SALTY FILIPINO FOODS: ANTIDOTE TO ASWANG, GOBLINS, DARK CHANGELINGS


Erle Frayne  Argonza

Let me get back to Filipino food, to highlighting the salty taste of our foods. Whether one eats Filipino foods in the archipelago or overseas, the deli-taster will notice this salty facet of Filipino foods.

Saltiness of food is like a 2-bladed sword. One sharp side of it has to do with the positive effects of salt on the body, of salt’s function to preserve body water in high temperature and humid environments. The other sharp side has to do with salt’s inducement of hypertension.

Coming from a family with a history of cardio-vascular ailments, I already decided to cut down on salty foods. Cardiovascular ailments are now among the top killers in the archipelago, surpassing the once endemic tropical diseases like tuberculosis, cholera, malaria and broncho-pneumonia. Well, the latter ailments are still prevalent among our poor folks, but among the middle and upper classes cancer and cardiovascular diseases are the tops.

The question is, why do Filipinos love to eat salty food? This is a tough though fulfilling theoretical problem, and as a former professor I loved to challenge my students to think hard by giving them theoretical problems. My students often end up feeling smarter with these kinds of exercises.

In this piece, I’d choose to highlight the mystical-esoteric side to the problem. As a mystic, I am aware that salt is a very powerful substance to neutralize and scare away goblins and other earth elementals. During my training as a mystic (by a Guru of Light), depowering goblins and malevolent spirits was among my menu of courses, and salt was a standard substance taught to us in our neutralization of goblin psychic attack.

I can very easily see, based on this information, that the ancient Filipinos (called Maharlokans, or the inhabitants of the Maharloka subcontinent of the larger Lemurian continent) could have known well the power of salt applied to neutralizing negative energies most specially earth elemental energies. Till these days Filipinos are aware of elementals of earth and water (not much about air & fire elements), aware about possible attacks from bad elementals (not all are bad please).

Another purpose of salt could be that it is, together with garlic, a strong neutralizer against Dark changelings more so the Aswang variety. The Aswang is human at daytime, who by nighttime changes into an animal such as a dog or a giant chicken with half-body and wings (manananggal).

Well, as to the authenticity of changelings, this a subject that I wouldn’t rather touch, as it borders superstition. I would leave the matter to a mere belief for now, a belief that evil spirits can transmogrify a ritual practitioner into an abominable animal that sucks the blood of babies (manananggal). The dog-shaped Aswang will kill and taste blood of victims of all ages, as the belief goes.

Taking the above belief as a basis, the inclination to cook salty food could be a preventive measure to keep aswangs and goblins away. Not only that, maybe the old generation folks were even admonished to always keep a pack of salt with them along the road, as this could deter some bad spirits from tailing them.

Now, dear reader, are you satisfied with this kind of explanation? Please try explaining it yourself, and do feel some fun in the process. Theorizing is a tough thing, but full of fun too. Try it.

[Writ 03 June 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]

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2 Comments on “SALTY FILIPINO FOODS: ANTIDOTE TO ASWANG, GOBLINS, DARK CHANGELINGS”


  1. […] SALTY FILIPINO FOODS: ANTIDOTE TO ASWANG, GOBLINS, DARK CHANGELINGS […]


  2. […] SALTY FILIPINO FOODS: ANTIDOTE TO ASWANG, GOBLINS, DARK CHANGELINGS […]


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