‘Aswang’ in Pangasinan not true, says Archbishop Cruz

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MANILA, Philippines—Retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz says the aswang (Philippine ghoul) believed to be lurking in Pozorrubio, Pangasinan that have kept residents sleepless for a number of days was not true.

In a phone interview with Radyo Inquirer 990AM, Cruz said that he thinks the residents would not say such things unless they had not actually experienced of felt strange phenomena.

The question was whether the strange phenomena could actually be attributed to aswang, Cruz said.

“These are often not true and are instead caused by other things such as animals that are uncommon in the area, but people still attributed it to the aswang,” Cruz said.

He said it was likely that people attribute strange natural phenomena to the aswang because it was already ingrained in our culture.

“Especially in Capiz province where the aswang is already taken for granted. But in truth, science has not proven their existence,” Cruz said.

When asked about Christianity’s belief in evil spirits and demons that can possess humans, Cruz said that they have not been sufficiently proven except in cases of exorcism.

Cruz recounted a particular exorcism experience he had while studying in Rome, Italy. He said he saw a person being possessed and was levitating from the bed somewhere in northern Italy.

Cruz said he personally saw the exorcism which he described as hair-raising. “The priest blessed the person and then he fell back down on the bed,” Cruz said.

He said the church accepts there are evil spirits but these were not used just to scare people.

The particular person who was possessed in Italy was believed to have molested women and had abandoned his children, Cruz said.

“It’s some kind of penalty” probably to teach people a lesson, Cruz said.

Asked whether the aswang could be removed from Filipino culture, Cruz believed that globalization and the advancement of civilization might slowly end people’s belief in the aswang.

Cruz said that one of his friends jokingly suggested giving contraceptives to the aswang so as to stop them from proliferating.

He said parents might also be blamed for the persistent belief in the aswang by scaring their children so they will come home when it gets dark.

It could also be possible that thieves made up the story about the lurking aswang in Pangasinan so they could have opportunities to steal, Cruz said.

He added Filipinos love to believe in folklore which was why the business of selling “anting-anting” or sacred talismans in Quiapo was booming.

When asked about the annual Halloween festivities where evil spirits are believed by most Filipinos to be more active, Cruz said it was actually a time when most people travel back to the provinces and reunite with their families and visit departed loved ones in cemeteries.

“Halloween has become more like a family affair,” Cruz said.

In other countries, Halloween has become commercialized and more of a recreation just like the Easter holidays, Cruz said.

He said the Filipinos belief in the aswang was in the culture and not just in the religion. Although culture cannot be removed immediately, it can be changed over time, Cruz said.

“Culture is already part of the life of a person, that’s why it can be very hard to remove,” Cruz said.

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Guest

    Wala sa Pangasinan, nasa Batasan lahat ang mga halimaw.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PNTIGXL3JZVKOJDRXXDYGGBUUY Jerry

      That’s scary. Lurking in broad daylight and the people love them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=767982837 Basang Sisiw

    let them mobilized. this is the right time for the aswang to prove to the world that they exist. let your power feel by the chinese intruders in scarborough shoal not in your own backyard. attack them without mercy.

  • theoklab

    To see is to believe. And those people saw aswang, believe in aswang. When many people in Pangasinan saw and believe, I guess it’s true. You can’t tell that these people are crazy wasting their time and effort to hunt the witch.

  • lixcab

    Aswangs and Jesus are creatures from books and stories. I fail to see how either one is true.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VDMUJ6NKKCLWRMVMJRLJFI633I Rene V

    huwag naman sa batasan, iyung halimaw lumipat nalang sa china. mas may silbi iyung aswang duon. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CZS2DG54GHTF7WV34AKNR6JSRE ferds

    Ang aswang nasa simbahan, nga pari na walang alam kung manghingi sa nga taong nagsisimba at sa nga politiko.  Ang aswang yung bumabatikos sa gobyerno dahil walang binibigay sa kanila. 

    At yung aswang na malaking nunal sa mukha, na mukhang chanak nanduon sa hospital.
    Salinan ninyo ng dugo, 

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_H6DOQ2XTESCE4IABT3LPXXQ2RA Bong

       so.. hindi ka aswang… asongot lang!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/IWHC27VLCHHGZWAWO5QPHAVWGU ReiNeR

      hahaha ….  

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/IWHC27VLCHHGZWAWO5QPHAVWGU ReiNeR

      hahaha.. true!!!

  • http://twitter.com/KowboySandtos Kowboy Santos

    tell us what else isnt proven by science oh Sir Bishop[

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_H6DOQ2XTESCE4IABT3LPXXQ2RA Bong

       you!

  • sacrebleau

    Si Cuevas aswang.

  • quirinomayer

    Hindi totoo and mga aswang. Pero ang mga makabagong Padre Damaso totoo. Isa sa kanila si Oscar Cruz. 

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_H6DOQ2XTESCE4IABT3LPXXQ2RA Bong

       aswang mga angkan mo ano?

  • godofthunder16

    “Especially in Capiz province where the aswang is already taken for
    granted. But in truth, science has not proven their existence,” Cruz
    said.

    Same as your god lol. Funny how these people, refer to science and YET try to disprove it at the same time.

    • http://twitter.com/JasGCOPS Jas Breidenbach

       It happens a lot in the PI. I lived there for about 4 years.. I saw Bulalakaws every night…I guess they call them Fallen Angels…yet the church says they aren’t real…OK…Then what the heck are they that they have to give them such a name as Fallen Angels?? I wrote about it last year…To Walk with Fallen Angels. I became a Paranormal researcher because of my experiences there in the PI…It’s been over 28 years and I am still a researcher. I will be heading back to the PI next year to capture evidence on film. I am tired of the church making up lies to put fear into people just so that they go to church. I just don’t understand why they have to cover up things or make up things just to explain it away later? Very contradicting and this report shows me that they haven’t changed at all.
      ~Jas Breidenbach~ Author of To Walk with Fallen Angels~ Based on actual events in Bacolod City, Neg. Occidental.

      • godofthunder16

        that’s wonderful! Kudos to you and your cause!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/M4XV7HDQKZJ3HADAFTLPQJR3HU alex

    aswangs are real ,, I myself have experienced it, of course the bishop, being not the target of this fiend, can deny their existence.

  • MonMayuga

    I have a story to tell, a true story based on personal experience.

    I was a teenager then who grew up in the province. There was no electricity in our place yet and the only source of bright light was the “Petromax” or “Coleman” which provided bright, white light. Most people were afraid of the dark but I pretended not as chicken as most of the boys my age. 

    Most if not all the people in the province believed in ghosts (not holy ones), and the elders love to tell stories about them to children who loved listening but cringed in fear as they listened. One of the stories they love telling was that of the “aswang.” 

    The “aswang,” they say feasts on the liver of dying persons. It was believed that when darkness comes and there is an old person who lies on the death bed, the “aswang,” (which was believed to be a person) would step down his house and assume the appearance of whatever animal it meets on the ground, usually a dog. It would grow in size and goes in the direction of the sick person whose liver it can smell kilometers away.

    There was a sick, old man in our place then. As we were wont to, we would go to the house of the sick person and join the dying person’s relatives in their grief as they await for the death of their loved one. They have accepted the fact that the person who as been suffering from a lingering illness would soon die.

    My cousin and I were there, too. At about 9:00 p.m. he asked me to accompany him home as he had classes the next day (he was a high school student). I brought him home which was about 500 meters away. I went back to the dying person’s house and bought his father’s flash light which batteries were barely functioning but better than nothing. 

    When it was almost midnight the visitors started heading for whom and I had no choice but to go home, too.

    I parted ways with the rest as the house I was going to was about three hundred meters from the main street. It was about three hundred meters away but to me at that time of night it seemd like 300 kilometers.

    The road if it could be called one was dark. On both sides were growths of shrubs. It was low-lying; the right side was about a meter high and the left twice that. I walked a normal pace, the air was humid and warm and it was very quiet. All I could hear was the sound of my breathing and my footsteps. At about two-thirds of the way, some one hundred meters from the house my uncle’s dog barked upon sensing me I guessed.

     All of a sudden a gushing sound among the shrubs disturbed the quiet. It was as if someone or something suddenly walked through the growths. I did not look at the source, fearing to see something I surely did not want to see. I maintained my pace, not slowing nor moving fast and kept my eyes fixed on the ground I was walking on.

    Finally I reached my uncle’s house, walked up the nine steps of the stairs normally. When reached the seventh step I jumped to the landing and shouted “Inaaaaaannnng,” with my feet creating a loud noise as they fell on the floor.

    “Ano baga iyan,” shouted my uncle angrily as he was awakened by the loud crashing of my feet.

    I told them the story which mellowed my uncle’s  anger.

    Friends, the story is true but I cannot tell if it was “aswang” that I encountered or some nocturnal creature. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/IER75DBDXVIJX2WGAVZSEST4OU Liam

    Archbishop ? Relying on Science ? The world have gone crazy. 

  • http://twitter.com/ITsMeJessaBell jessa andrade

    AWW AAHAHA NOT TRUE.. PERO NA IIMAGINE NALANG NG MGA TAO AS IF THEY DO BELIEVE KAYA NAG KAKAGANUN CLA

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