Aswang is an umbrella term for various shape-shifting evil creatures in Filipino folklore, such as vampires, ghouls, witches, viscera suckers, and werebeasts. The Aswang is the subject of a wide variety of myths, stories, arts, and films, as it is well-known throughout the Philippines.
Aswangs commonly dwell at night in locations such as cemeteries and woods, as their powers are significantly, or sometimes totally, reduced during the daytime. However, despite being described as wild monsters that often live in the wilderness and outskirts of society, aswangs are also described as creatures that are capable of living within close proximity of or even within the confines of a village, leading to several reports of aswang attacks within large, populated towns and cities. Their ability to adapt and live within the urban and rural environments populated by humans while still maintaining their feral, monstrous nature is cited as a feature that distinguishes aswangs from most other monsters.Aswangs also generally have a fear of light. Wakes were often brightly lit to ensure that aswang would not come to the funeral to steal and devour the corpse. They also have a disdain for noise, but rare occasions describe aswangs attending noisy parties.
Aswangs are traditionally described as one-dimensional monsters and inherently evil by nature with no explicable motives beyond harming and devouring other creatures. Their overtly evil behaviour may be described as an inversion of traditional Filipino values. Traditional aswangs have no bias when selecting their prey and will not hesitate to target their own kin: an inversion of the traditional Filipino value of strong kinship and family closeness. Aswangs are described to be unclean and favor raw human meat to contrast the value of cleanliness and the cooked, spiced, and flavourful food found in traditional Filipino culture. The aswangs are also often described to be lewd in behaviour, with female aswangs often exposing their genitals to contrast values of traditional modesty.
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