Thoughts on a Comic Book: Tiktik The Aswang Chronicles

A comic book adaptation of the movie.

STORY AND CHARACTER CREATION: Erik Matti and Ronald Stephen Y. Monteverde

SCRIPT: Erik Matti

ADDITIONAL SCENES AND DIALOGUES: Michiko Yamamoto and Jade Castro

EDITED: Budjette Tan

  1. Straight to the point: the best thing about Tiktik is that it is about fending off an aswang siege. You like zombiepocalypse. I like zombiepocalypse. But an aswang invasion is more brutal and more feral than all the walking dead combined. The shape-shifting visceral monster is a cold-blooded killer capable of strategic planning and organization. Not some lumbering corpse. You might think am just being a Filipino. (“Our shapeshifter is the real sh*t.”) So let us hear it from a foreigner: “An aswang is a mythical creature in Filipino folklore. The legend of the aswang is well known throughout the Philippines, except in the IIocos region. The creature is described as a combination of vampire and witch and is almost always female. The aswang is an eater of the dead and a cannibal. They are capable of transforming into either a huge black dog or a black boar. The creatures stalk and eat human beings at night. Garlic bulbs, holy water, and other objects are believed to repel aswang. Many stories revolve around these creatures eating children and unborn fetuses. In human form they appear normal, and are quiet, shy, and elusive. At night, they transform into the deadly beast. One key feature of the aswang is its bloodshot eyes. In the Middle Ages, the aswang was the most feared among the mythical creatures in the Philippines.” That is just a description for one. Imagine them in packs. Our shapeshifter is indeed the real sh*t.
  2. Our (anti) hero Makoy is not some role model. No. No. No. He is a crass son of a pig with no respect for women and elders. This got him into serious trouble after he ridiculed people beings not meant to be ridiculed. Classic Filipino moral lesson. The  “tao po” and “tabi-tabi po” practice is a demonstration of our respect not just for humans but also non-humans. “Tao po” assures a person the one knocking on the door is a real human being. “Tabi-tabi po” recognizes the turf of the unseen. It is all about respect. Our anti-hero paid big time for not disregarding the all-important R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
  3. Love in the Time of Clusterf*ck = possible alternate title for Tiktik
  4. Fighting-off an all-out aswang attack is an insane dream of mine. Our provincial house is located at the foot of a mountain surrounded with soaring trees and several things that go bump in the night. It is just natural to entertain thoughts these creatures launching a full assault  - against pounds of salt, kilos of buntot pagi and the justice of wooden stakes. Tiktik illustrated this insane dream of mine in beautiful details. Zombie survival kit does not stand a chance on the incredible killer cool factor of the buntot pagi.
  5. Thing is a comic book adaptation is a major film spoiler.  This should not stop us from reading it. The movie promises never-before-seen stuff in local cinema – something good old ink-and-paper cannot offer.



  1. Comic book sells for Php150 in National Bookstore and Powerbooks branches.
  2. Film Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xk2rccJ_vl0
  3. I am not a fan of  Dantes but am quite excited to see this movie so he better not disappoint me.
  4. The beautiful poster:

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2 Responses to “Thoughts on a Comic Book: Tiktik The Aswang Chronicles”

  1. 10/25/2012 at 2:12 pm

    Hello, I’m really interested in compiling information on aswang so as we can make an easily preservable and uniform information on the phenomenon.

    I want to know how you got the ‘tao po’ information. Is it from an elder? From a written source? Any kind of source will be appreciated! Thank you!

    • 10/25/2012 at 3:11 pm

      Good afternoon!

      It was discussed in one of my classes in college. I just couldn’t remember whether my professor got this from a book or a dissertation of his colleague. I’ll try to check my old notes.

      Re dissertation: it was really a good one (and again I forgot the name of the professor who presented it). The professor had this theory that the emergence of the aswang phenomenon is directly tied with the rise of Roman Catholicism in the Philippines. That the reason aswangs are usually females, is a smear campaign against the babaylans who were considered leaders in our pre-colonial societies – thereby making them power rivals of the friars.

      Nice of you to make of a compilation. Will try to find the sources.

      Thank you.

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