Filipino Aswang Myth


Informant: This is Aswang, which was, like, an imp-like creature that takes the form of a baby. Like, a lot of peoples call it, like, a demon-baby. Basically, if you hear crying in the woods… like it’s usually found in the woods, and it’s usually making, like, a cry of a normal baby, like, it sounds stressed in order to lure in the people and try and make them get lost. And, if a person picks up the baby, he sheds his skin, like, like, like, his baby form, like, sort of like a snake and reveals his demon form and sinks his fangs into the person who picked him up.

Interviewer: Oh, so this one is very descriptive. Like, it’s very descriptive of the characteristics of like.

Informant: Yeah.


Context– The informant is a young man who immigrated from the Philippines to the U.S. at a young age. Although he is Catholic, he grew up hearing about the native folklore and mythology of the Philippines from members of his family as a way to preserve their heritage.


Analysis– The legend most likely comes from the fear of getting lost in the woods. Most likely people would get lost in the woods and be found later dead from exposure or attacked by an animal. As some animal calls can sound like babies crying, people probably assumed that those lost in the woods were lured there by such sounds in order to be attacked by some sort of demon.