Welcome to My Site

If this is your first visit, welcome! This site is devoted to my life experiences as a Filipino-American who immigrated from the Philippines to the United States in 1960. I came to the US as a graduate student when I was 26 years old. I am now in my early-80's and thanks God for his blessings, I have four successful and professional children and six grandchildren here in the US. My wife and I had been enjoying the snow bird lifestyle between US and Philippines after my retirement from USFDA in 2002. Please do not forget to read the latest national and International News in this site . I have also posted some of my favorite Filipino and American dishes and recipes in this site. Some of the photos and videos in this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on infringing on your copyrights. Cheers!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Aswang and Dystonia Parkinsonism (Lubag) of Panay Island, Philippines

Halloween is still about 6 months away, but today I am sharing with you a video about witches ( or aswang) of the Philippines. I accidentally found this video while doing a search on parkinsonism. I found that there is a malady endemic to Panay Island associated with witches, because of the muscle twitching. The local residents called it lubag which meant twitching in their dialect. The video indicated that this may be the reason why the province of Capiz, Panay Island is often associated with the home of the aswangs.

So what is lubag? It is a sex linked recessive dystonia parkinsonism (XDP) discovered in Panay Island in the mid 1970's. It is a movement disorder unique to adult Filipino men whose ancestries can be traced to only to Panay Island, Philippines. It is characterized by severe, progressive torsion dystonia, which dominates the first 10 to 15 years of the illness and is associated or replaced by parkinsonian features in the later years of life. This malady was believed to be caused by the aswang or witches of the area.

Have you heard of the word aswang? If you are a Filipino, you know what is an aswang. But for my non-Filipino readers, Aswang (or Asuwang) is a mythical creature in Filipino folklore. The aswang is an inherently evil vampire-like creature and is the subject of a wide variety of myths and stories. Spanish colonists noted that the Aswang was the most feared among the mythical creatures of the Philippines, even in the 16th century.

The myth of the aswang is well known throughout the Philippines, except in the Ilocos region, which is the only region that does not have an equivalent myth. It is especially popular in the Western Visayan regions such as Capiz, Iloilo, Negros, Bohol, Masbate, Aklan, Antique. Other regional names for the aswang include "tik-tik", "wak-wak" and "soc-soc".

I grew up in the Philippines, so my parents had inculcated in my mind as a child to be afraid of witches at night. Today, as an adult residing in the US, the aswang phenomena was just a part of my childhood years and I have outgrown it.

Thanks for the video, Mr Jordan Clark. It is a well done and researched documentary indeed! I hope you enjoy this video as much as I do. It is one of the best documentary I have seen about the aswang of the Philippines.

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