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Quicoy And The Ongloc

Source: Philippine Folklore Stories

This story is known generally in the southern Islands. The Ongloc
is feared by the children just as some little boys and girls fear
the Bogy Man. The tale is a favorite one among the children and they
believe firmly in the fate of Quicoy.

Little Quicoy's name was Francisco, but every one called him Quicoy,
which, in Visayan, is the pet name for Francisco. He was a good
little boy and helped his mother grind the corn and pound the rice
in the big wooden bowl, but one night he was very careless. While
playing in the corner with the cat he upset the jar of lubi lana,
and all the oil ran down between the bamboo strips in the floor and
was lost. There was none left to put in the glass and light, so the
whole family had to go to bed in the dark.

Quicoy's mother was angry. She whipped him with her chinela and then
opened the window and cried:

"Ongloc of the mountains!
Fly in through the door.
Catch Quicoy and eat him,
He is mine no more."

Quicoy was badly frightened when he heard this, for the Ongloc is a big
black man with terrible long teeth, who all night goes searching for
the bad boys and girls that he may change them into little cocoanuts
and put them on a shelf in his rock house in the mountains to eat
when he is hungry.

So when Quicoy went to his bed in the corner he pulled the matting over
his head and was so afraid that he did not go to sleep for a long time.

The next morning he rose very early and went down to the spring where
the boys get the water to put in the bamboo poles and carry home. Some
boys were already there, and he told them what had taken place the
night before. They were all sorry that his mother had called the
Ongloc, but they told him not to be afraid for they would tell him
how he could be forever safe from that terrible man.

It was very easy. All he had to do was to go at dusk to the cocoanut
grove by the river and dig holes under two trees. Then he was to climb
a tree, get the cocoanut that grew the highest, and, after taking
off the husk and punching in one of the little eyes, whisper inside:

"Ongloc of the mountains!
Ongloc! Ugly man!
I'm a little cocoanut,
Catch me if you can!"

Then he was to cut the cocoanut in halves, quickly bury one piece in
one of the holes, and, running to the other tree, bury the remaining
half in the other hole. After that he might walk home safely, being
sure not to run, for the Ongloc has always to obey the call of the
cocoanut, and must hunt through the grove to find the one that called
him. Should he cross the line between the holes, the buried pieces
would fly out of the holes, snap together on him, and, flying up the
tree from which they came, would keep him prisoner for a hundred years.

Quicoy was happy to think that he could capture the Ongloc, and
resolved to go that very night. He wanted some of the boys to go with
him, but they said he must go alone or the charm would be broken. They
also told him to be careful himself and not cross the line between
the holes or he would be caught as easily as the Ongloc.

So Quicoy went home and kept very quiet all day. His mother was sorry
she had frightened him the night before, and was going to tell him
not to be afraid; but when she thought of the lubi lana spilled on
the ground, she resolved to punish him more by saying nothing to him.

Just at dark, when no one was looking, Quicoy took his father's bolo
and quietly slipped away to the grove down by the river. He was not
afraid of ladrones, but he needed the bolo because it is not easy
to open a cocoanut, and it takes some time, even with a bolo, to get
the husk chopped from the fruit.

Quicoy felt a little frightened when he saw all the big trees around
him. The wind made strange noises in the branches high above him,
and all the trees seemed to be leaning over and trying to speak to
him. He felt somewhat sorry that he had come, but when he thought of
the Ongloc he mustered up courage and went on until he found an open
space between two high trees.

He stopped here and dug a hole under each of the trees. Then he put his
feet in the notches and climbed one of the trees. It was hard work,
for the notches were far apart; but at last he reached the branches
and climbed to the top. The wind rocked the tree and made him dizzy,
but he reached the highest cocoanut, threw it to the ground, and then
'started down the tree. It was easy to come down, though he went
too fast and slipped and slid some distance, skinning his arms and
legs. He did not mind that, however, for he knew he had the cocoanut
that would capture the Ongloc. He picked it up, chopped off the husk,
punched in one of the little eyes, and whispered inside:

"Ongloc of the mountains!
Ongloc! Ugly man!
I'm a little cocoanut,
Catch me if you can!"

He then chopped it in halves and buried one piece, and, running
to the other tree, buried the remaining piece. Just as he finished
he thought he heard a noise in the grove, and, instead of walking,
he started to run as fast as he could.

It was very dark now, and the noise grew louder and made him run
faster and faster, until suddenly a dreadful scream sounded directly in
front of him, and a terrible black thing with fiery eyes came flying
at him. He turned in terror and ran back toward the trees. He knew it
was the Ongloc answering the call of the cocoanut, and he ran like mad,
but the monster had seen him and flew after him, screaming with rage.

Faster and faster he ran, but nearer and nearer sounded the frightful
screams until, just as he felt two huge claws close on his neck, there
was a bump, a loud snap, and he felt himself being carried high in the
air. When the shock was over he found that he was squeezed tightly
between two hard walls, and he could hear the Ongloc screaming and
tearing at the outside with his claws. Then he knew what had happened.

He had crossed the line between the buried pieces and they had snapped
on him and carried him up the tree from which they came. He was badly
squeezed but he felt safe from the Ongloc, who finally went away in
disappointment; for, although he likes cocoanuts, he cannot take one
from a tree, but must change a boy or girl into the fruit if he wishes
to eat of it.

Quicoy waited a long, long time and then knocked on the shell in the
hope that some one would hear him. All that night and the next day
and the next he knocked and cried and knocked, but, though people
passed under the tree and found the bolo, he was so high up they did
not hear him.

Days and weeks went by and the people wondered what had become of
Quicoy. Many thought he had run away and were sorry for his poor
mother, who grieved very much to think she had terrified him by calling
the Ongloc. Of course the boys who had sent him to the grove could
have told something of his whereabouts, but they were frightened and
said nothing, so no one ever heard of poor little Quicoy again.

If you pass a cocoanut grove at night you can hear a noise like some
one knocking. The older people say that the cocoanuts grow so closely
together high up in the branches that the wind, when it shakes the
tree, bumps them together. But the children know better. They say,
"Quicoy is knocking to get out, but he must stay there a hundred

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