An Aswang is a shapeshifting monster usually possessing a combination of the traits of either a vampire, a ghoul, a witch, or different species of werebeast in Filipino folklore or even all of them together. It is the subject of a wide variety of myths and stories. Spanish colonists noted that the Aswang was the most feared among the mythical creatures of the Philippines, even in the 16th century.
Due to being shapeshifters, the appearance of the Aswang varies from tale to tale. However, one thing that all stories seem to agree upon is that Aswangs are shapeshifters. Stories recount aswangs living as regular townspeople. As regular townspeople, they are quiet, shy and elusive. At night, they transform into creatures such as a cat, bat, bird, boar or most often, a dog.
Aswangs are fond of devouring unborn fetuses and small children, favoring livers and hearts. Some have long proboscises, which they use to suck the children out of their mothers' wombs when they are sleeping in their homes. Some are so thin that they can hide themselves behind a bamboo post. They are swift and silent. Some also make noises, like the Tik-Tik, which are louder the farther away the aswang is, to confuse its potential victim; and the Bubuu, an aggressive kind of aswang that makes a sound of a laying hen at midnight. This facsimile will return to the victim's home, only to become extremely sick and then die. An aswang will also have bloodshot eyes, the result of staying up all night searching for houses where wakes are held to steal the bodies.
Unlike vampires and other similar creatures, they are not harmed by sunlight. They are daywalkers. Aswangs can also be befriended, they can talk to you like any normal human: they laugh and/or cry, get angry, get hurt/humiliated and feel envious. These creatures do not harm their friends and neighbors, and were said to be exempted from their target victims for food. Aswangs are said to be vulnerable during daytime because during that time they do not have the excessive inhuman strength that they have in their nighttime prowl.
Like vampires, aswangs are repelled or killed by using garlic, salt and religious artifacts/weapons (e.g. Holy water, crucifix, rosary). They are also killed using a whip made entirely of a stingray's tail, which may also be used to repel the creature (aswangs are said to be scared of the sound made by the whip slashing through the air). It is also said that they cannot step on holy consecrated ground (i.e. churches). Decapitation is also a way to destroy an aswang.