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Unveiling the Aswang Chronicles

Dark Tales Passed Through Generations in Philippine Folklore

By Thelma PerezPublished 2 months ago 3 min read

The spirit world in Philippine folklore contains myths that are creepy as they are thrilling and inspiring. Of all these suspenseful folklores, the Aswang Chronicles are the most intriguing which encompass the aspects of transformations, night predators, and supernatural creatures that lurk in the dark. These oral stories going down the generations remain thrilling and frightening with elements of the mythology woven as distinctively Filipino.

The Evolution of the Aswang Chronicles

The Aswang Chronicles have roots in the multicultural setting of the Philippine Islands. These stories belong to the time when the archipelago was still unknown to European seafarers, especially before the arrival of the Spanish colonizers. The Aswang of the tribal regions were spoken of in hushed tones around flickering night fires with the air of myths and legends. The Aswang is a collective term for several types of supernatural monsters that freely roam and inhabit the Earth and the spirit world.

Whereas other movies may comprise a single narrative or have a few characters, the Aswang Chronicles are characterized by a variety of shapes, types, and behaviors of aswangs. Every place in the Philippines has its version of the aswang making it a twist as well as making the stories more fascinating. From the manananggal, a flying, vampire-like monster to the tikbalang, a half-horse, half-human monster, the Aswang Chronicles never runs out of monsters to give kids nightmares and enough stories to tell.

Aswang Folklore Remains Popular and Powerful Today

How is the Aswang Chronicles relevant in today’s society? The answer can be found in the fact that they are both universal and contemporary. These are fables, parables, and allegories, fulfilling the role of warnings, ethical lessons, and mirrors reflecting people’s concerns. For peasants, especially in the rural setting, where believing in the supernatural is not an option but a way of life, the Aswang Chronicles are not stories but realities. It must be noted that parents employ them to make children obedient and villagers use them to make something comprehensible.

Furthermore, the Aswang Chronicles also give the audience a glimpse of the attitude of Filipino society. They tell us how people organize their thinking about good and bad, the mysteries, and the other world. Similar to the other supernatural creatures that exist in different cultures as examples of folklore, the belief in the Aswang serves to bind communities together and instill common fears in the community.

Modern Interpretations and Media

The Aswang Chronicles have not stayed just in Folktale. They have made their presence in contemporary culture – movies and serials, comics, and the internet. These modern adaptations revitalize the old stories, thus presenting them in a comprehensible manner to and for the young and other non-native populating.

In making horror movies, Filipino filmmakers have incorporated the Aswang Chronicles to give a new twist to folklore horrors. Many of these films are defined by the oppositions of tradition and modernity, countryside and city, magic, and rationality. This way, they preserve the essence of the Aswang Chronicles but blend it with today’s culture and trends.

Aswang Chronicles Future

In time with the progress of the country, the Aswang Chronicles will only grow stronger and bigger. These stories, thus, flexible and timeless, are likely to remain malleable and meaningful in the cultural imaginations of future generations. It also triggers memories of the Philippines’ culture and emphasizes the fact that stories will always have an audience, no matter how old they are.

The Aswang Chronicles perfectly prove how influential the folklore can be. They made the audience understand that every culture has its monsters, its enigmas, and its stories that cannot be silenced. For as long as there are listeners and narrators in the world, Aswang will lurk in every night and fuel the imaginations. In the thick of the night or the bustle of the urban jungle, the Aswang Chronicles retain its place in Filipino society, patiently hiding in the periphery, yearning to be seen.


About the Creator

Thelma Perez

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Comments (1)

  • shanmuga priya2 months ago

    Interesting to read. Thank you for sharing.

TPWritten by Thelma Perez

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