Aswang: A shapeshifting evil spirit that is popular in Filipino culture. It is a combination of a vampire, a ghoul, a witch, and a werebeast.
This story takes place in the Philippines in the late 1970’s. My mother gave birth to my oldest brother. Months go by and my brother learns to walk. She wants to visit her friends so that they can all witness him walk all on his own. My father was serving in the US military at that time, he was on duty this day.
My mother and brother leave their house by Jeepney to visit one of her friends a few miles away. My mother’s side of the family is well known in her town, when they board the jeepney, the driver greets her by name and congratulates her for having a baby. It is a cheerful day for my mother.
They get to her friend’s house and it just so happens that other friends are there too, all greeting her and showing love. They’re having a great time, but as you know, time flies when you’re having fun. The sun is about to set soon and she tells them she needs to get back home. They board the last jeepney run of the day, and it’s the same driver as earlier. Eerily, they’re the only ones on the Jeepney, even the driver is somewhat puzzled. To break the silence they start conversing, then they all hear a few popping noises from the front of the jeepney, then the motor shuts off. It is really odd because the driver states he keeps his jeepney up to date on maintenance and he just had it serviced the other day. Luckily, my mother and brother aren’t far from their home. With my mother knowing everyone in her town, she feels safe walking the rest of the way. There’s a little bit of sun still showing on the horizon and it should be enough light to get them home without being left in the dark.
That evening was different according to my mother. It was as if everyone went inside earlier than usual. She felt an unpleasant vibe over her. She feels she’s just freaking herself out and starts to think of something else to get her mind off of fear, suddenly out of nowhere she hears snorting. She grabs my brother’s hand and looks around, nothing. Continuing on their path she hears it again, it sounds like a pig. She’s not so scared anymore because she knows there’s a lot of pigs around that area. Feeling relieved she keeps walking and sees a landmark; a church, signifying they’re almost home, but then she hears the pig once more but louder and closer. She turns around and sees a large black pig, the biggest she has ever seen in her life. She stops in her tracks and stares at it intensively. The pig stops as well and stares right back, she never witnessed a pig behave like that before. Scared, she grabs my brother and begins to walk faster. The pig starts following them. They zig zag back and forth, crossing streets, but the pig continues to follow them. Finally, they maneuver in between some buildings to try to lose the pig, success. Giving a sigh of relief, she takes one more peek over shoulder to make sure it is gone, and she screams. The pig comes walking around a corner of a building sideways, the same way a crab walks sideways. She picks up my brother and runs screaming for help. She can hear the pig snorting and getting closer and closer. She sees the church in the distance and darts towards that direction screaming in fear. The people of the church hears her and she tries to signal to them that something is chasing her. The priests runs toward their direction. Just as she’s trying to point and yell at what is chasing her, she turns to point and sees a very fast blurry object shoot up into the sky a few yards behind her, and the pig is nowhere in sight. By this time they’re at the entrance of the church and the priests are at their side. Shaken in fear she tries to make out the words to describe what happened. Out of breath, my mother manages to say “It chased us… Then it shot up into the sky…”
The priests look at her, then at each other. They all do a prayer and bring my mother and brother into the church. After she calmed down and comforted my brother from all the crying, she contacted my father who is already at the house worried about them. My father drives to the church and hugs them. They all discuss what she experienced, and even the priests explained how they also saw something blurry “fly” up into the sky very fast, but that’s all they saw, none of them saw a pig. My mom, being exhausted and still shaken in fear, tells my father she just wants to go home. As they are saying good-byes and thanking the priests, an old elderly priest who happen to hear everything that was going on, steps out from the shadows and grabs my father by his shoulder. The elderly priests whispers to my father “it was an aswang…”