The Wakwak is a vampiric, bird-like creature in Philippine mythology. In some places the Wakwak is believed to be instead another form a vampire can take, or it is a familar belonging to a witch or vampire. In any case, the sound associated with the Wakwak is considered to be an indicator that an Unglu (vampire) or Ungo (ghost or monster) is nearby.
Myths & Legends
The Wakwak seems to often be compared to the Manananggal despite their differences in appearance. The main way to tell the difference between the Manananggal and the Wakwak is that Wakwak cannot separate its torso from its body.
It is believed that this monster is called "Wakwak" due to this 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.
The Wakwak is generally described as a very large bird with either feathery or leathery wings, which is said to be as sharp as a knife. It is often described by old folks to have long sharp talons, which it uses to slash its victims and to get their heart.
As it hunts at night, and is considered to look similar to bats or crows in many stories, the coloration of its body is generally dark.
In some stories, the Wakwak has a few humanoid features with its bird body. Most commmonly described is a feminine, human-like face.
Some who have come across the Wakwak were able to scare it away with fire from a torch, or with a weapon in hand. One preventative measure some have used is to sprinkle salt boht on the inside and outside of the house, and hanging a garlice lantern in every corner. Others have instead placed a broom upside down in the doorway.
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".
Also Wak-Wak in early Philippine history may refer to the Kingdom of Wak-Wak along with the Kingdom of Zabag, which were situated in Pampanga.