About Aswang

“ASWANG is inspired by Philippine ghosts stories that we enjoyed telling each other when we were growing up in the province. I wanted those creatures to come alive and tell their own stories from their point of view.”

Florante Aguilar, Composer, Lyricist, Writer
Story co-written by Fides Enriquez


Aswang is a sarswela in full production and a dramatized song cycle as a concert piece. It debunks the common stories of creatures such as mananaggal, a mythical creature in the Malay folklore described as an older beautiful woman capable of severing its upper torso and flying into the night. It preys on pregnant women in order to suck the heart and blood of the fetus.

Also featured are the stories of the tumao – a humanoid, big-foot like creature who roams the mountains of  Mount Banahaw in Quezon Province, the syokoy – a commonly villified merman, and the tikbalang –  a tall creature with a human body and the head of a horse.


Photography by Sanny Leviste. Screen capture images from Baylan Megino’s video footage.