During my stay in the Philippines, I got to know many of the residents and they shared many of their stories of cryptid creatures within the country. Probably the most feared was the Aswang. This name is a multi meaning term for all types of shape-shifters, witches, vampires, werewolves, and manananggals. My Filipino friends describe the Aswang as being a vampire-like creatures that eats the dead.
Some of the local names are “tik-tik”, “wak-wak”, “soc-soc” and “Aso ang” (The dog in Tagalog). The myths and legends of the Aswang are well known throughout the Philippines dating as far back as the 16th century. An interesting aspect of the Awang is they are usually depicted as being female.
It is very hard to describe a shape shifter, and of course there are no photos of any such type of creature. During the day an Aswang can show themselves as a village resident, but at night they can transform into pigs, dogs, birds, cats, or other known creatures. They are silent and fast and can be as thin as a bed post. Some make noises like the clicking of a clock thus the name “Tik-Tik”. One method of spotting a Aswang is by the blood shot eyes which are caused by staying up all night searching for houses where bodies are laid for their wake the next morning. They intend to steal the bodies. Usually, the bodies are collected and deposited in a nest at the base of a large tree where the Aswang can hide the evidence by covering it up with leaves, and plant material.
When the Aswang appears human, it is usually the appearance of an old hag (witchy appearance). She will sometimes make a duplicate of her intended victim from a banana stock and it comes alive and goes to the home of the victim and soon becomes sick and dies. The Aswang kidnaps the victim and take them back to her lair to eat them. They are reported to prefer eating the liver first.
Almost any bizarre incident, such as kidnapped children, miscarriages, strange noises, grave robberies, and eccentric people with peculiar habits are blamed on the Aswang. It is believed by most these myths are meant to frighten children to keep them off the streets and in their homes at night. Some of the defenses against the Awang are adorning homes with garlic bulbs, holy water and other objects believed to repel Aswang.
To kill an Aswang several methods are available. Spraying it with hot sauce, or garlic will do the trick. If you have a bladed weapon, you can behead it, or if you can set it on fire. Burning it will kill it.