Pastor Kevin Sanders

"He must increase, but I must decrease." -John 3:30

Aswang Ka Daw

I thought I’d share a funny story from October, 2003:

It was a Sunday morning, and I was in Intramuros.  I stopped by an ATM machine before going to church.  A couple of small children kept watching me as I punched numbers and made my withdrawal. They were clearly fascinated with the pale stranger before them.

One of them approached me for a short conversation:

Kid: “Sabi ng tatay ko, aswang ka daw.” (my father says you are an aswang)
Kevin: “Ano?” (what)

Kid:  “Sabi ng tatay ko, aswang ka daw.”

I was pretty good in Tagalog at this point, but I did not recognize that word (aswang). It didn’t sound too flattering. I later asked a friend at church about my mystery title.

Kevin:  “Johnette, some kid just said I’m an aswang.  What is that?”
Johnette: “It’s a monster–kind of like a vampire.”

Turns out that the aswang is the most feared creature in Filipino folklore.  It is a mythical, vampire-like creature that has wings but only half of a body (though descriptions vary greatly).

The kid didn’t seem the least bit afraid of me.  Maybe he didn’t believe his father, or maybe I didn’t look hungry.  


  1. The picture you have here is a sort of a specie of ‘aswang’ which is called a ‘manananggal’. In the filipino folk tale, the ‘manananggal’ is usually a vampire-like woman who feeds on pregnant women and it can separate it’s body into two.

    There, a bit of trivia for you.

  2. Thanks for the info 🙂

  3. it is the bogeyman (also spelled boogyman, bogyman, boogieman, boogey monster) in the states. it’s creeeeepyyyy!!!!! – WV

  4. Maybe the father refer to your ‘whiteness’ as more of a multo (ghost) than an aswang! If that is the case the kid wasn’t afraid of you maybe he sensed the goodness that proceeds from a man of God! You’re the ghost with the Holy Ghost! Kids are the most sensible on measuring the character of a person & besides they are honest, candid & bold! You are blessed Kuya Kevin!

  5. It’s to be expected when you don’t look like the majority. I once went on a social outreach where I was the fairest person – and the fattest one – there. People asked for photographs with me.

  6. Hahaha XD
    Maybe the kid was just playin with you

  7. I thought you were the White Monkey

    White Monkey’s look human, are hairless, and have pale skin. White Monkeys are mythical creatures that are often seen in the Philippines (some are known to wear black socks and sandals). Their mystical power is that they can Piso magically appear from the metal box.

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