Philippine Folklore Comes to Life!

Creepy story.  One night Jessie said she heard a bird in the attic.  I heard a thump but wasn’t really paying attention.  I thought little more of it but it remained on Jessie’s mind.  She mentioned it the next day, I said it was probably a snake.  She said snakes don’t chirp like a bird.

The next night I went out side and heard a thumping above my head.  When I looked up this freaky looking bird flew off out into the night.  It looked like a bat but the body wasn’t right.  I asked myself what was that.  That didn’t look quite right.  Was it a bird or a bat?  I wasn’t all sure and was a little freaked out about it over my head like that.  Lots of bats here, see them virtually every time I go outside at night.  Still there was something odd about this encounter that I didn’t quite understand but dismissed as my being silly.

The next night, Jessie yelled out something in her native tongue of Waray-waray.   I asked her what she was yelling about and she said she told it to go away.  I asked what and she said she heard chirping again.  I said, “Oh a bird?”  She said it wasn’t a bird.  It was a monster.


I kind of snickered at that.   Then I recalled the bird and told her that I had seen a strange bird out last night.  She said it was not a bird.  I said it looked like a bird but with bat wings.  She said “That is what they do” it uses that as a “cover” or disguise. She said it was an aswang!  I asked what that was and she said its our form of a vampire.


“Aswangs” are often described as a combination of vampire and witch almost always female. They are sometimes used as a generic term applied to all types of witches, manananggals, shapeshifters, lycanthropes, and monsters. Aswang stories and definitions vary greatly from region to region and person to person, so no one particular set of characteristics are ascribed to the term

I found this picture of such a creature:



Others describe the sound they hear as a squeaking sound.  I read a story about a boy being attacked by a black dog with red eyes and they claimed to hear a squeaking sound outside their hut just before the attack.  The aswang was about to bit the boys neck when he shot the dog with a rifle.  The aswang was said to have run into the blackness of a nearby rice field and disappeared into the dark.

I tend to dismiss this kind of thing when I hear it.  The evidence is becoming stronger though.  Certainly not iron clad.  I thought it was just a confused bird.  I’ve seen that kind of thing before after all.  Still, I know that bat didn’t look like it had the body of a bat.  It had what I thought was a long beak but it clearly had bat like wings.

I guess I’m starting to become a believer.  Then I recall the crowing hen means an unmarried woman is pregnant and I wonder how they knew it was a hen that crowd.  🙂

It is at the very least, a lesson in Kultura Filipino (Filipino culture).  To see that “bird” at the same time as Jessie hears the chirping outside for a couple of nights is just a bit freaky.

I think we have ghost too. Read our ghost story at Am I living in the the Philippines with a Ghost?

I’d love to hear from Filipino and their stories regarding this creature or their experiences would be even more interesting.  Let me hear from you, come educate the crazy kano.


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Filed under: Filipino CultureLiving In The Philippines

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