I was ten years old then. I was listening to a radio program “Angelito Celestial” when I heard Jan-jan (short for Johnny) shouting hysterically, “Aswang! Nakakita ako ng aswang!” I minimized the radio volume and opened the window which was adjacent to their window. I listened until tears descent from my eyes from laughing. Here is his story.
Johnny is eleven years old. He fears no one, not even the bully boys nor anyone in the neighborhood. He loves to tell and retell stories, and he produces sounds with his lips when he tells his stories that amuse the listeners.
Niight, around eight in the evening, his ate tells him to go and buy bread in a nearby store. Johnny, who is brave, takes the paper bill from his ate and walks to the store. He reached the place in one piece. He steps on a small tree trunk designed as a step-on for the small ones to reach the store window. He peaks in and when he saw someone in the store, he said excitedly, “Pabili nga po ng tinapay, yung sinasawsaw sa kape.” He smiles as he thinks of the bread he will eat.
He gives the paper bill and takes the bread. He waits for the change before he leaps off the step-on and runs to their home.
On his way home, from nowhere, someone touches his shoulder. He did not notice anyone coming near him so he turns around to see who it is.
Instead, he sees a dark face and two red eyes glaring at him with sharp teeth. He hears the creature murmur like a dog.
He suddenly jumps back and runs towards their house crying, “Aswang! Aswang!”
He jumps over their gate which is about his chest high. He kicks the door and blubbers, “Nakakita ako ng aswang! Nakakita ako ng aswang.”
His ate laughs and tries to calm him, telling there is no aswang, but Johnny is so convinced that aswangs exist – and he just saw one.
There are knocks on the door and an old woman comes in wearing a very thick jacket with the hood over her head. She is their neighbor; her house parallel to their house.
“Nakita ko si Johnny kanina at nilapitan ko. Tinanong ko kung andito ang mama nya… e bigla nalang kumaripas ng takbo at nagsisisigaw, kaya sinundan ko sya.”
Then everybody laughs.
This story, however, Johnny failed to retell.