The Aswang (æ·swang) is a flesh-eating, shapeshifting monster. During the day, Aswangs appear as regular townspeople, though they may be observed by others to have reclusive habits or magical abilities. At night, Aswangs shift into eerie predatory forms and go hunting for human prey, preferring to feast on children and pregnant women above all else. They mostly prey on unborn children. They use their proboscis-like tongue, rather than sharpened teeth to prey on children and pregnant mothers. Aswangs are Filipino folklores, there are different types of aswangs, like the manananggals. They can shapeshift into different things, but they are mostly women during the daytime and animals at night. Their scariest ability is that they blend in with humans. They act like normal regular people. They are shy, but they can also have friends, family, and they can have jobs as well. During the night, the aswang splits their body, the upper body grows wings, while the other half is stationary. The only way to kill an aswang is to rub garlic on their lower torso or to use a certain cigarette ash. You can also kill them during the day by using albularyos oil, a special type of oil made of coconuts and holy plants. They are also known to have connections to witchcraft, they had magical powers during the day. What makes them monsters? Which one is scarier, the one from Tik Tik The Aswang Chronicles or the one from Wagas: Mananangaals?
In thesis two: The Monster Always Escapes, an aswang can easily escape because their lower body is hard to find when hunting the monster. Even if you kill an aswang, there is always another one that is roaming around you or other places. “Each time the grave opens and the unquiet slumberer strides forth (“com from the dead. / Come back to tell you all”), the message proclaimed is transformed by the air that gives its speaker new life” (Cohen 5). This quote is telling us that even we try to kill it, there will always be another one waiting to prey on us. It will always come back even if someone goes hunting for them. You can lessen them by doing a witch hunt, during the day and the night. The way to kill them during the day is harder because they do not transform, and you can only detect them by looking into their eyes. They say if you see your reflection in their eyes and it is upside down, that means you are looking and perhaps talking to an aswang.
In thesis three: The Monster Is the Harbinger of Category Crisis, it talks about how “the monster escapes because it refuses easy categorization” (Cohen 6). The aswang can turn into different kinds of animals and there are different types of aswangs as well. They mostly shape shift into a dog, pig, a large bird and while zegben, their companion, can sometimes take the form of a Tasmanian devil. Aswangs shapeshift during the night to something that is better suited for hunting its prey. They can also transform their appearance of other objects and also turn plants into a doppelganger of one its victims, in order to hide their feeding habits. The plants can also replace the corpses that the aswangs feed on. The doppelganger can also replace a living person by returning to the victim’s home and acting as them, they will end up getting sick and eventually dying. They always appear at funeral wakes and when they hunt their prey, they are waiting at the bedside of a pregnant woman.
In thesis four: The Monster Dwells at the Gates of Difference, there is a quote “Any kind of alterity can be inscribed across (constructed through) the monstrous body, but for the most monstrous difference tends to be cultural, political, racial, economic, sexual” (Cohen 7). Aswangs are mostly female and they use their charms to attract their victims. They befriend pregnant women so they can prey on them. The aswangs can also be economic because many people in the Philippines are poor and will most likely befriend people who are somewhat rich or are financially stable. It seems shallow but, the way the aswangs can lure the pregnant women is by showering them with gifts for their unborn child.
In Monster Thesis Five: The Monster Polices the Borders of the Possible there is a quote, “The monster prevents mobility (intellectual, geographic, or sexual), delimiting the social spaces through which private bodies may move. To step outside this official geography is to risk attack by some monstrous border patrol or(worse) to become monstrous oneself. It fits the Aswang because as a pregnant woman in the Philippines, it is hard to be alone by yourself at night. The houses in the Philippines are also poorly made and have many openings for the Aswang to enter, especially small cracks that will fit their tongue that will suck the blood or the fetus out of the mother. Pregnant women in the Philippines were never allowed to go out late at night by themselves and are accompanied by their significant other during the whole night. It also applies to the children who want to play outside at night. They have to be guarded at night, or at least stay in sight of their parents. The Aswang keeps us from doing night activities, because during the night that is when it is active and hunting for their prey.
The Aswang from the movie “Tik Tik The Aswang Chronicles”, the monster is seen as a male whose body does not split in half and did not have the tongue that can suck out the blood or fetus from inside the pregnant woman. That Aswang was not very scary because it was not the traditional Aswang that first appeared on the shows. It looked more of like a monster that crawled on all four and the skin was completely greyish white. In the television show version of the Aswang, it was the real deal. It looked like the ones that Filipino parents and elders told us about the terrifying monster that preyed on children and pregnant women. There is a scene in the episode where we see the Aswang transforming into the monster after rubbing a certain oil all over her body. She grew wings and severed her torso from her bottom which made it vulnerable for hunters to find and kill. That version of the Aswang is the one that will terrify everyone Filipino who was told about this folklore.
“Aswang – Mythical Creature From Philippine | Mythology.Net”. Mythology.Net, 2019, https://mythology.net/monsters/aswang/. Accessed 24 July 2019. This article helps me with my monster because it broke down the basics of what an Aswang is and had more information.
Cohen, Jeffrey Jerome. “Monster Culture: Seven Theses.” From Monster Theory: Reading Culture. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996. 3-25. This article talks about all seven monster theories and gives examples, as well as quotations. This source is credible, because we as a class have been discussing. This will help me with my essay by helping me understand what my “monster” belongs to what thesis or theses.
“Wagas: Married Couple Elopes To A Place Where ‘Manananggal’ Exists”. GMA Network, 2019. This film is about how a young eloped couple into a unknown place that had something sinister waiting for them and they unborn baby. This will help me by comparing this Aswang to another one.
Wikipedia contributors. “Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 19 Mar. 2019. Web. 25 Jul. 2019. In this movie, an ill-mannered playboy wanted to make amends with his pregnant girlfriend, and how he now has to protect her from the monsters who are after his unborn child. This will help my monster by comparing this movie to another show about the same monster.