• A Filipino FB user is under fire after calling endangered species as ‘aswang’
  • Many called her “ignorant’ and only “using Facebook but not using Google” as knowledge reference
  • It is still unknown where and how the Philippine Flying Lemur or Kagwang was caught
  • It is also unknown if the Lemur is still alive

A Filipino Facebook user earned the ire of netizens after calling the Philippine Flying Lemur “aswang”. In a post on June 24, a certain Christine Mangubat posted a picture of the lemur held by an unidentified man with a caption, “Eto po yung isa sa mga alagang maligno ng aswang sa aming bayan nahuli kanina.” [Here is one of the evil pet of the aswang caught in our town.]

In a report by Aya Tantiangco of GMA News Online, Mangabat claimed that the flying lemur, or locally called Kagwang, attacked other animals in their area.  The user claimed the Kagwang is being kept by a particular evil spirit dwelling in their town. It is still unknown where and how the kagwang was caught and if it is still alive.

‘Aswang’ is a local term for ghost or evil spirit.

Gianna Francesca Catolico of Inquirer wrote, that since the controversial post, many Facebook users bashed Mangubat for her ‘ignorance’. Many reprimanded her and suggested that Mangubat should do some “research and study” first before posting online. Users also accused Mangubat of using the social media network, but not using search engine sites such as Google.

As of press time, the controversial post has been shared more than 7,000 times, liked over 6,000 times, and gathered different reactions from over 5,000 users. Many has commented information about the flying lemurs and dissuaded violent conduct against it. Other users recalled seeing Kagwang in their early childhood.

The kagwang (Cynocephalus Volans), according to Doonposaamin.ph, derived its name from a common Visayan expression of anger. It is commonly found in the Mindanao Faunal Region and in the Eastern Visayas provinces of Leyte, Bohol, and Samar. The kagwang, or the Philippine Flying Lemur, was listed by environmental organizations and experts as an endangered species. Contrary to the claim of Mangubat that the kagwang attacked other animals, the lemur is in reality a ‘folivore’ or an animal that eats leaves.