Believing in ghosts, vampires, and other mythical beings divides the believers from the skeptics. The existence of these out-of-this-world creatures has long been debated upon by people from different fields. However, Philippine culture has allowed the people to nurture a strong belief in the existence of powerful forces not of this earth.
In an effort to bring light to these life-long debates and also as a form of unique entertainment for Filipinos during Halloween, some well-known local TV programs like Magandang Gabi Bayan, Rated K, Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho, and others even conduct aswang documentaries to somewhat satisfy the curiosity of the viewers.
Here are some documentaries made by Magandang Gabi Bayan as they interviewed self-proclaimed aswangs in the Philippines.
What is an aswang? An aswang is one of the most horrid creatures in the Philippine folklore. It is often described as a monster that has a taste for human flesh and blood, especially those of sick people, children, and unborn babies. It can transform itself into an unusually large dog, cat, or pig to hide themselves and stalk their targeted victims, waiting for the right moment to attack.
How do you become an aswang? Here are some people who gathered their courage and finally tell the world how they become who they are.
I Want to Become an Aswang
(segment from Magandang Gabi Bayan)
A man named Andon was featured in a Halloween Special episode of Magandang Gabi Bayan (a Philippine TV show) where he told his story of how he became one of the feared upon folkloric creature in the Philippines: an aswang.
According to him, he was given an amulet with a small book containing some spells that he needs to recite. There was a mango tree in their place that was rumored to be a home to different elementals like engkantos. He decided to recite the incantations near that tree, but nothing happened. After several attempts, Andon became desperate. He eagerly studied the small book until he was able to memorize all its content and later burned it.
Read also: My First Encounter with an Aswang
One night, during a full moon, he was in the middle of reciting the incantations when he noticed his body trembling and moving on its own. Then, his head rotated in a 360 degree motion again and again. Afterward, his body began its gruesome transformation. His face and fingers stretched morbidly and his ears and tongue elongated. He had grown sharp teeth and nails and had thick black hair all over his body. The transformation was a very painful process.
According to him, after his transformation, his vision became red. Everything he saw was red in color. It was in this stage that he was able to see other unearthly creatures like the engkantos and the kapres, some of which were even pretending to be human.
He confessed that there are some instances wherein he was tempted to feed on humans, but he fought very hard to go against his urges. Whenever he felt the urge to attack, his teeth would grow sharp in a matter of seconds. He said that someone (a demon perhaps) is telling him in his head to go ahead and feed.
When his family went to Bicol, he decided to go in a prayer meeting done by a Christian group that his family is a member of. After several sessions, nothing has improved and he did not stop being an aswang. He finally decided to have a pray over for himself to finally get rid of the curse.
The Christian pastor who lead the pray over and some members of the Christian group were also interviewed. According to the pastor, during the pray over, they couldn't believe their eyes when Andon fell to the floor and had undergone his transformation to an aswang. His face changed into a beastly appearance with thick hair, long ears, sharp teeth, and long tongue coming out of his mouth.
Some members were shocked and afraid, but the group continued on with their prayers. As they continued to cast out the evil entity within Andon, Andon has levitated to about 3 feet from the ground and then slowly land back to the floor. It was this time that Andon had finally calmed down and was back to his normal self.
Andon continually attended the Christian group meetings and prayer brigade to finally be free of the devilish grasp of the aswang curse. His faith in the Lord gives him courage to move forward.
Watch the full episode below
Lured to the Aswang Curse
(segment from Umagang Kay Ganda)
An episode of Umagang Kay Ganda, a Philippine morning show broadcast, featured a woman who confessed that she is an aswang.
If Andon decided for himself to become an aswang, the opposite happened to Azon. Azon was living a simple but happy life with her family. But everything changed when she was once invited by a co-worker to a salo-salo or a feast.
According to her, among the people who were invited there, she was the only one who was served a plate of food. While eating, she suddenly felt something hard in her throat. Not knowing what it really was, she just swallowed it thinking it was alright. Three weeks later, she began acting weird, something that her younger brother "Totoy" also noticed. Azon would leave their house at night and would come back at dawn. This incident continued every night.
Until one night, Totoy heard a strange sound outside. He got out of bed and went to look out of their window. To his surprise, he saw his sister Azon walking barefoot toward a tree, and then instantly, right there and then, she turned into a huge black dog.
When Azon returned home that night, she looked pale and staring off in space. When she realized where she was, she was horrified of the blood on her face and the dirt on her clothes. Totoy helped her get cleaned and wiped the blood of her face.
According to Azon, she knew herself that she haven't killed any person during the times she wandered off at night. However, she thinks that she had feasted on some animals because they heard news of animals found dead in nearby places.
She was scared of her condition and feared that she will put her own family in danger. She fervently prays to God that there is still hope for her to be cured.
The TV show invited Harold, an albularyo or a local folk healer who claimed to be from a family of aswang, to take a look at Azon's situation. According to Harold, a newly transformed aswang can choose to eat animals at first. However, if the appetite can't be controlled, the aswang will start to feed on human flesh.
Azon wanted to be cured from being an aswang so she agreed to go under an aswang curing ritual performed by Harold. He casted an incantation to a glass of water mixed in with blue tawas or alum powder. Azon drank the water and after a while she vomited a black stone believed to be a mutya or a charm that caused her to become an aswang.
According to Father Francis, a Catholic priest, if what happened to Azon is true, that is the work of evil. He said that the Church does not state if something is true or not. What the Church teaches is that "The Lord is the most powerful among all." The term aswang has many definitions, but what we can say is that it performs evil deeds.
Azon hopes to finally be free of the curse that is haunting her for a long time.
The Church strongly advice that the most powerful weapon against the devil and any form of evil is our faith in the all mighty Lord.
Watch the full episode below
Magandang Gabi Bayan. (Oct 31, 2014). Totoong Aswang: Magandang Gabi Bayan [Video file\. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M38vuCodPLU
Umagang Kay Ganda. (Oct 24, 2016). UKG: Babae, naging aswang umano [Video file\. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9m2WZHWW4FE