75-year-old grandma mistaken as aswang killed in North Cotabato

A 75-year-old grandmother was stabbed and killed by an unknown suspect who allegedly mistaken the victim as an “aswang” in Sitio Natutungan, Brgy. Bagumbayan, Magpet, North Cotabato, Sunday night.

Magpet Police chief Captain Rolando Dillera Jr. identified the victim, Victoria Saavedra, a widow and resident of Brgy. Santo Niño, Arakan, North Cotabato.


According to the report, her daughter, Angeles Terania, left her mother Saavedra alone on Sunday afternoon in the area. Still, when she returned at 10.00 pm, the victim was already bathing in her blood and lifeless.

In the initial investigation, the 75-year-old grandma mistaken as “aswang” suffered 16 stab wounds in different parts of her body, mostly in the left chest and shoulders.

It appears that the old woman was murdered because some residents in the area have suspected her as an “aswang.”


Terania told police that her mother was mentally ill, which also caused residents to suspect the elderly.

Police have “persons of interest” who may be involved in the heinous crime.

The victim’s daughter, who is a pastor, could not believe what happened to her mother.


What is an aswang?

Perhaps the best-known of the country’s mythical creatures, aswang are shapeshifting vampires. They resemble humans by day and transform into various horrible guises by night.

Illustration of aswang in the Philippines
Illustration of aswang in the Philippines (Image from Ideapod)

While anyone can fall victim to these flesh-eating ghouls, pregnant women about to give birth are their favored prey.

Among the forms adopted by aswangs are enormous, black, long-tongued birds called tiktik, or animals including bats, dogs, cats or pigs.  

When targeting pregnant women, it is said the aswang takes its tiktik form to land on its victim’s roof and stretches its long tongue into the house and the woman’s womb, allowing it to feast on the fetus. If they can’t find such a victim, it is said that they have a particular fondness for the human liver.

Placing brooms upside down, putting “badiawan twigs” over windows or keeping a blessed, or magical, dagger in the house could have killed an aswang.