What is an aswang? The name aswang is derived from the word aso (sometimes asu-asuan), meaning "dog." But there are many kinds of aswang so we cannot really define aswang as one kind of creature. Here are the different kinds of aswang:

But before that, how does a normal, regular person like you or me become an aswang? Or what are the factors that may be considered to properly identify a person as an aswang? here's a rundown on how an aswang becomes an aswang...

a black chick hopped into your mouth!
you just ate food offered by a witch!
you found a plant growing upside-down in a cave!

a witch touched you


an aswang blew air

on the top of your head!



These are the kind of aswang that are notorious for being pretty women by day and flesh eaters by night. There are two kind of aswang of this variety, namely:


The wakwak or mananaggal (as known by Tagalogs) is known to rub oil on her armpits to make her wings grow, enabling her fly. Her upper body (from the waist up) detaches itself from the lower body (waist down), and with that, she flies into the night. The leaves her lower half under bed sheets, inside closets or backyards. Her most preferred place is a banana grove beacuse banana tree trunks resemble human legs. It is also said that she dances the "mambo-tambo" before she proceeds to suck the life out from her victims. Her favorite food are human entrails, sputum, and fetuses. She sucks them ouit using her long, tubular tongue. They are said to live deep in the jungle, and avoid human contact.

In the morning, they are pretty-faced, fair skinned maidens. Some of them drape their wings over tree branches to sleep, their long hair covering their faces. At night, they become monsters with red, bulging eyes, disheveled hair and long, bony, clawed fingers.


The only difference between a tiyu-an or malakat with the manananggal is that the tiyu-an stays on the ground and does not have the ability to fly. She also has long, tubular tongue that has a sharp point used for pricking her victims. She sucks blood, the heart, liver, and entrails through the tip of her tongue from sleepers every night. It is also said that her presence may be known through the "wak-wak" or "ki-kik" sound which accompanies her, made by a bird that sits on the roorf while she does harm on her victims. It is said that the tiyu-an has a stooped back because of staying undr people's houses for so long. She keeps puppies, passed on by her parents. Thse puppies never grow, they never die. They are the principals, the witch, their slave.


the amazing night pilot in action!
the tiyu-an keeps puppies that never grow up! cute, ne?
again, the tiyu-an with her pet tiktik, caught unawares with her long tongue out!
ack! my neighbor just turned into a cat!



Aswang are afraid of salt, vinegar, light, daggers, spices, and the tail of the sting ray. If salt and vinegar are sprinkled over the cut area of the detached lower body, she will not be able to put herself back together again, and she will die. One should also have three big stones and three big nails in one hand. These should be arranged in a circle, like a stove. And when the creature comes, one should start reciting the Apostles creed. When it comes to part where Christ was being nailed to cross, one should pick up the stones and drive a nail into the ground. The manananggal will come down and perch on the stones, where it can be killed.

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Known to be the true aswang, the weredog resemble ordinary people by day but transform into hideous, man-eating monsters by night. This power of transformation, called salipdanan enables them to change into huge cats, dogs, or hogs. they pierce their victim's neck with their long, sharp fangs then proceed to eat them raw. It is also said that an ailing aswang will not die util its attacker (who has let him escape)visits his home. If he has been wounded while in animal form, the same wounds inflicted on him will appear on his human form, which he can heal with his sticky saliva. Weredogs are called kiwig in Aklan, segben in Samar, and malakat in the Visayas.


The weredog are afraid of sour food and spices, the thick smoke from burning things, and knives hanging between floor slats. It also fears people with loose, long hair. Women who travel at night must wear their hair long and loose. They should also carry garlic, onion, ginger, and some lemons. This will keep the creatures away.

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The evil-eye witch does not eat human flesh. They instead cast spells, make people sick. She inflicts harm onto those displeased her or those whom she envies. Witches' eyeballs are long, thin, and narrow like a cat's or lizards'. And when you look into their eyes, the image you will see of yourself is inverted. They are normally shy and live in little huts in the outskirts of the village.


In the Visayas, a mambabarang (Bikolano) or barangan (Eastern Visayas) is witch who uses insects to do her bidding. She trains beetles, cockroaches, locusts and moths to enter people's bodies make them ill or die. She keeps these insects in a bamboo tube when not needed and sends them off at night to attack. This will make her enemies' skin swell and burst. A person who survives their attack becomes a mambarang too.


Pale, hostile, and always cross, the Eastern Visayans call her mamumuyag. People avoid her, and she avoids them back. They speak softly when she's around, for loud noises irritate her. She gives ailment to those she hates like a twisted mouth or a painful tumor.


mangagamod in Ilocos, manananem in Pangasinan, maniniblot in Zambales. Mangkukulam among the Tagalogs and Pampangos. She goes out to harm people during full moon. She keeps a tiny doll by that can harm people by pricking it. She picks up people's footprints and roasts the earth in a clay pot which will them a fever. People avoid her. They pass on their witchcraft to their children.


Witches cannot go up on ladders with pestles across them. They fear what the weredogs fear.




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