Sunday, March 31, 2013

Aswang in Panay Island

Panay Island consisted the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz and Iloilo. The famous Aswang was said to be living in this part of the archipelago. Capiz was known for the flying vampires - manananggal, and Maria Labo was said to originate from this province. While in Iloilo, Tiniente Gimo is popular. Aklan and Antique was also known with this vampiric creatures. People living there, especially in Capiz, were superstitious. They even still put garlic, or anything that can repel these notorious creatures, on there doors or windows.

Ilonggos were famous with their soft dialect. They even say, when Ilonggos were angry, instead of yelling at you, they seemed not, as if they're talking to you normally. So how did these soft spoken people became renowned of scary beings? Well, at day, aswangs look simple, friendly and kind, opposite to what they were at night. Do you think they were just disguising? Hiding something inside? I'm afraid its not the reason why.

Encounter Stories

The Aswang Family
by: Pitbuller

This particular story happened when my mother was still in college. My mom was invited by one of her college roommates to spend their vacation at her house near a beach.

It was a typical but nice two-level house in the province. Made of nipa, it was quite spacious with a nice deck on the upper level. The bedrooms of course were located on the second floor and to get to bathroom, you had to cross all the way to the other side of the second floor.

When they arrived at her friend's house, my mom noticed that her friend's parents looked sick. They were both lying on the bed and they barely moved as if they really looked like they only had a few days to live. My mom politely greeted them and then she and her friend went to their room. She freshened up at the bathroom and then she unpacked her things. What was weird was, at a dusk, she saw her friend's parents walking along the coastline. My mom was of course stunned because she was sure that they really looked weak and sick when she first saw the couple a few hours ago. So she asked her friend if it was okay for her parents to be out like that. But her friend simply said that her parents were just getting some fresh air outside.

According to my momm what was puzzling was, the couple actually looked so much more energetic than they were a few hours ago.

So after dinner, my mom and her friend decided to go to bed. They went up to their rooms on the second floor and began to sleep. Sometime during the night or early morning, my mom suddenly woke up with the urge to go to the bathroom. She decided to not wake her friend up and proceed to go to the bathroom herself. Indeed it was so dark so my mom got her flashlight and began to slowly walk towards the bathroom. And to get to the bathroom, she had to pass by the room of her friend's parents. My mom noticed that the door was slightly opened. She peeked inside and what she saw truly frightened her.

The old couple was nowhere to be seen. Their window was opened and my mom was positive that the room was empty because of the moonlight passing through the windows. Though my mom was frightened, she still went to the bathroom to relieve herself then made her way back to their room and slept.

The next day my mom was still pretty shaken up but decided no to let them know how she felt. She was, of course, having her doubts already about her friend's family.

At breakfast, she saw that her friend's parents looked sick and pale again, as if they have a terminal disease in their bodies. Her friend's mother slowly stood up and went to the kitchen. She opened a cupboard and got a small pot inside it that was covered with a white cloth. Then she scooped out some of the contents to a small plate and slowly placed the pot back inside the cupboard.

She then offered my mom the contents of it at the dining table. When my mother looked at the plate, what she saw made stomach turn! They looked white intestines or some type of meat. Politely, my mom asked the woman what the food was, but the woman simply said that it was just an ulam (dish) and that my mom should try it.

However, she turned down the offer and went straight to her room to pack her things. She said goodbye to her friend, with an excuse that she needed to go home quickly. My mom waited for passing bus and got on it. On the way home, the bus conductor asked my mom, Galing ka ba doon sa bahay nina ******? my mom said yes and told her strange experience in that house to the conductor. Then the conductor said that the family that my mom visited was well known around the area as ferocious Aswangs.

My mom was of course totally frightened with conductor's revelation.

When she got home finally, my grandmother was really angry at her, and scolded her for going to such place without my grandma's permission.

It is common knowledge in our province in Iloilo that aswnags will offer one human flesh if they would like him or her to turn you into aswang. Probably her friend's parents were fond of my mom so they had attempted to turn her into like one of them. And I'm so happy that my mom was able to escape that creepy family.

The story above is a good example of kinds and themes of stories about the Aswangs in Panay. They mainly focus on the experiences of people who were not familiar of villages in Panay. That, for example, a visitor from the city together with his friend went to his family for a vacation. However, the family turns to be a clan of Aswang. Tiniente Gimo's story is the best example of this kind of tales.


Most of the popular tabloid stories are about mysterious things, and one of their main settings was the island of Panay. They often focus on issues which brought fears in the hearts of people. Whenever they hear the place Panay, they would likely conclude that this is the home of Aswang. Not only tabloid stories contribute the fear, but also those published books about them (like that one above), and tales that are passed on by generations to generations.

This belief of Filipinos about Panay Island brought its place as one of the famous and undying urban legends in the Philippines. If this will persist and no one will create conclusions to disprove the existence of Aswang, discriminations and fear will always dwell in everyone's hearts. But I think, beliefs for this monsters will never be destroyed, it will just change.

Me, myself, don't even know if this monster do exist. My parents and grandparents often tell me they were true, that if God, angels, and demons are real, so do Aswangs are.

See Also:
  • Tiniente Gimo (under Conclusions)

  • Source:
    True Philippine Ghost Stories. PSICOM Publishing Inc.

    Tiniente Gimo, the First Aswang

    Why did I forgot this famous tale from Iloilo? It was so long since I started my blog, but then I forgot to make an article about Tiniente Gimo. I heard about him in my childhood days, of course, from my grand parents.

    Who is Tiniente Gimo

    He was called Tiniente (Spanish word which means Lieutenant) because he was actually a Tiniente del Barrio, or what Filipinos, in the present day, refer as the Barangay Chairman, of Dueñas in Iloilo. He may also be a leader of the family of Aswang from which he acquired the title.

    Because of the legend about him, many stories made him a antagonist as the blood-sucking villain, a leader of a group and/or clan of Aswangs. Perhaps, the effect of this tales created a bad image to every people, and versions of his story was created.

    Actually, there were stories from internet that tell about the experience of their grandparents in his village, that they were certain they were ghoul-vampires, and many more.

    The Story

    One of the teniente's daughters studied in a university in the city. During a break, this daughter invited two of her classmates to come to her hometown for a visit. The young ladies agreed, excited at the prospect of going to a town they had never visited before.

    They were greeted with enthusiasm by the teniente's family and as was customary in the Philippines, a small party was prepared. The lady visitors were fed and entertained. As the night grew deeper, one of the young ladies asked (let's call her Juana) what the sleeping arrangements would be. Gimo's daughter said that the visitors would be sharing a room with her.

    And so off to bed they went. Because they were in a small town, no big beds were available so they all agreed to sleep on mats on the floor. Juana slept in the middle, tucked in between Gimo's daughter and their friend.

    The two girls soon drifted off to sleep but Juana found that tired as she was, she just couldn't bring herself to sleep. Filipinos refer to this feeling as 'namamahay', which is when your body and mind are still in the process of adjusting to a new environment and thus cannot perform a certain routine. This was what prevented Juana from sleeping. It was also what kept her alive.

    The party went on outside even as the night deepened but to Juana, instead of fading away, the noise just seemed to get a little bit louder. She heard more people coming, being greeted, there were sounds of suppressed laughter, soft giggles and whispers. "Must be the party for tomorrow," she thought. "They're really throwing a big one."

    Since she couldn't sleep anyway, Juana decided to get up and take a peek at the activities through the window. When she lifted the cover, what she saw stirred fear in her heart. On the clearing not far from the house, people were gathered together in a circle – a few women were busy cutting spices and vegetables, some men were talking and drinking while others were sharpening knives. There were children as well. And there, through the shrubs, more people were coming.

    In the middle of the circle was a fire and over the fire was a larger-than-usual iron cauldron. If these people were going to cook, they were going to cook something big – bigger than a full-grown chicken or a goat.

    Just then, Juana heard Teniente Gimo's voice just on the other side of the wall, talking to another man.

    "So which one is it?" the man asked.

    "The one in the middle and the other one's on the right," Teniente Gimo said.

    "Okay. I'll bring three or four along in case there's a struggle."

    "Let's just hit her on the head. Keep her quiet that way."


    "And bring the sack to carry her with. We'll take care of the other one."

    Juana didn't need to hear any more just to understand what the two men were discussing. The 'one in the middle' they were referring to was her! The fire and the iron cauldron, all those vegetables and spices the women were preparing, the sack… they intended to butcher her and her friend!

    Juana's survival instinct kicked in. She debated for a while on whether to wake up her friend or not but the men were coming up the stairs and if her friend woke up suddenly, there's no telling what she would say or do. They could both be in bad trouble if she delayed for another second.

    Juana hurried back to the sleeping girls on the floor, pushed Gimo's daughter towards the middle, lay on the girl's right and covered everyone's head with the wide blanket. That way, the heads were hidden underneath. She tried to calm herself to prevent from shaking. Soon the door opened slowly and noiselessly.

    Juana didn't know how many men came for Teniente Gimo's daughter that night. All she felt and heard were soft footsteps, a few whispers and a loud thud as they hit the young girl on the head. They were very quiet, as if they were used to doing what they did. They didn't even wake up her friend, who was sleeping so soundly just an arm's length away from Juana. Teniente Gimo's daughter lay moaning next to her.

    The men quickly wrapped the bleeding girl in the sack and carried her away.

    After the men had left the room, Juana got up, tried to wake her friend for the last time, failed and decided to go at it alone. She opened the window across the one facing the clearing where they were presently beating the body inside the sack and carefully but fearfully climbed down.

    As soon as her bare feet touched solid ground, Juana began to run. She didn't care where she was passing through – all she knew was that the main road was in that direction. She hadn't gotten far when she heard shouts and screams from the group. They had opened the sack and found out the terrible mistake they made.

    Enraged, Teniente Gimo cried for everyone to check the house, find the girl, THE girl they wanted, she who was supposed to be in the middle, she who was supposed to be in the sack, she who was supposed to be the one they should be prepping tonight, she whose throat they should have slit.

    Behind her, Juana heard the commotion and simply assumed that people were now climbing the stairs, opening the door to the daughter's room and finding that only one was left behind and the other had run away. It would only be a matter of time before they found out where she was headed. So Juana kept on running over the grass, the rocks, the pebbles that cut her feet, the sharp thorns of the shrubs and the slimy dead things underneath her.

    But those who were in pursuit of her were men – grown men, men taller than she, with longer legs, with strength stolen from the other men and women they had slaughtered before her poor friend. As the men with the torches began to gain on her, Juana felt panic rise from her legs to her heart, threatening to turn her legs to stone. She could never outrun these men and if she could hide, where? They probably knew this area very well and could find her easily.

    But right in front of her, a tree stood. It was tall enough but not so tall that she couldn't climb it and it looked strong, with a thick truck and even thicker leaves. Juana had no memory of how she managed to climb the tree that night but there she cowered, shaking, mouthing prayers for the Virgin to protect her, to please not let them see her, hear her, smell her.

    The voices grew nearer and so did the footfalls. Not only the men came in pursuit. There were a few women as well, some of them holding torches, some gripping a thick tree branch and others, still holding on to the knives they used to cut the onions and the tomatoes. Light from the torches illuminated the branches and the leaves of the tree as the mob passed underneath her. If one of them ever looked up…

    But no one did. The crowd of angry men and women who tried to come after her came and went. They couldn't find her. A few hours later, which seemed an eternity to Juana, they came back again, walking this time, tired and hungry, their torches fading but they came a few feet away, no longer passing under Juana's tree.

    Although the crowd had gone, Juana stayed hidden in the tree. She waited for the dark sky to turn gray and very carefully, painfully climbed down. No one was in sight and she was too far away to actually hear anything from where Teniente Gimo's hut stood. Besides, it was morning and if they did party on last night, they would be too full and tired to care today. Juana brushed the thought of her other friend, the one she left behind, away and began to run again, towards the main road.

    At this point, I no longer remember how Juana got help. Maybe she stopped a passing bus or jeepney or maybe a person with a good soul came across the fearful girl with the wild eyes. But she did get help and she did find her way home, safe and alive. She never went back to the town of Dueñas, not even to see if the tree that saved her life still stood.

    As for Teniente Gimo and his clan of aswangs, it is said that the incident devastated him. It was his own beloved daughter after all. They packed up and abbandoned their home and moved someplace else. Where he and his family are now is only whispered about and whether they are still hunting and luring human prey, it can only be guessed at. Who knows? They could be in your town.

    Another version, which is more brief than the latter, and more known by everyone:

    Tiniente Gimo's daughter Maria (not her real name) brought his two friends, Jean and Melay (not also there real names) from the city to visit her hometown and her family. They accepted them warmly and served them with foods, as if there was a celebration.

    The two loved the food and ask them what kind of dish it is. But they answered them with only a smile.

    After hours passed full of chattering, they decided to sleep. But because the house is small and there's only one room for everyone, Tiniente Gimo told Maria and her friends to sleep in the bed room, while they will sleep in the living room.

    Like other girls, when they are together, they don't sleep right away. Maria borrowed the accessories of Jean, and wear them till they went to sleep.

    Tiniente Gimo targeted Jean that night, and the only thing he could familiarize who among of them is Jean, is her necklace. However, Maria weared the necklace of Jean that time. He sneaked unto the bed room to kill her. He hit the head not knowing it was his daughter, and brought her in the kitchen. He chopped her to pieces, and cooked her in a pot.

    Tiniente Gimo discovered who he had eaten when morning came.

    No one knows what happened to Jean and Melay after that. Maybe they lived to tell the story of Tiniente Gimo.

    As you notice, both tales almost have similar flow of story. In which, there was these two women, who were friends of the daughter of Tiniente Gimo, came in the province with her for vacation or the like, and was killed by the tiniente or his whole clan. Some sources tell that they were teachers from a school, not students. Aside of it, the movie Shake, Rattle and Roll, potrayed by Manilyn Reynes, had almost the same story as above.


    Many reasonable explanations emerged about the legend of Tiniente Gimo. One is about his political career. His enemy invented a kind of story that rose people's fear.

    Another is about the kind of disease they called Dystonia de Panay (scientifically named torsion dystonia-parkinsonism), Ilonggo called it Lubag. This is a rare musco-skeletal disease found only in Panay, in which the victim will be twist involuntarily. Maybe, the appearance of them in this position made them look like an Aswang, and this might be Tiniente Gimo's disease that time. This same reason can be used to explain the Aswang.

    Last Updated: February 10, 2016


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    Maria Labo
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    Sunday, March 17, 2013

    Bloody Mary in the Philippines

    What is Bloody Mary?

    Bloody Mary is a legendary ghost or spirit conjured to reveal the future. She is said to appear in a mirror when her name is called multiple times. The Bloody Mary apparition may be benign or malevolent, depending on historic variations of the legend. The Bloody Mary appearances are mostly "witnessed" in teenage group participation games, often as part of a game of truth or dare.

    Rituals on how to perform the Bloody Mary varies as the story is being passed through other people.
    ... young women walk up a flight of stairs backwards while holding a candle and a hand mirror, in a darkened house.
    According to some accounts (from movies and ghost stories), young ladies should perform it in a dark room at night (many tells a particular time, sometimes 12 o'clock or 3 o'clock am) and go face a whole-body mirror. Then, chant Bloody Mary 13 times (some with eyes closed). After doing it, the performer will see their future husband (and skull or whole skeleton, telling you, you'll not marry before you die).

    It seemed that the ritual is like that of Snow White's mother-in-law, but there she is asking who is the fairest of them all.

    Some young girls in the Philippines perform it for the sake of knowing if they'll marry and who will they marry on the future. These originated of course outside the country. I bet someone still believe on it.


    Bloody Mary
    by: Janine

    My best friend had this neigbor who died because of a horrible experience. Her neighbor's name was Michelle (not her real name) and she grew up in Bicol. When she was ten, her family moved to Las Pinas, just two blocks away from my best friend's house. My best friend was just a baby at that time.

    When Michelle was in high school, she wasn't afraid of ghosts. When she would hear rumors, she never believed them. All she would do was laugh at them. But there was one rumor she heard that she would never forget until the day she died: the rumor of Bloody Mary. She fainted after hearing it for the first time, so her friends brought her to the school clinic. When she woke, her friends startedasking questions but the only thing she said was, "I'm not afraid of ghosts!"

    "Really?" her friends asked. They formed circle and murmured amongst each other. Then they dared Michelle to do the Bloody Mary ritual. She did it that night in her bathroom. She turned off the lights, shut the door, and said, "Bloody Mary, bloody Mary, bloody Mary." She chanted it thirteen times, louder and louder, almost to a near scream, and kept glancing at the mirror on each pass. On the thirteenth time, she looked in the mirror and saw her face bit it was all covered in blood! She touched her own face but there was no blood.

    Then something or someone knocke on the door. She thought that she might see something creepy so she didn't answer it. It knocked tem times then started banging on the door! She wondered why nobody could hear the banging and thought that the thing had killed her family! She screamed, "Leave them alone! Leave them alone!"

    The banging stopped. All of a sudden, the bathroom became red and the knocking started again. It stopped after five knocks. Michelle peeked out of the bathroom and saw something red on the ground. She stepped on it and it disappeared. She sighed and went back to bed but left the bathroom door open.

    Her mom woke back to sleep. Now it was Michelle who couldn't sleep because right in front of her just outside the bathroom was a little girl. She was drenced in blood and pleading for help. She had an ID that read "Mary Tachwrite". Michelle closed her eyes and when opened it again the apparition had disappeared.

    Two days later Michelle died of a severe heart attack. Because of what her friends did to her they all got expelled. They committed suicide because every night they saw the same thing Michelle did. Her friends all became impoverished because their parents got fired at their jobs. Michelle'd mom was their boss and she didn't appreciate what her employees' children to Michelle.

    Please pray for the lost souls of Mary and Michelle.

    Another story:

    Bloody Mary

    I studied at xxxxxxx. There was once a legend in the girl's washroom that a Bloody Mary occasionally appeared to people who called on her. One afternoon, we were really tired and went to the washroom to freshen up. Suddenly, my friend suggested that we try it. We chanted Bloody Mary thirteen times in front of the mirror. Sure enough, there it was staring right at us. We couldn't move in fright. Then we notice that it was moving out of the mirror, leaving a trail of blood behind it. All of us couldn't leave since the Bloody Mary was blocking the doorway. Then suddenly, all of us screamed at the top of our lungs trying to get away. Since I was in the lead, I was so scared. And then (I don't know why), I just screamed and ran through the ghost. All the boys were at the opposite side were wondering why we were screaming and then I accidentally ran into them, with all the girl's behind me and I scrambled up and ran to the principal's office. All of the boys were worried so they checked it out. Then we just heard them running towards us. We all vowed never to come into that washroom again!

    Also visit this article: May Day Eve.

    Last Updated: November 26, 2014
    True Philippine Ghost Stories. PSICOM Publishing Inc.