killing their neighbors, their pets, or even their own children if they believe them to be in any way related to or possessed by this monster. In fact, there are a number of crimes committed every year based on an acceptance in this folklore.
It is not uncommon for parents to tell their children that if they don’t do this or do that, Aswang will come in the night and eat them. So most children grow up with a subconscious fear for this evil being. In groups, children in the Philippines are outgoing and friendly, but when they’re alone, they become suspicious and cautious. This attitude is part of the collective mentality: if one child believes something, they will all soon follow.
But where did it really originate? And why is this tradition still being passed on? The documentary explores the answer to these and many other questions. Watch it now.