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The wak-wak is a vampiric, bird-like creature in Philippine mythology, and is said to be a witch. It is said to snatch humans at night, similar to the manananggal and the ekek in rural areas. The difference between the mananggal and the wak-wak is that the latter cannot separate its torso from its body while the former can. Some believe it is also a form a vampire takes. Other people contend that a "wak-wak" is a Philippine night bird which functions as a witch's familiar similar to black cats in Western mythology.

The sound of a wakwak is usually associated with the presence of an unglu (vampire) or ungo (ghost or monster). It is also believed that this monster is called "wakwak" because of the sound it makes when it flaps its wings while flying. When one hears the wakwak, it is looking for possible victims. If the sound of the wakwak is loud, it means it is far from you. Otherwise, it is near and worse yet, it is about to attack. It slashes and mutilates its victims and feeds on their hearts.

The wakwak is often described by old folks to have long sharp talons and a pair of wings similar to those of a bat. It uses its talons or claws to slash its victims and to get their heart. Many say that its wings are also sharp as a knife.<ref> (2003) Mga Engkanto: A Bestiary of Filipino Fairies. Philippines: eLf ideas Publication. </ref>

The sound that a tiki, tike or teke (common house gecko) makes usually at night when out of sight was discovered by an American who spent much time in the Philippines to be the source of the sound everyone was saying was a "wakwak".

"A Dictionary of Cebuano Visaya" by John U. Wolff published by Cornell University, South East Asia Program and Linguistic Society of the Philippines 1972 defines wak-wak as:

  1. wakwak1
    noun bird which comes out at night, so called from its call. Its call signifies the presense of a vampire (unglo) or in some beliefs, it is a form the vampire takes himself.
    verb 1 [A13] for the wakwak to be about; 2 [a12] victimize someone with vampiritic activity. paN- verb [A2] go about engaging in vampiritic activity. -un noun = UNGLU, noun
  2. wakwak2 noun the West piece of Mahjong = WISTL.

Wak-Wak, in early Philippine history, was the Kingdom of Wak-Wak along with the Kingdom of Zabag and were situated in Pampanga<ref>The Medieval Geography of Sanfotsi and Zabag</ref>

See also


<references />
Topics on Philippine Mythology and Folklore
General: Religion · Creation stories
Supreme deities: Bakunawa · Bathala · Kan-Laon
The Pantheon and the Diwata: Aman Sinaya · Amihan · Ibong Adarna · Kumakatok · Maria Cacao · Maria Makiling · Maria Sinukuan · Mayari · Sarimanok · Tala
Epic heroes: Amaron · Bernardo Carpio · Datu Daya · Irong-Irong · Juan Tamad · Kalantiaw · Lam-ang · Malakas and Maganda · Princess Urduja
Historical people: Dios Buhawi · Francisco Dagohoy · Papa Isio · Pulajans
Historical events: Dagohoy Revolt · Massacre at Dolores · Negros Revolution
Belief systems: Anito · Code of Kalantiaw · Gabâ · Pamahiin · Pulajan religion
Spiritual leaders: Albularyo · Babaylan · Datu · Hilot · Mambabarang · Mangkukulam
Sacred places: Mount Apo · Mount Arayat · Mount Banahaw · Mount Kanlaon · Mount Lantoy · Mount Makiling · Mount Pinatubo
Legendary objects: Agimat · Anito · Code of Kalantiaw · Gintong Salakot
Legendary creatures: Alan · Aswang · Batibat · Diwata · Duwende · Ekek · Hantu Demon · Higante · Kapre · Manananggal · Manaul · Nuno sa punso · Pugot · Sigbin · Sirena · Siyokoy · Tikbalang · Tiyanak
Literary works: Ang Mundo ni Andong Agimat · Biag ni Lam-ang · Code of Kalantiaw · Hinilawod · Ibong Adarna · Juan Tamad · Maragtas · Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang (The Stories of Grandma Basyang) · The Mythology Class
Literary sources: Philippine literature · Philippine folk literature · Philippine epic poetry · Cebuano literature · Hiligaynon literature · Ifugao literature· Ilokano literature · Mindanao literature · Tagalog literature · Visayan literature · Waray literature