Aswang collectively refers to a family of supernatural and carnivorous species that originate from the Underworld. Though varied in physical features and behaviors, they all have a common desire for human flesh.
In the present, several clans of aswang operate in Terra Mundo, discretely living among humans.
Aswang are formidable creatures stronger than the average man. They manifest claws at infancy, and develop further as they get older. Older aswang are capable of breaking down walls with brute strength rivaling that of higante. They are also able to shape-shift into feral dogs, wild pigs, bats, or crow-like birds when hunting.
There are rumors of people turning into aswang by either consuming an aswang's bodily fluids or eating a black chick. Professor Alexander Trese notes in his journals that these black chicks appear willing to be consumed and are always swallowed whole. He further speculates that it might be a parasitic entity.
An aswang's hunger for blood and flesh makes them erratic and vicious, but they satiate it through a daily supply of cows and pigs. When they feed. they drain the blood from their victims completely. Some aswang, like the Arko clan, have been feeding on personal abortion clinic's fetuses, in accordance to a stipulation in The Agreements.
The aswang were once a singular nation with their own homeland in the Underworld. Led by Arko, they faced the Verdugo on the bridge to their homeland, and eventually lost. The aswang have since then splintered into many different clans.
After the Seven Seers declared the prophecy of the sixth child of the sixth child, the aswang sacrificed their queen and took her black heart out as a gift to Alexandra Trese on the day of her baptism. She brought this, along with her other gifts, on her 18th birthday as she undertook the Great Balete Tree Trials. Four clans did not trust the prophecy and sought to prevent her from finishing the trials by raiding the Great Balete Tree. Her friends and family fought hard to protect her, and were able to defend the tree for some time. Eventually, Anton Trese gave his life force to power a spell, securing her safety and eventual success three years later.
Main article: House of Arko
The House of Arko is the most prominent clan of aswang directly descended from Arko, the old leader of the Aswang Nation. They are currently being led by Mama Grande in an attempt to reunite the nation once more.
These aswang are natural hunters and often favor open spaces, like abandoned compounds, as hunting grounds. Mabangis normally hunt in packs of six lead by a specialized member called an alpha. They plan methodically to trap their prey, communicating with each other through a special language spoken by chattering their teeth. This allows them to keep their messages secret from their prey. Most mabangis also have the ability to shapeshift into dogs to disguise themselves. The only way they can be distinguished from real dogs while in this disguised form is the lack of a tail. An exception to this is the alpha, which can shapeshift into other more complex forms like human beings to manipulate their prey over long periods of time, likely for the purpose of increasing their hunt's yield.
The Magubat clan consist of one of the biggest creatures in the Underworld, towering twice the height of kapres. Their weak spot is through the roof of their mouth, which leads directly to their brain.
The Mailap clan are snake-like aswang known to ambush from heights. They are easily smoked out by burning Palm Sunday fronds.
The Mandurugo are aswang hinted to live in nests.
The mandurugo is most likely based on the Philippine lower mythological creature of the same name.
The manananggal are leathery winged aswang named for their ability to separate themselves from their lower limbs. They are often found to carry assault rifles to fire from the air. They are segmenters that use a special oil on their torso to detach and fully transform. They feed on pregnant women's fetuses, which can be used to lure them.
Their skin is impervious to some degree, only getting damaged through iron blades or bolos, but exposure to sunlight can prove fatal to a manananggal. A more practical way to defeat it is sprinkling salt on it's torso, preventing it from reattaching itself, leaving it to die in the morning sun.
In Terra Mundo, Captain Guerrero has said that they were based in Quiapo, but they have been seen elsewhere, most notably a kidnapping ring in Ongpin. They usually migrate from the provinces to the city in droves. Their leader, Reyna Manananggal, resides in one of the condos in Eastwood City.
The Mangahas clan originate from up North and are notable for their distinct jaw and fangs.
The Sibat, named for their harpoon-like weapons, are a shape-shifting aswang clan that turn into sea creatures in order to hunt mermaids based in the Trident. They are respected hunters on both land and sea, with the reputation of having killed 100-foot long markupo and the swiftest sirena.
Aswang-hounds have been mentioned as efficient trackers comparable to segben, though they often get distracted by the scent of blood. This may be in reference to the mabangis, but no direct connection between the two has been stated in the series so far.
- Trese: Book of Murders
- A Private Retaliation
- Our Secret Constellation
- Trese Presents: Verdugo Takutan
- The Baptism of Alexandra Trese
- At the Intersection of Balete and 13th Street
- The Great Balete Podcast Episode 3
- Verdugo: Halimaw
- Trese: Masquerade
- Embrace of the Unwanted
- A Little Known Murder in Studio 4
- The Plan of the Four Clans
- The Siren's Executioner
- At the Intersection of Balete and 13th Street
- Ablaze and Avenida editions of At the Intersection of Balete and 13th Street
- Maverick Rider