Some monsters exist in our nightmares. There are also those who walk the earth with us.
In Philippine folklore, it’s widely believed that an aswang blends in with ordinary people during the day. At night, they transform into fearsome creatures and terrorize townspeople. According to Aswang Project, they feed on human liver and blood, and they also target vulnerable children.
So, how can you tell that you’re face to face with an aswang?
It’s said that they are ageless, similar to a vampire who gets their life force after sucking someone’s blood. They could be over 100 years old for all we know.
One telling feature are bloodshot eyes. Some say that a female aswang keeps her black hair long to hide her eyes.
But if you spot an aswang in the middle of their feeding, you might see blood on their lips. Run as fast as you can when that happens.
If running away doesn’t work, you can throw salt at them to stop them in their tracks. Just like any mystical creature in folklore, an aswang has an aversion to holy items, garlic, and salt.
The myth of the aswang may seem silly in modern times, but there are still people who allegedly spot them in provinces (especially in Capiz). Whether you believe in them or not is up to you. Just be careful if you see a mysterious figure lurking in the shadows.
Photos by JP Talapian
Styling by Gian Gonzalez
Makeup by Ida Siasoco
Hair by Cats Del Rosario
Produced and creative direction by Tricia Guevara
Assisted by Tisha Ramirez, Jacqueline Arias, Renee San Juan, and Karla Yaya
Models: Elyssa Ramos, Moi Diego, Samoon Yousif, and Ariana Fedorova
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