Monday, October 19, 2009

Seair Inflight Tales of the Unknown: Capiz • Featured in InFlight Magazine Oct-Nov 2009

Roxas Chapel by the roadsideThe province of Capiz, now known as Roxas, has a love/hate relationship with its reputation as a home to the aswangs, a kind of hard-to-define vampire/shapeshifter combo that haunt the nights.  Aswangs are ordinary mortals who inherit the bloodline that enables them to transfigure into bats or a scary black dog. They also take many different forms, such as the manananggal, which reportedly splits into two, its top half flying off into the darkness to suck the blood of a human prey, and its bottom half,  ready and waiting for the return of its mobile half. 

Natives born in so-called aswang provinces such as Antique and Capiz rely on old remedies such as garlic and secret religious mantras prayed in silence in the presence of an aswang to protect them from harm. Children are told never to show fear and never to gaze into the eyes of a suspected aswang. Smacks of the old Dracula tales? There is a little twist. If you do encounter a temporarily dismembered aswang bottom half, sprinkle the stump with salt to kill off your aswang. From 2004 to 2006, Capiz inaugurated the Aswang Festival in late October, poking fun at the province’s reputation as a hotbed of aswang activity. The Church and some government officials did not see humor in it and the festival was scrapped in Juy 2007. Recently, a Canadian film crew traveled to Capiz to film a docu-movie called ‘Aswang: A Journey into Myth’, which shows that aswangs are still a hot topic.

 Culled from Seair InFlight Magazine, October-November 2009 Issue • Text by Chip Childers, art direction by Jocas See, photography by Oggie Ramos


Related Posts with Thumbnails