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Difference and Similarities of Aswangs and Vampires

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  • Category: Women

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I had never encountered such creatures in person, but it seems that I have a lot of ideas of what they look like and what they are capable of. I have seen them in different movies and each of them differs from the others. Some vampires would die under the sun so they only come out at night while others would glitter under it. My mother would tell me that aswangs feed on babies in their mothers’ wombs but some movies I have seen kills babies inside their mothers’ wombs. According to the stories I have heard and the movies I have watched, I conceptualize vampires as creatures with pale skin and sharp fangs and aswangs as silent and merciless creatures. Aswangs are soundless and merciless because they watch over pregnant women nurture their baby then kill then just kill the babies after they have been delivered. These creatures came from myths and legends but others would say that they have seen one or they have encountered such creatures. Aswangs and vampires truly are popular among as that even though we have not seen any we seem to know what it looks like and what it does. Just as what Tan wrote in his essay Dragons Among Us, people have a “boundless imagination.”

The Aswangs, as I know, originated in the Philippines. According to Tan’s essay ‘Aswang, Aswang!’, “Aswang is like a hybrid of Dracula and a local preternatural creature, the manananggal, which flies around with half a body.” Most of the movies I have seen even the stories I have heard from the people I know used this kind of concept of the Aswang. He also said in his essay that “urban [aswangs] are said to have a culinary preference for pregnant women and young children, again similar to the original aswang, which was said to feast on the liver and body fluids of the sick and newly deceased.” I have heard of aswangs preying on babies but eating the sick and a dead person is new to me. Aswangs are popular in rural areas.

Logically, if aswangs were to hunt in urban areas then the probability of getting killed is higher than when they are in rural areas because, people in urban areas are highly accessible to technologies and they think and act differently in an intellectual manner. Some people in rural areas would say that they have seen it or that they really exist. Manny Balbin, a man from Bulacan, believe that the series of killing of animals in his place is a scheme of the aswang. Also, in Pozzorubio, Pangasinan, the residents were afraid of the aswang because he was killing the animals which can be seen in a video. Though, the video, which was sent to GMA network, as seen by a cyber artist and a photography expert, seemed edited. So, even though people assumed that aswangs really do exist, there are still insufficient evidences that they are really true.

Vampires are the Western counterpart of Aswangs. According to Whyte in her essay Vampire, “The vampire is truly a global creature, with myths related to the dead which rise to drink the blood of the living coming out of cultures all around the world.” I do agree that vampires are a global phenomenon. Most of us would probably know what a vampire is like since there are lots of movies regarding such creatures. My assumption of the vampires, being creatures known world-wide was based on my observation. The use media had influenced the thought of the existence of vampires from the West. The recent movie Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn II is one of the perfect examples of the widely available mode of understanding vampires. Of course, some would think differently from others. Just like me, others won’t believe such creature unless we see one.

Aswangs and vampires have been a very big part of our culture. From our ancestors to the youth today, have an idea of what an aswangs and/or vampires are like. Our beliefs of these creatures make us who we are and what we stand for. So, If we believe in such creature then we could reflect our personality through them. Truly, Aswang and Vampires are very iconic that we have such limitless imaginations of what they are like.


Balbin, M. (2012). ‘aswang’ sows fear in bulacan. Retrieved from http://www.journal.com.ph/index.php/news/provincial/39367-aswang-sows-fear-in-bulacan

GMA News. http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/255254/ulatfilipino/dagupan/takot-sa-aswang-ng-ilang-residente-sa-pozorrubio-pangasinan-wala-raw-basehan. (2012,
April 17). Retrieved from http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/255254/ulatfilipino/dagupan/takot-sa-aswang-ng-ilang-residente-sa-pozorrubio-pangasinan-wala-raw-basehan

Tan, M. ‘Aswang, Aswang!’ Sunday Inquirer Magazine. Retrieved from http://showbizandstyle.inquirer.net/sim/sim/view/20081026-168528/Aswang-Aswang

Whyte, L. (2001, April 17). Retrieved from

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