Inaswang?: A Study on the Representation of the Aswang in Juan Dela Cruz

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Dangla, M. D. (2014). Inaswang?: A study on the representations of the aswang in Juan Dela Cruz, Unpublished undergraduate thesis, University of the Philippines-Diliman College of Mass Communication.

Inaswang is a Filipino word which means to betray one’s love or to commit adultery. The same way, Inaswang?: A study on the representations of the aswang in Juan Dela Cruz determined how parallel and authentic the aswang’s image is represented in the television show Juan Dela Cruz on ABS-CBN compared to anthropological and historical accounts in Philippine traditional culture and history. Using Stuart Hall’s Representation and comparative analysis, the study unearthed the embedded symbolisms and connotations in all the aswang characters in Juan Dela Cruz. The study showed how analyzing a single media text can already be a tool in understanding culture and its ideologies. The study discovered that the aswang’s portrayal and representation in Juan Dela Cruz deviated from its original anthropological and historical counterpart. Some of its deviations include the European vampire characteristics, integration of modern gadgets, existence of gay aswangs, and association to a social class. The study analyzed the implications of these representations to Filipino culture and it revealed issues on social class, patriarchy, gender, religion, among others. By grounding the aswang in the anthropological and historical level, the study proved how the aswang as a cultural artifact reflects the conditions of Filipino society in the modern era.

Keywords: Aswang, representation, Juan Dela Cruz, culture, media, mythology

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