I have a story to share. I know most westerners laugh or scoff at stories of monsters, but it's still very real here in Philippines.
I grew up in the island of Leyte. Of course I grew up with the nature and all the critters I can hear at night, including wakwak or aswang in tagalog. Wakwak is actually different than manananggal. Both are humans that turn into a monster at night, but manananggal is the kind which flies off without it's lower body part. Aswang just turns into some kind of animal, it could be a boar, a dog, or a cat.
Well, I always hear their sounds, always creeping on the backyard, or maybe on the window. We could hear them sort of whispering, "wak wak wak" but never attacked us. My schedule of duty to wash the dishes is at night, so I usually hear them whispering from behind the kitchen. Of course, I got scared, but since my mother is really strict on our chores, I just had to swallow my fears. Singing through all that helped. I guess, the wak wak on our region is not that aggressive or hungry.
When we moved to Manila, which is the capital city of the Philippines, I never expected I would have an encounter there with a wakwak. Or what they call aswang on that region. I was already 17 year old that time. I had absolute confidence that there won't be aswang or wakwak there. So I keep putting off washing dishes until it's absolutely late at night.
Anyway, I'm jumping ahead of my story. Before that frightul day, I had strange but familiar noises that follows me around. It was only six in the evening, but I hear "wak wak wak" in almost everywhere. Sometimes, under the parked jeepney, sometimes behind the trash can. I didn't paid any mind to it. I thought it was just a duck. I never thought of it as a wakwak or aswang because who would think of that since there is supposedly no wakwak in Manila. But there was the feeling of some eyes following me. Of someone stalking me.
So, there, my dishes waiting for me. It was already 10:30 pm. I got so engrossed on the tv show i was watching I couldn't tear myself away from the tv until the evening news. I went to the backyard, where the kitchen is. The kitchen was not walled, which made me feel so unprotected since I can see or not see the pitch black darkness in front of me as I got out of the house to the kitchen. At the right of the kitchen was the toilet. At the back of the toilet was a small tree. Beyond the kitchen is a small jungle.
So there I was, singing my fears away again. I was just halfway through my chore when I heard a flapping sound. A very big flapping sound by probably a very big flapping bird. I stopped and listened. It was chanting "wak wak wak!" while flying up in the sky. I froze, I couldn't move. Then it saw me.
I could tell it saw me because it's chanting suddenly became excited. It's flapping wings flapped faster and I could hear it getting closer! It's "wak wak wak" got louder and pitchier. Like a predator who sighted a delicious prey it swooped down on me. And yet, I still couldn't move.
Then the small tree behind the toilet suddenly moved and swayed. There was no breeze, I thought to myself, so why is it moving so violently? That's when it dawned to me that that thing I just heard is a wakwak! And it got caught on the branches of the tree as it was trying to get to me! Boy, that wakwak must be near-sighted as me!
Upon realizing that, I ran inside and went to my mother shaking. She calmed me down. She told me she heard it, too. I pleaded with her to put off my washing dishes until tomorrow morning. I thought that she won't be so heartless to make me wash dishes in an open kitchen after what i had just been through. I was almost dinner for that wakwak!
Well, she still made me wash that dishes. She accompanied me though, so it wasn't so bad. I will never forget that night. That night I thought I would be finally be able to skip my schedule in washing dishes.