David A. Jones

Composer, Performer

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Wind Ensemble

This piece is the last of four movements in a symphony titled "Alamat", meaning "Legend" or "Myth". Each movement depicts a creature from Filipino folklore. The Aswang is one of the most widely known and feared of all Filipino myths. According to legends, the Aswang disguises itself as an ordinary villager by day, then transforms by night to hunt its prey. The Aswang is extremely fast and powerful. It has large, bat-like wings and a long, snake-like tongue, which it uses to suck the blood from its victims. Some Aswangs, known as Tik-tiks, emit a distinct "tik-tik" sound as they hunt, which gets softer as they grow closer and louder when they're far away, to confuse their victims. Another variety, known as the Manananggal, is known for removing the upper half of its body from the lower half to give it more maneuverability and speed (its name literally means "one who removes", derived from the root word, "tanggal", meaning "to remove"). The legends vary from region to region, but many Filipinos today firmly believe in and fear the dreaded Aswang.