Death by bangungot

It's pretty useless when you die of bangungot.

You could have died a hundred different deaths: shot like Rizal who died a patriot, tortured upside down like San Lorenzo in the name of God, or blown to bits after failing to dispose a bomb inside a train carrying at least a hundred innocent lives.

Death by asphyxiation while being trampled upon by a folkloric creature, known as Batibat, pales in comparison to those poetic deaths.

image credits: stuartxchange.org

Filipinos call it bangungot, while the Thais and Laos refer to it as Brugada Syndrome. Due to current indefinite etiology, researchers would write Sudden Unexpected Death Syndrome, and doctors will cite symptoms of Sleep Paralysis. By experience, though, bangungot is worse than the Western concept of nightmares.

Bangungot is singly the most vivid image in my memories of Lantern Parades in UP Diliman. Batibat is a creature of Ilocos folklore that sits atop the chest and torso of the victim, most usually a young unknowing male, during his long and peaceful lumber.

This young man is asleep, but he is seemingly aware of his surroundings. He starts to struggle to get up from bed, but can't. It's like getting tied to the bed helplessly.

He will probably try to shout at people nearest him, but his voice will not be heard by anyone. The victim will start struggling for air. In some few cases, the victim may die in his sleep.

image credits: 4.bp.blogspot.com

My favorite anthropologist, Dr. Michael Tan, writes in his column that bangungot is probably beyond the biological disease, and reflects psychosocial aspects that we do not usually consider. Particularly, bangungot and similar folk ailments cause real disease, pain, suffering, and even death, which makes it even more crucial to look for preventive equivalents.

I had bangungot several times, and it freaks me out every time. I would wake up clammy, sweaty, and teary-eyed.

Could someone invent a pill please. Know that you'll be rich in no time.

Sources: Sudden Unexpected Death Syndrome, Brugada Syndrome, Sleep ParalysisBatibat