Filipino Mythology: Good and Evil go to War

In early September of this year, our team published the first article about Filipino urban legends. With respect to the previous article, we discussed a story called "The Elevator".

This particular story is known all around the Philippines, and exists in several different versions. In recent weeks, I've been reading a lot of content from the "Justice League" franchise from DC Comics. More specifically, the "New 52" story arch focuses on "beginnings" and "endings".

Some of the closest people in my life are Filipino, and they have shared a few different stories from mythology with me. Today, I will be tackling another one of the mythological stories from the Philippines, which dates back to the days of colonization.

"Fair Use"

Ghosts, Goblins, and Vampires:

Although generic, the term "Aswang" refers to shape-shifting entities from Filipino folklore. These creatures can be vampires, ghouls, and even "werebeasts". Not necessarily werewolves, but "werebeasts" usually refer to creatures transformed from dogs, cats, and even pigs.

Back in the 1500s, the Spanish colonized the Philippines. Unfortunately, this means the region experienced enslavement, as well as civil war. Following Spanish colonization, the Spanish would have encountered Filipino customs, as well as cultural beliefs. Furthermore, the colonists of the 1500s claimed the Aswang was the scariest creature from Filipino mythology. So, what purpose does this creature serve?

© The Aswang Project

Well, its primary desire is to bring harm to human beings. Stories of this creature were first transmitted through oral tradition, and records begin with the explorers from the 16th century.

Here's an original version of the story:

"Many years ago in the Bicol region of what is known today as the Philippines, the good God Gugurang reigned over the region. With his blessing, the Bicol region continued to prosper. The good God defended their homes, and protected his people at all cost. But most importantly, Gugurang protected his people from the evil God, Asuang.

Asuang was envious of Gugurang, and felt pleasure in disrupting his tasks and spheres of influence. Eventually, Asuang decided his jealousy could not be contained. Thus, the hateful creatures known as the "Aswang" were born. According to legend, this creature was born out of the sins of the people. Some say it preys on those who misbehave, the most."

What are you thoughts? Do you think this creature actually exists?

Let us know, and thanks for stopping by!

The Modernist Son, 2020-2021.

Further Reading:

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