They were deities of a dying age,
once revered for their beauty and power.
The town shaman was chosen as their gauge,
they danced for rain, healed, nurtured each other.
Then the Spanish priests came to preach Jesus
to subjugate, take over land, and rule.
The villagers fought back, raw and vicious.
Their priestess was turned as the devil’s tool,
kapre, mantianak, manananggal.
Showed up in the night to scare everyone.
The tales of woe fringed on the magical,
smeared with blood, paranoia, hate, bar none
The aswang’s life and voice need to be heard,
fluid and immortal, with rights assert.
Joseph Mendoza is born from Davao. He took up BS Creative Writing in SFSU. Once from Berkeley, now residing in Davao City. He likes tennis, beaches, Italian food and a coffee junkie. He has self-published two books of poetry. Some of his poems are found at joegasparauthor.com.