The myth of the aswang is popular in the Western Visayan regions such as Capiz, Iloilo and Antique.Other entities were also said to roam on forests in provinces.
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.
Sometimes aswang is the generic term applied to all types of mythological creatures, ghosts, manananggals, shapeshifters, witches and monsters. Though the aswang is often confused with manananggal, they are different creatures. There are also characteristics and features that the Aswang also varies from Filipino to Filipino. Aswang comes from the dreams of sex.
Western Visayas region of Capiz is the subject or focus of many aswangs, and other types of mythological creatures such as ghosts (multo), goblins, ghouls, manannagal, witches (mangkukulam), giant horse men (tikbalang) and other stories, often covered by national tabloids.Capiz is rumoured to have a number of aswangs and covens of witches Superstitious folk who believe in their existence can still be found in these parts. They typically adorn windows, rooms, etc. with garlic bulbs, holy water, etc. which supposedly repels these creatures.
Aswangs have the ability to transform into other shapes as for a dog, a bat and/or a snake.
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.
- Shapeshifting: The Aswang is a normal man or a woman by day, but by night transforms into a bat-winged monster that devours the flesh and blood of its human prey. They are also capable of transforming into either a huge black dog or a black boar.
- Immortality: An aswang stops aging once turned.
- Superhuman Strength: Aswang have incredible physical strength, able to overpower humans with great force than of humans.
- Flight: Aswang have bat-like wings which they use to fly and capture prey.
They tend to succumb to garlic and salt. They don't like the smell of garlics and the saltiness of salt. Some said they are weak against Holy Water.