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Monday, October 25, 2010

an aswang in CSI

Wherein Dr. Raymond Langston (Laurence Fishburne) defines as "aswang" as "a half-breed, half-vampire, half-werewolf".

Which is how a foreigner would probably describe an aswang based on how it's been depicted in our movies, TV shows, and comics.

From the little that I've read, the creatures with the most defined and consistent descriptions have been the manananggal, the tikbalang, the kapre, the duwende, and the nuno. When it comes to describing what an aswang looks like, that's when it starts to vary. As mentioned in Wikipedia: "Aswang stories and definitions vary greatly from region to region and person to person, so no one particular set of characteristics can be ascribed to the term."

Which is probably why, whenever aswang are shown, they range from vampiric looking creatures to demonic looking ones. Interesting how there is no one single, consistent description of what an aswang looks like.


Neil Ryan said...

thanks for the post...

So I guess the best description is a shapeshifter, since that's the only common power-set from all descriptions.

Duy Tano said...

There are so many ways the aswang is depicted that I'm just going to say that it's our local word for "demon." So it's a general term, and the manananggals, kapres, half-breeds, etc. all fall under it. Yeeeeah.

Gab Madrid said...

Maybe "aswang" is used as a general classification. So under the category aswang, there's the manananggal, the tikbalang, the kapre, the duwende, the nuno, etc.

Cynthia said...

The kapres, tikbalangs and duwendes are elementals who maintain the same form regardless of time and dimension. Nor do these creatures eat human organs and fetuses for sustenance. So I would classify them as engkantos, not aswangs.