Inspired by Misty of Book Rat's Helluva Halloween Spotlight On: Shapeshifters
-and this post is also part of my Helluva Halloween challenge
Wak-Wak aka Aswang
To my ears these names are funny. ooo, beware of the attack of the wak-wak. tee-hee.
Upon a little reading about shapeshifters at Wikipedia, I discovered the Aswang. Fascinating!
Being of the Filipino descent but born and raised in America, I grew up more American than Flip. Never knew the folktales and legends of the Philippines so these creatures are totally new to me.
The aswang is a supernatural creature who looks like a beautiful human by day but develops wings and a taste for blood by night. An aswang has a long, slithering tongue, which it inserts into the victim's throat, draining its blood until it becomes full. It appears bloated, as if pregnant, after feeding. -excerpt from Suwarnabumi
Eeek! that slithering tongue!
Philippine folklore includes aswang, a cannibal capable of transforming itself to either a huge black dog or a black boar to stalk human beings at night. The folklore also mentions other beings, i.e., Kapre, Tikbalang, and Engkanto, that change their appearance to woo beautiful maidens. Also, talismans, called "anting-anting" or "birtud" in the local dialect, can have the power to give its owner the ability to shapeshift.
The Aswang Inquiry
by Frank Lynch, S. J.
I have to see if I can procure this book somewhere. There is an interesting review of it here.
According to Lynch, folks are afraid of the aswang "because of its craving for human flesh and blood." Despite the ostracism faced by people who are suspected of being aswangs, many still choose to learn to become one because they "can get anything they want. They take many long trips withou being noticed. They pay nothing because they fly on their own. And they have power over their enemies."
A bit confusing eh? These shapeshifters are pretty versatile. I'll have to read more about them and do another post on them.