‘Aswang’ ghoul in Philippines is not real says skeptical Archbishop

‘Aswang’ in Pangasinan not true, says Archbishop Cruz | Inquirer News.

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.

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.

Tip: The Anomalist

This is a very interesting insight into superstitious belief in the Filipino culture – folklore and religious. The Bishop talks about exorcisms and evil spirits. He suggests a number of different reasons why the aswang idea continues but sounds somewhat reasonable and hopeful that stories about ghouls will die out. That is, if parents stop using such stories to scare their kids about the evils of being out late at night.

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

The aswang is an inherently evil vampire-like creature and is the subject of a wide variety of myths and stories. The label seems to be applied to many creatures including death eaters.

  2 comments for “‘Aswang’ ghoul in Philippines is not real says skeptical Archbishop

  1. Z
    April 22, 2012 at 5:12 AM

    As a philosophical problem, it is very interesting, but not in the way many scientists will think. Not all systems of belief are created equal. The means of separating rationality from superstition is not some knee-jerk definition of scientific “truth,” but cultural context. When virtually every cultural authority around you supports the existence of an unseen god, as in the Philippines today (and indeed, many parts of America), believing in god can be considered perfectly rational. Believing in monsters, obviously, is not.

  2. Z
    April 22, 2012 at 5:14 AM

    By the way, I’m not religious, just tired of endless and hurtful bickering between reasonable people.

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