Monday, May 16, 2005

Half-Man, Half-Bird

Lest you think I have lost my mind, I will tell you upfront that I am in fact still sane. But my host sister told me the wildest story last night with a straight face. Some Filipinos believe in the Aswang, half-men, half-bird creatures that swoop in the dark of night and steal the fetuses of pregnant women! They also like to eat little children! Aubrey and her husband, Michael, of course assured me that we were safe -- they have the skeleton tail of a sting ray to protect us. No joke. Garlic works, too, I'm told!

Akin to our vampires, the legend of the Aswang was born in the Visayas region in the southern Philippines. According to the folklore, Aswangs have bloodshot eyes from staying up all night looking for their prey. Aubrey says they also have fangs and like to suck blood. Sound familiar? The cool thing is that they can change from animal to human form and back whenever they want so as not to be discovered. Pigs, dogs and black birds are popular disguises for the Aswang. Aubrey says she's never seen one...but claims one was flying outside her bedroom window recently! Is it time to call in Mulder and Scully?

And in case you wanted to know more about these elusive monsters, Hollywood has kindly provided a horror film called, appropriately, Aswang (1994). Check it out!


Blogger Dunc said...

In Florida USA these creatures are known as "Mosquitoes" and they can drain your blood during the summer months. An old-fashioned remedy, Dr. Tichenor's is known, in folklore, to work!

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was a kid, <5, but old enough to remember so I am thinking 3 or 4.

I saw a "bird-man". It had the head of a parrot and the body of a man, i think. I saw it twice and only the upper torso.

One time it came up behind me as I sat on a couch and then it peaked around the corner of a hallway.

I always assumed it was child hallucinations/dreamstate that I just remember as reality.

2:56 AM  

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