Over the last 400 years, the ‘aswang’ has come to represent everything that is ‘vile, disgusting and evil in Philippine society’. It has become the most controversial, and popular, creature in Philippine Mythology and is the main subject in hundreds of movies, television programs, comics, and books. The aswang can appear in many forms- a young woman, a witch, a large black pig or dog, a corpse stealing ghoul, or the Manananggal – a self segmenting beast with a long hollow tongue that will feed on the fetus of pregnant woman.
Where did this word come from? Why are there so many different types of aswang? Why are they predominantly women? And why is the small Visayan province of Capiz suspected as their home? High Banks Entertainment Ltd. sets out to find the answers. His journey explores folk stories in pre-Spanish Philippines – re-created in animated sequences by Denver Jackson. He uncovers historical tales of social control and black propaganda by Spanish Colonizers, the Catholic Church, the Philippine Administration, and even the CIA – who all used the stories of ‘aswang’ for their own agenda.
The Aswang Phenomenon is the first in-depth documentary regarding the aswang myth – discovering where manifestations of the creature came from and how they evolved and embedded themselves in Filipino society. Learn how Filipinos have been transformed by the myth and are now evolving the aswang to fit into their developing cultural identity.
“Understanding where the ‘aswang’ came from is the first step in taking away its power and the fear it creates.”
Jeremy Scahill is one of the best reporters in the United States. He is the founding editor of The Intercept, an online news publication, and author of some of the best US mi...