Hilot: A virtual stage play by The UP Repertory Company

Yay!

On June 5, 2021- we have received an email proposal from UP Repertory Company to become a Co Presenter of a Virtual Stage Play that they are doing with the theme:

Atras-Abante: Pasakalye sa loob at labas ng Sakit at Lunas

Moving Backward- Forward: An introduction to inner and outer illness and cure

I am not sure if i translated their theme correctly, but when the first time i received their proposal on being a co presenter, the title of their Virtual Stage Play which will aired via Facebook Live streaming on their Group Page is called Albularyo, but as i talk to them through Phone Call and give them my opinion about the status of Filipino Traditional Healers, they have changed the title into Hilot.

And Today Officially, we received the copy of our Memorandum of Agreement as Co Presenter of their Virtual Stage Play called Hilot. And with that, I am encouraging you to participate in this online event that will happen via Facebook Live on July 31, 2021.

With this, I am asking for your monetary donation to encourage our Artist who are going to perform on the said stage play. Any amount will do and all of your donation will go directly to the performers and actors of The UP Repertory Company.

By the Way, did I not mention that our Actors and Performers are currently enrolled college students of UP Diliman who volunteered to do this stage play to spread awareness of our Philippine Traditional Healing Arts? So with this, I plead to everyone to encourage these young people to do great by giving them support through your generous donation.

More details will be posted soon!

By the Way, if you want to make donation for our Stage Play actors you can make it here.

hilot-virtual-stage-play

Support our Stage Play Actors and Performers of Hilot: A Virtual Stage Play

Let us encourage our Stage Play actors and performers who are currently enrolled as Student of University of the Philippines Diliaman to showcase their skills and talents as it also support us in our advocacy in Promoting Hilot as Philippine Traditional Medicine.

$5.00

Hilot as Magtatawas, Manggagamot and Albularyo

12 Years ago, i made a video compilation of the tawas that I made and uploaded it to Youtube. At that time, this is how we understand the work of an albularyo.

During those time, the knowledge that i have was shrouded with mysteries as i perform the task through faith through the use of orasyon. But as time goes through our persistent dedication to master our craft, we found science beyond the mysteries that enveloped the practice of this craft as folk medicine of the Filipino People. Through continues studies and research with perseverance, we found that the work of Magtatawas and Albularyo are different from one another but they are on the same umbrella of Filipino Healing Arts and Science which is known as Hilot.

Modern people may think of Hilot as a form of Filipino Massage using touch manipulative techniques that is indigenous to the Filipino. But Massage around the world has same quality of touching the skin and giving pressure to affect cure. The massage of indigenous Filipino requires application of oil to the body surface before performing massage thus the Massage techinique of the Filipino is called as Pahid. And Hilot is much more than massage because it aims to affect cure. And the illness that hilot aims to cure is not limited on the Physical Illness of Man but it also extend to the emotional, mental, social and spiritual aspect of man. Thus this Healer is called as Manggagamot. While the Albularyo is the one who literally creates the medicine. The medicine that comes from nature. They are the traditional pharmacist who concoct medicine to affect cure to the person who is ill. And the medicine that an albularyo formulate thus not limit on taking it internally but it also have external application.

Early this morning as i open up my pc, i received an Email from UP Repertory Company asking for Partnership in promoting their upcoming event which is a Virtual Stage Play that will highlight the life of Traditional healer in the Philippines throughout time.

Their perfomance will happen on July 17, 2021 and the play is written byAldrich Gerald Gatbunton and Winona Eunice Alindongan. You can view their virtual presentation on their Facebook Page which is at UP Repertory Company. More details will be posted soon!

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.

jamee pineda: our hilot binabaylan of maryland, usa

I sent out questionnaire’s to our graduates asking them how are they and I also have expressed my desire to know their current practice of Hilot in their area and one of the earliest respondent is Jamee Pineda. Let us all read now his story:

Who are you or what do you do before you study with us in Hilot Academy? 

I am a hilot binabaylan, acupuncturist, and Chinese medicine practitioner. My practice is informed by my identity as a queer, trans, non binary, Tagalog person living in the U.S. With the combination of my lived experience and training, my goal is to help individuals and communities live their fullest lives by offering a decolonizing approach to medicine rooted in traditional and ancestral practices.

What makes you decide to study Hilot?

I study hilot because I want to connect to my ancestral medicine. I am committed to decolonizing medicine and uplifting the traditions of my people.

What are the lessons you have learned in the Academy that you have treasured most and why?

There are so many lessons that I cannot write them all here. One of them was to train and trust my intuition and deepen my spiritual connections.

How do you incorporate the lessons and skills that you have acquired in the academy to your professional skills that you already have? 

With hilot I am able to offer more spiritual and social help to people. The folks that have come to me for this work want to connect to their ancestors more and develop their spiritual growth.

Do you have a remarkable experience as you practice the skills in providing hilot treatment to your client either using tawas or hilot pahid/ massage? Can you share it with us?

The accuracy of doing tawas and kilubansa is always remarkable to me. I have had instances where I will describe someone’s medical condition without prior knowledge and then the person will confirm it. For example, one reading I did showed me a neck, nose, skin, chickens, and pelvis. The person then confirmed that they had nasal blockage, neck pain, rashes from eating chicken, and they had abnormal results in a pelvic exam.

As we continue our conversation, Jamee is currently doing Teleconsultation, all of his services can be found on his website which you can visit by clicking on the link: Jamee Pineda, LAc Healing Arts.

Check him out as he provides Virtual Hilot Ritual Readings on Tawas and Kilubansa. Most of Jamee’s medicine is to help individuals and communities to live their lives to the fullest by offering  a decolonizing approach to medicine rooted in traditional and ancestral practices.

Albularyo or herbolaryo: which is which?

When we hear the word Albularyo what the common Filipino see in their mind is Mang Kepweng. Check the video trailer below.

Mang Kepweng is an Albularyo or medicine man that he gained his power to heal through his Magic Bandana worn on his head. It was given to him as a reward for his good deeds. An Alburayo is an expert on medicinal herbs as well as use of words or orasyon to affect cure. In the movie Mang Kepweng, the healer is shown to have power over the spirit world on which he communicates with spiritual beings and entities that possibly attack humanity by inflicting illness.

Now-a-days, we are seeing some resolution being drafted to call the Albularyo as Herbolaryo which the original term was derived. In this post, I will share to you our stand about the resolution of changing of the name.

Indeed it was true that the term Albularyo derives from the word Herbolaryo which means to be a person who is knowledgeable in using herbs to affect cure. But during the pre colonial times this term was not known among the common people because the name Albularyo or Herbolario are a word that been used by Spaniards to describe the person who uses plants, roots, leaves and barks with medicinal properties to affect cure to a person who has illness. And our local people doesn’t call the practitioner as Albularyo but Mananambal instead.

What is the Difference between an Albularyo/ Herbularyo to a Mananambal?

Before we talk about the difference of both terms, I want to emphasize first its similarity. Both Albularyo and Mananambal works with Herbal Medicine. The Albularyo or Herbolaryo are the Herbalist who have studied herbs and their medicinal properties and the process on which they can apply herbs to affect cure on illness of a certain individual; whereas the Mananambal are herbalist too which they learn the medicinal and magical properties of the herbs taught to them by their elders, observation to nature, and guidance by the spirits.

We can see that the name Albularyo is a name given by the Spaniards. So technically the name albularyo is unknown to our ancestors prior to the colonization of Spain to our country. The name Mananambal is older than then name Albularyo and their knowledge on herbs are most sought by our ancestors because modern medicine arrived only when the Spaniards came. The first Hospital in the Philippines was in Cebu established by the Spaniards on 1565. At that time Hospitals were called as Pamulnganan which the locals knows as house of Medicine which is derived from the local word Bulung which originally means as Medicine.

We can see here that over time, the Pamulnganan term is now unknown to us in modern time as we already have been accustomed to the words we adopt to call the house of medicine as Ospital or Hospital. And the word Bulong has changed it’s meaning which originally means as medicine but now Bulong becomes a word to describe what in English is called as Whisper. This is why we also know that Albularyo is an expert in Bulong or now they call it as Orasyon as prayer or magic words that could provide cure. Our knowledge on the Ancestral Healing Arts became complicated as the changes that been implemented during the time of colonization intentionally erase our memories so that we could embrace what they are giving to us.

But Now, this is our Mission in Luntiang Aghama through Hilot Academy of Binabaylan- we will serve as a window to bring back the memories of the past in to the present not only through information but also we make that information to animate as we can experience it today and preserve it for the future generations to come.

To make it clear, Albularyo or Herbolaryo is a Spanish name that used to describe a person who uses herbs to affect cure. They are the Herbalist who took Herbology in studying the effects of medicinal herbs. It means that in studying plants they observe academic method in accordance to the modern standards and procedures implemented by an modern educational institute. Whereas the Mananambal are a traditional herbalist who learn herbs that been passed down to them by their elders, observing the behavior of plants in nature, communicates with them and as guidance by the spirits. Mananambal are not only a herbalist but they are also a spirit medium.

So in Hilot Binabaylan, we do not just treat the body of a person but we also treat the spirit. So in using herbs- we do not just use the herbs to treat the physical body of the person but also we communicate with the herbs in order to heal also the spirit of the person.

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PREPARING FOR THE ACE to come

Happy New Year of 2021 to All!

I pray that everyone landed safely to the Year 2021 as we leave all the Bad Memories of 2020 and bring along the good ones. Time is really unpredictable, Isn’t it? All of us didn’t expect to have this Pandemic to happen. It is normal to have viruses around but to have a total Lock down and travel ban around the world is what we do not expect to happen. Indeed that the First Quarter of Last Year have become a blessings for us as we welcome to our Academy our newest members who took the in person, Live In Hilot ng Aghamang Binabaylan studies with us.

We are very grateful to have Julz Bolinayen of Hawaii,  Jamee Pineda of Washington DC, then Noel Zamora and Laura Castillo of Catalan Spain,  Maria Hashwell of San Francisco California and Dina Snaith of London, and our very last in person and face-to-face student who took Hilot ng Aghamang Binabaylan who traveled to the Philippines is Angelica Bautista of Glendale California. And after our last class with Angelica Kai, me and lakay were able to meet with Mamerto Tindungan who was a Mumbaki of Ifugao with Sir Archimedes De Leon of Tarlac to make a collaborative project with them that is supposed to be held in the beautiful Island of Camiguin (And all of this was our Before Covid 19 experience). And right after we landed down to manila from Ifugao, the news of Covid 19 and lock down has been implemented. Even there was a travel ban that affects Angelica Kai’s going back to the US. But thanks to La Union province Department of Tourism, Angelica Kai received help from them to be sent home to the states.

During the Lock Down I though that this will be the end of Hilot Academy’s operation. So what we did is we stand in front of our Altar and do the Global Healing Devotion. And through this Global Healing Devotion we have reach out people and started ministry around the world to pray for healing and assist people mental and emotional health. Indeed that the Pandemic of Coronavirus 19 is a life changing experience that it literally change how life in the world should work. All official activities are halted and even going to churches was forbidden due to the social distancing and stay-at-home policy implemented by the government locally as well as internationally. Though the Economy must continue that’s why some offices implemented work from home as well as schools do their home schooling. This was done through the help of internet, and internet providing business becomes a boom.

I never thought to bring Hilot Training online as it requires face-to-face instruction and guidance specially as it requires special attention on handling patient in providing care. But I was blinded with that thought focusing healthcare only to the Physical Body. So with the rising need in finding cure to Covid 19, we did our part by sharing what we know though it can not be consider cure as we have always taught that we do not provide cure but we prepare the individuals physical body to bring forth healing to them and affect cure. And last year during the height of the Pandemic Crisis, we were able to become a resource person to talk about Suob/Luop/Tuob as Natural Relief that been shown at Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho at GMA TV 7. You can start seeing us at the timestamp of 5:00-6:26.

As we shared our teachings to them, at the start of June 2020 we open the Academy for Online Training through our Non Contact Hilot: Mind and Spirit Training Course. We did this through the use of Google Technology using their platform Google Classroom, Google Document, Google Meet and Google Calendar. With these technology we share our reading materials, video presentation, online Quizes, and even Live Video Conferencing. This Hilot Online Training or what I call as HOT Course becomes in demand and favorable as it saves time and money in learning Hilot. The student will just learn at the comfort of their home without spending a lot of money to travel in the Philippines and pay for expensive food and accommodation. The Learning is Modular and Self Paced with 24/7 chat and call support in performing their home work studies. I did not expect that making Hilot Training Online will gain so much support from people around the world and through this training program, we have produced NCH practitioners in Ontario Canada, Singapore, Denver Colorado, Bronx New York, Hanalulu Hawaii, Kaneohe Hawaii, Cathedral City California, Palo Verde California, and soon in Oakland California and Vancouver Canada.

I did not expect that coming in to our way but there is another wave that is about to come. On the Last quarter of 2020, my former TESDA Co Trainer and Lead Assessor in the Province of Cavite called me up to inform me that a well known personality and former Government Official wanted to do a project with us. The project will be in the Province of Cavite but it will have an International Operation. But this will happen probably After Covid 19, when everything is already safe specially to travel in and out of the country.

So this year will be just little bit the same as last year but the only difference now is that we are already aware about Covid 19. We already get to use the New Normal which equip us to know the do’s and don’t to socializing and gathering. We make sure to become Covid Free by observing Basic Health Protocols. Wearing Face Mask and Face Shield when going out of our home becomes a necessary now-a-days. Hand Washing and proper body hygiene is a must. Eating Immune Boosting food to keep us healthy. And as much as possible we observe Physical Distancing.

This Year for Hilot Academy of Binabaylan, we will remain as an Educational Ministry of Luntiang Aghama Natural Divine Arts Shrine of Healing Inc. in promoting Philippine Traditional, Natural and Indigenous Healing Arts and Spirituality. As a Seminary we are about to make improvement to our Hilot ng Aghamang Binabaylan or Binabaylang Hilot Training Course, and that is to make the training course into 3 tiers.

MAGTATAWASMANGGAGAMOTMANANAMBAL
The Qualities of Becoming a Hilot Binabaylan or Binabaylan Hilot

So from this year, we are going to implement this changes when all is ready. In order to become a Hilot Binabaylan, one must possess all the Qualifications we have set here. The First one is the Magtatawas (this name or terminology can still be modified until a good word or name is found) Course, we already are doing this and train people under the Non Contact Hilot: Mind and Spirit Working. This course will train individual to become proficient in Traditional Filipino Diagnostic Methods such as in Spiritual Diagnosis which is popularly known as Pagtatawas, Pulse Reading and other methods that we have developed such as the Kilubansa Elemental Name Energetic Balance Analysis and Sibulan Adlaw Tala Mystic Oracle Divination. In this field of Pagtatawas, the Hilot Binabaylan gathers relevant information from the patient to determine the cause of illness and in order to prepare and plan appropriate treatment in affecting cure. The Magtatawas must be able to determine if the illness of the person has physical nature or spiritual cause.

Patient Tatay Ricardo of Fairview, QC

The Next Qualification of Hilot Binabaylan is on becoming a Manggagamot. The word “Gamot” is a tagalog for Medicine thus being a Manggagamot means the one who applies medicine. The effectiveness of the Manggagamot depends on the recommendation of magtatawas as the medicine to apply by a Manggagamot relies on the findings of the cause of illness by the Magtatawas. The Manggagamot is a sort of technician who use their knowledge in affecting cure. The cure can be a Physical technique of applying Touch Manipulation such as pagpapahid, pagpupunas, hagod, pindot, pisil, piga of which common Filipino know this as the Art of Filipino Hilot Wellness Massage. Other technique can be also use such as Bentusa, Pagbibigkis, Pagsasala, Dagdagay and many other techniques which could help in recovery and affecting relief and cure to the patient.

And next to that is the Mananambal Course or the Albularyo Course which will enable the Hilot Binabaylan to become knowledgeable in the application and manufacturing of Herbal Cure. In this training course, we will share our knowledge to our Hilot Binabaylan on how to determine the healing properties of each herbs through communicating with the Plant Medicine Spirits. It will also be shared in this course the different preparation we can make and the application of herbs to affect cure.

As of this moment, we are still working this out and you might consider enrolling to our Magtatawas Course which will open this 24th of January 2021. To register, kindly click on the link for Hilot Online Training for registration. And we also have our Membership Site at BuyMeACoffee.Com where we share our knowledge about Filipino Magick. Consider becoming a member which only cost USD 50.00/ Year or USD 5.00/Month. You can also support us by donating as low as USD 1.00/post view.

Or you can always support us here by making a donation so that we could continue our work of research to develop our Philippine Traditional and Indigenous Spirituality and Healing Arts. You can make donation to our Shrine by scanning our QR Code Below.

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.