The Aswang na Lupad would be one of the more modern depictions of the Aswang. As most aswangs, they apply a potion made of herbs on their body before they fly out to hunt, in the Aswang na Lupad’s case, the potion only gives them the power of flight and do not cause them to shapeshift into any monstrous form. They also exclusively hunt for fresh corpses, consuming only the liver.
The Awok or Abat is usually mistaken for another major Philippine Aswang, the Manananggal, as they both detach from their lower extremities when they go for their nightly haunts. Instead of growing bat-like wings from the back like the mananaggal, the Awok transforms it’s arms instead.
The Mansalauan is a hawk/bat-like creature with a reptilian head and monkey-like appendages. It’s main form of attack in addition to it’s claws is the creature’s long sharp tongue, which can shoot forth of it’s mouth with great speed.
Boroka or Buruka is often described as a stunningly beautiful human witch by day, and shape-shifts into a harpy-like creature when it goes out to hunt at night. Her body transforms into either a dog or a horse, she grows sharp talons, and from her back sprouts a majestic set of eagle wings. Although having a monstrous form, she retains her beautiful face and her flowing hair.
The Iqui or Ikki, has the typical characteristics of an aswang; is a normal person by day, transforms into a winged creature at night and feeds on his victim’s viscera with a proboscis-like tongue. What is curious about the Iqui is that they are mostly male, and they detach their lower legs and feet when they go into flight.
The Philippines comprises more than 7,000 islands, with people speaking about 19 languages, and 10+ major ethnic groups. It was not a surprise to learn that there are about over 200 creatures and mythical beings in Philippine folklore and mythology.
This new blog/gallery will attempt to re-interpret and illustrate the rich tapestry of Philippine folkloric beasts and monsters. I’m excited to revisit the ghouls I grew up with, and in the same time discover creatures that are just as fascinating. In addition to the illustrations, I will be more descriptive of each entry, more likely I will rant a lot. In that sense, this ‘personal’ project would prove truly be the most ‘personal’ and I apologize ahead of time.
In this illustration, I wanted to create a glimpse of a quiet evening in the 18th century Philippines. In the foreground we see a typical upper class couple in their fine baro at saya, the traditional male and female costumes. Behind them, we see a busy crowd going about their routine.