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The Home of Aswang 2017.01.02 01:04:55
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"The Home of Aswang"

Debunking the myth that surrounds Capiz, Philippines 



          Situated at the north eastern part of Panay Island, the province of Capiz may be considered to be

one of the few places that any Filipino would be willing to visit for a holiday. Much of this has to do

with the local legend that the province is infested with vampire-like witch ghoul called the “Aswang”

which figures prominently in Filipino folklore.





          According to captivatingcapiznians.blogspot.ae (2016), the trademark or major feature of

Aswangs which distinguish them from other Filipino mythological creatures is their propensity to

replace stolen cadavers with the trunk of a banana tree carved in the cadaver's likeness. They are also

said to like to eat small children. Their favourite body parts are the liver and heart, and they are known

to be viscera suckers.





          Aside from entertainment value, mothers are said to tell their children stories about aswangs

to keep them off the streets and keep them home at night. Similar to Count Dracula of Transylvania

in Vampire stories, the most popular characters are the clan of Teñente/ Tenyente/ Tiniente Gimo,

in Dueñas, Iloilo.


          While the more romanticized story has it that Tenyente Gimo was an aswang clan leader and

tricked two young girls into being the food of their mythical festival, the more historical story has it 

that Tenyente Gimo was a town leader who pretended to be an aswang in order to dissuade the

Japanese troops from entering  Duenas, Iloilo.


          Fantasy aside, there is only the terrible truth to accept about what the “aswang phenomenon”

really is.


          “X-linked dystonia-parkinsonism is a movement disorder that has been found only in people

of Filipino descent. This condition affects men much more often than women. Parkinsonism is usually

the first sign of X-linked dystonia-parkinsonism. Parkinsonism is a group of movement abnormalities

including tremors, unusually slow movement (bradykinesia), rigidity, an inability to hold the body

upright and balanced (postural instability), and a shuffling gait that can cause recurrent falls.”

According to ghr.nlm.nih.gov, this is the disease that has erected and strengthened the stigma

around “aswangs.”


          Before modern medicine and before modern education, it wouldn’t be difficult to draw a

conclusion that the person is in a transforming state.  In fact, many people suffering from XDP in

Capiz are still being branded aswangs.  Unfortunately, this forces families to keep the disease hidden

instead of seeking effective treatment.   It is time that this stigma is broken and the truth about XDP

becomes common knowledge among the residents of Capiz.  Those suffering from XDP, and their

families, should feel no shame in seeking help and inquiring about genetic counseling. The only way

to save Capiz from people’s offensive ignorance is to actually spread information about the

existence of this disorder.




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