Aswang is a human-eater, half-body character from the Philippine Mythology. In the morning, it looks completely like any human. But in the evening, it’s wings unleashes and goes on to haunt humans only with its upper body. Its lower body is completely hidden away. But again this is a myth. Then, why are there reports that people are being killed by Aswang?
Aswang is a character in the Philippine mythology that transforms into a human-eating monster in half-body with wings.
Ate – is a word used by Filipinos to any woman older than them.
Cool breeze met my face as soon as I alighted from the tricycle. The sky is in a mix of blue and violet and it is cold- meaning the sun has not risen yet. But the sound of roosters and townspeople outside their houses sweeping means that it is already the beginning of their day.
I guess it’s the start of my research too. I came from the main city, and I have heard reports that there are appearances of an Aswang in this area. I want to find out what I can and write about it for our paper.
I began asking at the first house on my right. Here, houses have no setbacks. They all are wall-to-wall, but they are nice houses. All the houses here have second-floors. Hence, when I asked the lady of the first house about Aswang, women, who were previously sweeping, came into where we were talking.
“Oh you should not ask here.” one woman said. I heard her voice at the back of my head, so I turned around and faced her. “Why not?” I asked.
“There are no people killed by an Aswang here. It’s always there at the end,” she said while pointing at the end of the street. “When you find a grass clearing on your left, turn right. That is where someone died a few weeks ago.” She continued. I thanked her for her information and went forward to where she pointed.
I sighed in exhaustion. No one in this street seems to want to talk to me about Aswang. They are afraid for their lives. I do not want to be skeptical but isn’t Aswang just a myth? However, I erased the thought in my head. I came here to know about Aswang and not to judge these people.
I am in my sixth house, and I noticed that it’s the smallest house I have seen from this street. Compared to where I was in the morning, all houses in this street are smaller. They do not have second floors and their houses are not coated with paint. Some are makeshifts from galvanized iron sheets. The house in front of me looks like it’s only one room, and when the door opened, my hunch was right. A circular wooden table is in the center of the house. A few feet at the back lies the sink. Then a little on the right is a door, which I assume is the comfort room.
A woman in her 40s greeted me. Before I can even respond, the woman asked, “Are you here to ask about my son?”
I got ready to disagree when I looked at her completely. Restless eyes, big build, hair tied in a ponytail, and dark crescent shadow under her eyes- this is the woman in the news, the mother of the teenager who died from the Aswang. I knew from the news that she never gave an interview. She never claimed that her son died from Aswang. Her perspective will give light to my skeptical self.
If you want to read the full short story, you can read it for free on Wattpad. My account is clearclaire, I also have other short stories written hehe. It is written in English with a few Filipino words but I made sure to define them from the start.
This idea came right from when I first watched the documentary Aswang, it is generally about War on Drugs in the Philippines. A lot of people are killed and they do not deserve to die regardless if they are innocent or not. Killing people is just inhumane. Also, with the War on Drugs, prisons are more jam-packed than ever. They should have atleast provided people deprived of liberty with decent humane spaces . But they did not.
Also, its interesting how they used Aswang (a character from the Philippine Mythology) as a metaphor for people who are killing civillians. Hence, I decided to write a short story about that.
Learn. Educate yourself. And be with the people.