It was in the forests of the Philippines. Known as 'The Giant Golden-Crowned Flying Fox it is the largest bat in the world and much to it's namesake not unlike seeing a winged fox descending from the ethers.
Yea, it is a searing memory- being in a small village-- and whence the little children see this dark creature soaring toward them in the twilight with a wing span of five feet to two meters, the winds blowing through her reddish mane and the sound of those great leathern winged membranes violently beating away the serenity of village life, their tiny screams come like a wave.
She bolts right past me- crashing into a nearby fig tree as I learned they are won't to do. The crash prompts the nearby children to scream "ASWANG! ASWANG!" as they cry out for their mothers. But the largest Bat in the World pays them no mind as she eats noisily the sweet figs with ravenous mouthfuls.
And before the adults can come and cure the consternation- she is all but vanished, leaving the children to marinate in their sinister folklore of the dreaded "Aswang".
She is the Woman roaming the countryside from village to village by day and by night- taking the form of a bat-like creature, hunting the unsuspecting residents whence they fall asleep.
'Aswang' I whisper as I go to turn off the bedside lantern in the tent. And then deciding to sleep with the light on...