Hilot: A Virtual Stage play by The UP Repertory Company

Sa panahon ng krisis na pangkalusugan, nais mo na bang gumaling nang tuluyan?
Sumama ka na sa isang paglalakbay tungo sa kalayaan.

The UP Repertory Company

DILIMAN, Quezon City – In the month of August 2021, the UP Repertory Company
advances its 48th production season themed “Atras-Abante: Pasakalye sa Loob at
Labas ng Sakit at Lunas’, with the virtual theatre production entitled HILOT, inspired
from traditional healing in the Philippines. It is a compelling fictional and retrospective
narrative, written by Aldrich Gerard Gatbunton and Winona Eunice Alindogan.

Ang kultura ng Pilipinas ay binubuo ng iba’t-ibang elemento, at isa na roon ang natural na panggagamot. Mula sa The UP Repertory Company, inihahandog ang produksyong Hilot. Mula sa inspirasyon ukol sa mga paraan ng panggagamot na ginagamit ang pisikal, kalikasan, damdamin, at isip, nabuo ang isang dulang naglalaman ng mga pansariling tala. Dadalhin ng Hilot ang mga manonood sa mundo na hindi limitado sa nakasanayang paraan ng paglunas ng mga sakit. Sa pamamagitan ng personal na pagkukwento, matutunghayan ang mga sari-saring uri ng manggagamot na nabuhay sa mga pinaka-mapangahas na panahon sa bansa. Mula sa sinaunang panahon, pagpapahirap ng mga kolonisador, at ngayo’y sarili na nating estado, maipapakita na sa halip ng mabuting intensyon na makapaghilom ng kapwa ang mga manggagamot, patuloy silang pinatatahimik upang maisulong ang sariling interes ng mga mula kanluran. Sa produksyong ito, ipaglalaban ang kalayaan at representasyon ng mga manggagamot para sa katutubo, at ang kinagisnang panggagamot at kalusugan sa Pilipinas.

The artistic and production team is composed of The UP Repertory Company’s resident members: Aldrich Gerard Gatbunton (Head Playwright), Winona Eunice Alindogan (Playwright), Pat Maliwat (Dramaturg), Robe Zamora Dagcuta (Creatives Team Head), Therese Laput (Stage Manager), Aimee Ramos (Production Manager), and Hillary Guevara (Company Manager).

The creatives team includes Johnmark Villanueva, Laine Fernandez, Ace Hernandez, Decca Lumanglas, Gian Paulo Suarez, Ronan Cyrone Baay, and André Miguel (Musical Score).

Featuring Ace Hernandez,  Pat Maliwat,  Jaime Monserrat, Leah Curitana, Kendrick Rivera, Kirk Justin Ramos, Johnmark Villanueva, Lupin Princesa, Clara Senga, Isay Embérga Sinfuego, Pauline Vengano, and Michelle Alde.

With the direction of Ron Simon Lomibao. 

Sasamahan mo ba kami sa paglaban para sa katutubo at kinagisnang panggagamot at kalusugan sa Pilipinas?

HILOT will be streamed this coming August 21, 2021 (7 PM) in the Official Facebook Page of the UP Repertory Company. 

For questions and other details, please contact Aimee Ramos at 0956 990 3167.

#HilotOnline

#Hilot2021

#UPREPAtrasAbante

#UPREP48ANTE

#UPRepAbante

Modernizing Hilot through its on process development

Got a long day as we start our day yesterday by 5:00 AM. We went out to meet an important person which I could not name yet in any of our platform. But this person is going to make a big impact to all Hilot practitioners around the world, and I am there to assist in creating this impact to happen that will bring benefit not only to us as members and graduates of Hilot Academy of Binabaylan but also to other Filipino Indigenous Healers.

In this table, Four person was seated. It includes me, Lakay, Ms Nora and the other one that I will not name yet. This person have seen me years ago on a Global Summit of Filipinos in Diaspora that was held at Philippine International Convention Center, Manila on September 27-29, 2011. On that event I was invited to stand up about Hilot. Most of them were Filipino Americans and coming from other countries and have migrated there. What I did not realize is that there are government officials who are also watching me when I speak in front of them. And one of those Government official is the one who have searched for me to help her create a legacy for all Manghihilot not only in our country but also around the world.

Modernizing Hilot

The goal of meeting up with this very important person is to secure the role of Manghihilot in the Healthcare Delivery System as well as to make Hilot a profitable source of income to the practitioner that it may encourage its continuity of practice as part of the preservation and promotion of this Ancient Filipino Healing Arts and Science. It also aim to upgrade the status of Manghihilot by creating a system that will level up their practice from being a Manghihilot into a Doctorate Degree in Traditional Filipino Medicine. Like other form of Traditional Medicine such as in Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Homeopathy and Naturopathy that has a path that will lead its practitioner into a Doctorate Level.

The process of this development is very critical, as it will highlight all the healing practices of our ethno-linguistic brothers and sister from different part of the country. Standardization of the practice of Hilot maybe impossible, as each individual practitioners of Hilot from the different part of our country is unique, but as part of it’s development we could find a common ground where we can set a standard of practice.

Hilot for Relaxation

I remember that there are argument whether the TESDA Hilot Wellness Massage NC2 Holder must be part of Licensed Massage Therapist practitioners in the Philippines as the graduates of Tesda are showing of a competency skills that is subject for the Massage Therapist Certification and Registration. Though for Hilot Academy of Binabaylan, we have set the difference by showing that Hilot is not a massage as it is intended for healing and treatment of certain condition.

The person that we have talked yesterday brought out her idea to us, giving us situation that when a tourist come to the Philippines and will look for a Relaxation treatment what we should provide? Though the best answer for that is what the Spa Industry in the Philippines is providing. Our country could provide spa treatment such as Swedish Massage to a tourist. And from there, She point out that what we provide is not a Filipino modality but a foreign one which most of us are proficient with.

Though on my stand point, as she also have mentioned, when you have body pain such as stiff neck, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, lower back pain, sprain and such other condition, you will not go to a Spa. And we said and I emphasized that Yes! Because that is what a Manghihilot does.

In my mind, I am seeing a different center where a Manghihilot SHOULD work. It’s either a Manghihilot should work in a Hospital Setting under the Traditional and Alternative Medicine Department of the Hospital or in a Hilot Healing Treatment Center which we are going to work out.

But addressing the issue of what we could provide a tourist who comes in our country have a relaxation, is what we are working out right now. From this point, Hilot can be developed and create a standard will shine out our identity to the world and taking our own Pride as Filipino.

With this, if you have a Hilot Organization or you are teaching Hilot either on TESDA, DOH or DSWD, whether you are in the Philippines or living outside the country, I am asking you to get in touch with meby sending me an email at apuadman@hilotacademy.com

I want you to be part of this project and together let us build a better future for all of Manghihilot.

We are Building Bridges through Hilot

It was on February 20, 2020 when my life turns a new. It was the time that I was hospitalized due to over fatigue. Yes! even a healer is subjected to illness specially if you don’t do what you teach. I am a Manghihilot as well as a healer. During that time, i was taking client as well as do teaching. To some of you may think it’s easy. But handling things are never easy specially when you put all your energies to the things that you do. That day is the day when the Universe have talked to me. The day when I think a lot and pray that I could make a decision if i should stop teaching or healing people.

When my Mother Died, I already have said that I will stop everything. But the spirit of my mother have come to me and encourage me to continue helping people either through healing or teaching. She reminded me that these are the one that I have asked the universe during the time that I lay down alone in the forest ground and see the moon and the stars to talk to me. This is the answer when I asked the Universe on How should I live my life and earn a living. The Universe have confirmed my skills in Healing. And they added up a new skills in sharing my wisdom to the people that I may duplicate or even multiply my self in healing people through teaching.

Hilot Academy of Binabaylan was established so that I may share my knowledge to the willing people to learn the ways on how i administer Hilot to the People.

Jose Miguel
Watanabe Yuko

It was Jose Miguel who is a Spanish National and Watanabe Yuko who is a Japanese National that were the Pioneering Students of Hilot Academy of Binabaylan which they took the course when we are still in Makati City. We did the Traditional Training Method of Face-to-Face interaction where they will Read, Listen, Watch, Observe and Perform. Though we do not have written exams during training except for return demonstration of the skills that they have learned through our Guidance. It is more likely mentoring style instead of Teaching where the students of Hilot can develop their own techniques rather than following steps by steps procedure.

From Makati City we go to Quezon City at Kings Point Subdivision to continue our work and also serve our Outreach Ministry. And from there we held a scholarship program which we teach a group of people to have their own livelihood as well as to serve their community as a Hilot. And individually we have received also students coming from different part of the world such as in Austria, Chile and US. Indeed, I love to share my knowledge to everyone as well as for everybody to experience what I do. Since Hilot is not just a Physical Touch but it is a Holistic approach in Healing.

I do not want to call my self (personally) as Teacher of Hilot. But what I do is just share what I know and let people experience How it is to be touched by Hilot. And through the Touch we provide, let Hilot work everything out to experience the Healing Wonder of this amazing modality that been passed unto us by our Ancestors.

From Kings Point Subdivision we moved to my hometown in Bulacan. Maintaining a huge house maybe is not my forte as it requires big amount of money to sustain it. I am feeling the burden not only in terms of Finances but also the daily activity of the Academy to make it work. During the time when people come in to learn, It is always my out most concern to make them comfortable in Learning. We prepare accommodation for them as well as plan for the food they will eat. Because most of the Time, learning Hilot is not just an academic theory to memorize the procedures and techniques but it is more on the experience where the student should learn. And if they are going to learn Hilot from experience so they must have a wonderful experience of it in order to learn.

As we move in to Bulacan, new challenges have brought in to me which i should care for. Our place is located nearby the street where the noise of passing vehicles can be heard. Then within the vicinity, we have an animal companion such as chicken, dogs and cats. We do not have cooking tools in our place that during Lunch Time we went down to my Father’s House to take our lunch. But surprisingly, we have graduates who endure the situation that we have in Bulacan. The nice thing when you learn Hilot in Bulacan is that you will feel that you become part of our Family. That is why I am very thankful to Kai, Vicenzo and Doc Cathy that they took their class here in San Jose Del Monte City and learned how we live our life here as well as they learn Hilot.

It was Doc Cathy who is a Chiropractor from California who is the first and last international student who has seen and talk with my Mom. And Kai Mascarenas was the very first student who pay respect to my Mother’s grave when she become student of the Academy. It was an amazing experience also with me that these people allow themselves to be with us and even for a short while they became a family to me. After Kai of Washington DC, it was Vicenzo of Italy arrived then the French Couple Gerone and Jeremy. I know it became a challenging experience to them as they experience to sleep on a Banig on the floor. But having Kai, Gerone and Jeremy becomes a challenge to me as well as they were Vegans. So from them, I learn how to prepare vegan food which is meatless and animal product free.

After sharing my knowledge of Hilot to the French Couple Jeremy and Gerone, a good friend offer her place in Dona Petrona Subdivision, Fairview, Quezon City to be our new venue of training. There we have welcomed Julz and Jamee, Dina and Maria, so as the Spanish Therapist Noel and Laura. It was early 2020 when they arrived and at the same Time Taal Volcano have exploded. I thought they were not be able to make it, but the Universe made a way for them to complete their mission. Learning and Living in the same house seems to freeze time even that their scheduled stay with us is only for a short while. The only break time we had is during sleep and toilet break. During the awake period is like a learning opportunity where everyone could ask and answer about their thoughts. Of course we have a scheduled lessons to follow, but the flow of thoughts that everyone has is unlimited and hard to control. Those short days are not enough to learn, even the learning program that we have prepared is just a few compared to the entire mysteries of Hilot that our ancestors have shared and pass unto us.

Hilot Academy of Binabaylan, whether we have a stable place of not becomes a window of the past to our present. And as a Practitioner of this Ancestral Healing Arts and Science we become a bridge maker who will let the people from this present generation experience the past that they may bring along this wonderful experience to the future.

And now the Pandemic of Corona Virus is here with us and may stay for long, sharing this ancestral knowledge of healing does not stop us. It allows us to share this amazing healing modality and breaks the limitation of time and space through virtual online learning. As of this moment, the Academy provides the Non Contact Hilot: Mind and Spirit working Class which will provide you a certification as Magaanito/Pangatauhan/Pangutanahan or Magtatawas; and soon we will be providing the Manggagamot Course and the Albularyo Course Online.

We are just completing our learning materials for the Manggagamot and Albularyo course. And once it is complete I will make it known here so that you may start learning and become a Hilot Binabaylan.

June 2021 has arrived!

YEY!

We are already on the 6th month of the Year 2021 at the time of Covid Pandemic Era and are surviving. The new normal have already changed our system specially on delivering the Training Methods we use to initiate new Hilot Binabaylan this modern times. We started implementing this new system of learning Last June 2020 as an experimental method of training and gratefully we succeed!

The Hilot Online Training program have made successful training of 4 batches that graduated last 13th of February 2021 and they are Lukayo Estrella, Bernice Dela Cruz, Michaela Sanders and Christine Lipat. And now this 6th of June 2021, the second batches of candidates for Graduation will take their oath as we conduct a ritual ceremony and they are Janalyne Umipig, Lawrence Pau, Akua Maat, Jenifer Ebilane and Jen Maramba.

As we will give them their charge, we are also welcoming potential new Hilot Binabaylan that will take the role as Pangutanahan/ Paganituhan/ Pangatauhan or Magtatawas. This is the certification that we are providing for the students who took the Non Contact Hilot: Mind and Spirit Working Course.

Usually, the Magtatawas Training is part of our Hilot ng Aghamang Binabaylan Training Course which can be taken only in person as it requires face-to-face apprenticeship and immersion to the life of Hilot Binabaylan. Due to Pandemic and travel ban, we have designed a new method of training that does not require traveling and in person face-to-face contact which is the Non Contact Hilot: Mind and Spirit working.

During this period of Pandemic, Hilot Academy of Binabaylan redesign our Training Delivery Method and bring it into a virtual platform which is the Google Classroom. Special thanks to our Mother which is the Shrine of Luntiang Aghama for arranging us a system where we could continue to share the ancestral knowledge of Healing Arts and Science online.

The Online Training Platform is a Big Leap for Hilot Academy as well as to the Philippine Traditional and Indigenous Healing System. As Folk and Traditional Medicine was called to be unscientific but now through studies and use of technology, we are bringing science in order for us to advance the Status of Hilot that can complement and integrate into the modern healthcare delivery system.

As of this moment (June 2021) the available course in an online platform format is the Non Contact Hilot: Mind and Spirit Working Class, and soon we will add the Manggagamot Course which consist of Body Work Techniques and Manipulation and the Albularyo Course or Hilot sa Halaman (Herbalism) Course.

Each of the Training program will certify an Individual according to the course you have taken. But your certification will only provide you a title according to the course you have taken. For example, you have taken the Magtatawas Training Course or Non Contact Hilot: Mind and Spirit Working, the Title that you will achieve here is the Magtatawas or Panganituhan/Pangutanahan/ Pangatauhan ng Hilot Binabaylan. That means you are not yet on the level of Hilot Binabaylan Title as you only acquire the Magtatawas Skills. In order to obtain the Title of Hilot Binabaylan, you must have taken the Magtatawas, Manggagamot and the Albularyo Skills which we certify separately or you may take it whole by taking our face-to-face, in person live in apprenticeship program which is the Hilot ng Aghamang Binabaylan.

cHAT TIME AT HABI

2021 has Gloriously arrived and Hilot Academy of Binabaylan still continues its mission in Promoting Hilot as Philippine Traditional Medicine. I thought that last year pandemic will stop our activities in sharing the Ancestral Knowledge of Healing Arts and Science as we all know that learning Hilot is through apprenticeship that requires face-to-face supervision. But through the Grace of the Diwata and with the help of the ancestors, we are being reminded that caring does not always require physical contact. We are also being reminded of the purpose of Hilot in accordance to its delivery system which are preventive, promotive, curative and rehabilitative. And through that, even at the midst of pandemic Hilot treatment modality can still be employed even without the Physical Touch of the Healer to the Patient/ Client.

As we open up our Door for Distant Learning- people from Canada, Singapore, Hawaii, New York, Colorado and California have been able to learn the Non Contact Hilot Technique through our Mind and Spirit Working Course. Due to the Physical Distancing implemented by the Government, our Job as Manghihilot has been limited since they do not recognize us as a Essential Health Worker. But even though we are being limited to our function, the Right for Health is on the responsibility of each individual. And the power to protect ourselves from being infected by Covid 19 is in our hands and does not merely rely on the Government Plan.

Last Year we have also witnessed how the Philippine Department of Health debunked the suggestion of Philippine Institute of Traditional Alternative Health Care in employing Suob to provide relief. Aside from that initiative to conduct research on Tawa- Tawa, Lagundi and Virgin Coconut Oil has been made as it has been found to provide relief from the symptoms of Covid 19. Well let us just hope and pray that all this effort of our fellow Traditional Medicine Practitioners be recognized and let us continue to do our part to eradicate this virus in our society. Remember what our ancestors teach us, WE AS A HEALER WE DO NOT PROVIDE CURE AS EACH MAN HAS THE ABILITY TO HEAL THEMSELVES. What we do is to facilitate that healing and assist the person to achieve their optimum health and wellness through our guidance and supervision.

As we supervise and guide others in obtaining their optimum health and wellness, the society also expect more from us by always in our good health. We as Hilot Binabaylan should be an example to our people on how to live a healthy lifestyle. Though some of us may not believe on the pandemic virus, but prevention is still better than cure. Always practice safety in all that we do. When going out always keep Physical Distancing. Wear Face Mask and Face Shield. Sanitize your Hand with disinfectant. And most of all if you do not have business outside your house, just stay at home.

Since Hilot Academy of Binabaylan is now have our Distant Learning Program which you can take at the comfort of your own home and that is our Non Contact Hilot: Mind and Spirit Working. This Training Program is ideal for you to take if you like the work of a Counselor.

DISCLAIMER

Non Contact Hilot: Mind and Spirit Working is a non-professional, non-academic course that does not require government certification and license. This is a Specialty Course offered by Hilot Academy of Binabaylan as part of promoting Philippine Tradition, Culture, Spirituality and Healthcare. Mind and Spirit Working does not intend to replace the treatment procedures from the help of the professionals.

By taking this course, you will receive certification as Magtatawas or Spiritual Counselor that been recognized by Luntiang Aghama Natural Divine Arts Shrine of Healing Inc. which is a religious organization established in the Philippines that focus on Philippine Traditional and Indigenous Spirituality and Healthcare.

This Year, we will start our Class on Non Contact Hilot: Mind and Spirit Working this coming 24th of January 2021. And we will open our Google Meet for video conferencing on the following time schedule:

SUNDAY MORNING CHAT

  • NEW YORK CITY, USA- 8:00 AM
  • ONTARIO, CANADA 8:00 AM
  • WASHINGTON DC, USA 8:00 AM

SUNDAY AFTERNOON CHAT

  • BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA 4:00 PM

SUNDAY EVENING CHAT

  • CALIFORNIA, USA 8:00 PM
  • HAWAII, USA 6:00 PM
  • VIRGINIA, USA 8:00 PM
  • TEXAS, USA 7:00 PM

All Video Chat will be held through Google Meet. But for schedule and personal consultation, you may message me through our Whats App.

Tambalan: philippine traditional herbalist

Now-a-days, we hear the word albularyo and albularya as Filipino Traditional Healer who uses herbs and prayers in Healing. And modern institution want to change the terminology into more appropriate word and modify it’s practice into modern ways. Instead of Albularyo or Albularya (which has genderdization to pertain to male or female practitioner), they want it to be called Herbularyo to emphasize the word Herbs. Though this name is of Spanish origin and it replaced the original term of our ancestors as Tambalan.

Tambal were all plants, roots, leaves, or bark with medicinal properties, for which reason
the Spaniards called the tambalan an herbolario, “one who has knowledge of plants [hierbas],
their powers and properties.”

William Henry Scott, Baranggay Chapter 6: Natural Science, Treatment

Though eversince, Tambalan were known to be expert in herbal medicine but in fact they are not. Tambalan are only medium of the spirits whether be from the ancestral spirits, nature spirits or the diwata. The Knowledge of Tambalan or mananambal in herbal plants comes from the Guidance of Abyan or Gabay of the Healer. And most likely these healers are unschooled and have no formal education unlike today. The knowledge that people have comes from their family elders and instructions are being taught at home. Aside from our Family Elders, the community also recognize a wise and persuasive elder which they call as Parawali.

At this present time, the movement to revive our Philippine Traditional Medicine gets the attention of our Government officials that it is now being offered at School either through Technical Education Skills Development Authority, Philippine Institute of Traditional Alternative Health Care and even at Department of Science and Technology.

Esquire Magazine have an Article posted about albularyo which you can access through this link. ALBULARYO

These modern movement in reviving our very own Traditional Medicine but modifying its practice and to exclude the spiritual aspect of the craft may affect its nature. Earlier this Year dated January 21, 2020- I have written Pitahc and have expressed my willingness to share my knowledge and expertise to them. And that is through the Art of Tawas, Pagpapahid and Herbs. But as they respond to me, the only thing that they allowed is the Massage part or pagpapahid and herbs. They have no clear response about Tawas as traditional medicine method. And that is the same thing i have received when i was working with Tesda, they exclude tawas.

On our Part, we can not exclude the practice of Pagtatawas in healing because we believe that in order to provide effective treatment plan we must also provide effective diagnostic measure and evaluation of the patient. A body without a spirit is dead; so as a treatment without a spirit is making a Zombie or Amaranhig.

Hilot Recipe works wonder

I was able to talk to a friend yesterday from overseas and she mention that her mother is ill. I ask her what kind of illness that struck her mother and she told me that her mother is having difficulty to walk due to constant numbness of both of her legs.

I do distant tawas on her to see what the cause of her illness. And this is what I saw. As the oil drips as i introduce it to the flame of candles, it forms an intestine. As i finish the ritual, the smoke attached to the paper formed the image of a girl that has black spot on her chest. I tell her the situation of having emotional disturbance that she confirm to me to be right. I also mention the intestine that i saw that might cause her irritation. She confirms that she also have difficulty in her bowel movement that i made me land to provide recommendation of using Coconut Milk and Carrots as a remedy for 7 days which she will take on alternate days.

It means if she take the coconut milk with carrots juice today, tomorrow she will not take it but on the other day until she complete 7 intake of the recipe. And today as she does it, she message me with her testimony. ( I hide her identity as part of client privacy. I do not usually expose the names of my client or patient even with consent. This is part of the sacredness of our practice in hilot.)

In this situation of Pandemic, we as manghihilot are not hindered to provide our care to people who need our services. We can still provide our wisdom to people who needs for it. So if you need our help, you can also connect with us by contacting Apu Adman Aghama through his mobile number at +639952467040 or email at hilot.binabaylan@gmail.com

No Therapeutic Claim

Before the discovery of modern medicine, people around the world heavily rely on the power of nature to provide cure when they are sick; and these practices of our ancestors are now known as Traditional Medicine which in the Philippines is known as Hilot. As the modern medicine rise into power, they dismantle the role of traditional medicine to be an alternative and made the modern medicine as the conventional and more accepted form of providing cure. So the people who practice the traditional form of medicine was set aside so that the conventional medicine could work out in taking care of the health of the people. And those people who do use plant medicine in healing, they are encourage to brand their form of Medicine to have NO THERAPEUTIC CLAIM. It is known that years before the coming of Spain in our country, our ancestors rely on the efficacy of Plant Medicine to affect cure from any illnesses. It is also been recorded that Spanish Friars have conducted research on the Plant Medicine that our ancestors used until the first modern pharmacy was established in our country on 1830.

But now-a-days when a traditional healer produce and manufacture herbal medicine, the Pharmaceutical will label it as Food Supplement that has No Therapeutic Claim. Indeed as true as it was said by Hippocrates who was known to be the Father of Modern Medicine that:

Let Food be your medicine, and your Medicine be your Food.

Hippocrates

As Human being living in the modern day, we eat food 3 times a day or more. We eat breakfast, Lunch and Dinner plus the time we eat snacks. We eat our food to give us energy and strength. But we do not eat the prescribed medicine more than the recommended dosage that was given to us by the doctor. And those who do are known to be substance abuser which becomes an illness as well.

At this time of Pandemic, Hilot practitioners have the desire to help people by providing them relief from Covid 19 through Suob. But the Health Department whether locally or internationally have forbidden it’s use as it does not provide cure.

We agree that our practice will never provide nor Claim any Therapeutic Cure. As this will violate our Teaching that the Human Body has the ability to heal them selves from any diseases. The techniques that we apply does not compete to the modern technology that the modern medicine have, but our techniques only aim to assist the individual who suffer from illness and disease to find their own power to heal themselves. The video presented here talked about our role in Facilitating healing by removing the obstacle to the flow of the life force within the body of man. But until there is no exact cure for Covid 19, we pray that our Government will allow us to contribute in sharing our knowledge in caring for the people whom we love.

Defining Hilot according to Filipino living abroad Part 1

This pandemic of Coronavirus, staying at home and physical distancing made us to utilize more the available resources that we have such as the use of our laptop, desktop and mobile device to learn our cultural pride which is at the same time our very own Traditional Healing Arts and Science that we know as Hilot. It is a struggle for me to create this training program, since Hilot is more of Traditional Method whereas now we are using modern devices in order to share the wisdom of our Ancestors in Healthcare.

As we begin our online study on Non Contact Hilot training program, we ask our student on how they will define Hilot in this present generation. I will omit their name here but will share the works they have done and these are what they write about defining Hilot:

Introduction (from our June 2020 online trainee)

When I was growing up, my father taught me a form of massage that I thought was hilot, but in this essay, I will review the complex system of indigenous healing that is hilot based on the eight different sections presented by the Hilot Binabaylan Academy taught through Apu Adman and Lakay. These eight sections give an overview of the origin and virtues of hilot through the generations of healers, the terminology of health and illness, the understanding of health and illness through the natural law that is divided into purpose and integrity, and the modalities and healthcare delivery system of hilot. Lastly, I will conclude with how I would explain hilot to others.

General Overview

The overview’s glossary of Tagalog-to-English terms, as well as clarify that hilot is more than just massage, is the highlight of this section for me. It is especially important for people in the diaspora, who may be reclaiming and relearning their languages to have access to the specific terminology of illness and wellness. Much of the heart of the culture is the language, and by beginning with a language lesson, we begin with a meeting of the heart and the mind, to bring about the voice.

Modalities

Since the first section established that hilot is more than just massage, I found that this section on modalities is extremely important to describe what else is part of hilot. It also goes through the general framework of hilot procedures, which is very helpful and clear– there is a divination/diagnosis of illness with tawas, a cleansing with banyos and/or suob, then deep healing with hands-on methods, and then recommendations for home-care treatment such herbs, prayers, and lifestyle changes.

Virtues

Though I am already familiar and have a deep respect for the virtues of hilot, what was important for me to understand here was the explanation around giving money and the belief that it lessens the ability to heal. My father has told me that according to the traditions in his lineage of hilot, we cannot put a price on the healing or touch the money directly afterwards and instead only accept donations preferably sent as an e-transfer or given to a third party to put in a box somewhere, but he never explained why this tradition existed. This beautiful explanation that life cannot be bought, that this is more of an energetic exchange, resonates with me deeply.

Origins

This is the first time I have been introduced to the Angono-Binangonan Petroglyphs and I am so deeply grateful. I am familiar with the petroglyphs of the indigenous peoples of this land and how it is connected to their healing and way of life, and to know that our people have that too makes me determined to not only do a pilgrimage to the petroglyphs of the Anishinaabe, but the petroglyphs in the Philippines. I am also grateful to the Kabunian creation story, and the use of the hands as the first healer, and the different kinds of clay that made the different peoples. I disagree that some people are burnt or undercooked, and instead see them as reflecting the different colours of the world around us.

Concept of Life, Health, Illness, and Wellness

The world “silbi”, or purpose, was significant for me in understanding life, health, illness, and wellness, as my whole understanding of wellness revolves around purpose. I appreciate the 10 different functions of life that is understood to be part of the purpose, but I also understand that each function is actually representative of a much larger spiritual concept, such as each organ or limb is a physical manifestation of a spiritual concept. For example, “reproduction” can mean physically reproducing, but it can also mean spiritual bringing forth more creation energy into the world through art, technology, creativity, joy. “Excretion” can mean the physical removal of waste, but it is also connected to all cleansing processes, including the spiritual ones. “Metabolism” are chemical reactions about breaking things down and releasing energy, but they are also the spiritual connection we have to other beings, and our place in the cycle of life and death. “Respiration” is very similar in that it represents spiritual connection, but this is more about the reciprocal stage that maintains life, as opposed to the cycle that also includes death.

Elements & Faculties

This section covers 13 different parts of life and humanity: 3 faculties (thoughts, words, and deeds), 5 elements (earth, wind, fire, water, spirit), and 5 aspects (physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual). By understanding the harmonious relations of these 13 concepts with each other and in themselves, we also have another picture of how “silbi”, what individual purpose, is all about, beyond the 10 functions described in the previous section. But more than just individual purpose, we have integrity, or dangal. The harmony of the functions, elements and aspects must be expressed in the faculties, which then can be witnessed as dangal/honour. Our individual purpose must manifest in this world with integrity, otherwise there is an imbalance, an illness.

Indication & Contraindication

Like the first section, I love the sixth section for the same reason– the language lesson, the deeper understanding of culture, and in this case, of “pilay”. By understanding the “natural law” that is also deeply outlined in sections 5 and 6, pilay can also be seen as ways that the natural law is broken. For example, “pilay lamig” is an indication that the elements are out of balance, that there isn’t enough fire, while “pilay hangin” shows that there is too much wind. Supporting rites of passage as a human grows also supports the function of “growth” and “metabolism” and “respiration”, the connections between beings, and the cycles of life and death.

Healing Practices and Healthcare Delivery System

Though I am familiar with the history of the different generations of healers, what is very helpful and new to me was the categories of preventive, promotive, curative/therapeutic, and rehabilitative. I find this very helpful because when I am doing tawas and it shows the different imbalances in the past, present, and future, then also I can use the framework of the healthcare delivery system to understand what to prescribe. If I am talking about the tawas paper that represents the future, then I will be prescribing preventative and promotive. If I am talking about the tawas paper in the past, it may be curative or rehabilitative. The tawas paper of the present can be any of the four.

Conclusion

From all that I have learned so far under this sacred and human guidance, I would tell people that Hilot is all about understanding natural law — what is the purpose of life and humanity, and how is that purpose expressed with integrity and honour. This natural law means many different parts are in balance (such as the functions, elements, and aspects), and when they are not in balance, we become ill. Pain and illness is a message from the universe about what needs balancing around us, and we understand that through tawas, a form of communication with the natural law of the human and the world around that human. Once the imbalances are determined, there are numerous methods to bring balance back, that must be done with the active participation of the one that is ill. This does not just include massage, but herbs, talismans, charms, potions, prayers, exercises, and lifestyle changes. The manghihilot is not just a masseuse– they are actually an interpreter and channel of natural law, a vessel for the Creator’s power and plan. 


We would love to know what you think about our Training Program. If you have been already with us in the past and have experienced the wonderful healing arts of Hilot, kindly share your stories with us by sending us an email at hilot.binabaylan@gmail.com

You can also experience Hilot and learn with us by enrolling our Hilot Online Training Program. We still have a spot for our September 2020 class. To know more about our Non Contact Hilot Mind and Spirit Working Online Training Program, you may check out our page here.

Embracing the Challenges of Time

Hilot is a Filipino Traditional Healing modality that been passed down by our ancestors orally to their relatives and students. Most of the time people learn this sacred healing arts through apprenticeship and not in school. Usually patients who has been healed by a Manghihilot are the one who are likely to become an apprenctice of manghihilot as that person will share the gift of healing that they receive from Hilot. And now at this 21st century, Hilot is adopting to the modern challenges of this world that we can now learn this sacred healing arts and science of Filipino Hilot Online.

Before the pandemic of Coronavirus, Hilot Academy of Binabaylan offers in person and live in training program to any individual that wish to learn our Ancient and Sacred Healing Arts of the Filipino People. People from different countries such as USA, Canada, France, Austria, Italy, Japan and Chile have come to the Philippines to learn Hilot. But because of the Pandemic and the social distancing policy implemented by most government leaders, Hilot Training has been halted. But on June 2020, we have open up our academy again but this time students will not come to the Philippines but instead they can learn Hilot at the comfort of their home through our Hilot Online Training.

The face-to-face training will be missed but people around the world will now have an opportunity to learn Hilot even without coming to the Philippines through our online platform which is at Google Classroom. And this website that is powered by WordPress.com is very beneficial in becoming an instrument of Defining Hilot of the 21st Century to the world. Of course aside from Google and WordPress, we also upload our Video lectures through YouTube. And here is one of our lessons that we talk about in Hilot Online Training.

If you are interested to learn Hilot, our August 2020 Class is now open for enrollment. Kindly click here for details.