Have you remember that our parents have said that we should study hard so that we may land into a better paying job. Is this still true today?
In 2008 Technical Education Skills Development Authority have seen Hilot as employable skills that they created Hilot Training Standards and Regulation so that they may conduct National Assessment and Certification to manghihilot. With that they provide training to those who want to learn Hilot through schooling and for those who are unschooled but well skilled in Hilot they need to be assessed in order to be certified.
This year, we have participated in the talk between Philippine Institute of Traditional Alternative Health Care (PITAHC) and Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in terms of Certification of Hilot. But the current talk as of now revolves on the quality of services that a manghihilot provides. Well in terms of training it should be TESDA who will provide training just like in Commission on Higher Education they are the one who teach and Train the students and after they graduate they will apply license to Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC). The later was suggested by Dr. Isidro Sia former Director General of PITAHC. So let us let them who belongs to who but our main concern here is the future of our Manghihilot.
Let us be honest here, the skills of touching other people can be done by anyone such as in doing Massage. When I was a child I’ve been asked by parents to give the Hilot Massage either on head or legs. Everyone has a gift of touch when in times of emergency it is automatically activated. So as in our home, our parents have secret herbal formula that they use in times we are sick and out of budget going to the doctor. Having said this Regulating the Practice of Hilot by making its practitioners be Certified will give security towards public health but it will also give burden to our practitioners. But how is the manghihilot now-a-days even if they are certified? On what Industry will they fall if they received Standardized and Regulated Training? As I hear them out, these experts still think that a Manghihilot together with Massage Therapist work in a Spa which is a Hospitality Industry which is covered by the Department of Tourism.
Well it seems that our effort in telling that Hilot is part of Healthcare industry is wrong if all our graduates will fall into Spa Industry. But these must be properly addressed not only in terms of which industry should a graduate of Hilot must work? The issue here that i want to raise is to secure a Job for all manghihilot whether they are trained or recognized through assessment that upon compliance based on the Standards and Regulation, all manghihilot must have a descent job to work.
As of this moment, there are still many manghihilot who works at home in a donation basis system. Some who are schooled landed on a Spa where they do massage and other spa treatments. If they apply abroad their skills in Hilot is converted into massage so as if they apply in a cruise ship. These government agencies think of HIlot that is something to be proud of that they need to offer it to foreigners just to say that we have our own brand. Indeed we have but unfortunately we falsely advertise it by showing the wrong modality. As you browse on internet, you can always see articles telling Hilot as a Filipino Massage and there are some people in abroad call themselves as Hilot either because they are Filipino or have lived in the Philippines for a decade or two but what they make is Massage and not Hilot.
If a Manghihilot will be schooled at least at the end of schooling, they should land a better job which can give them security in their future. A schooled Manghihilot should have a Job that pays for their Social Security, Health Assurance and Pagibig Fund. Though some of our current practitioners have it by doing voluntary payment for their own SSS, Philhealth, and Pagibig.
If i have a right or authority, i do not want a manghihilot to work in a spa but instead they should be hired in Government Health Centers where people can avail the service of Hilot even that the people will not pay, PhilHealth insurance will cover it for the people.
The Work of Manghihilot
In reality, not all time people will need a manghihilot. Unlike Massage, Hilot can only be availed if you have a Pilay which is a condition that been treated with Hilot. Like what i’ve said, not everyday there are people who have pilay, so what other work can a manghihilot will do?
If our Government is really serious on uplifting the status of Hilot in the Philippines, aside from giving treatment, a Manghihilot can be a partner of PITAHC in conducting field research on Herbal Medicine. As field researcher they should be:
- responsible in documenting herbs that is available in their respected barangay by going house to house and take pictures of the herbs that grow in their yard.
- Take sample of the herbs and send it to PITAHC to further conduct research on the medicinal properties of the collected herbs.
- Cultivate the sample herbs in the Barangay Botanical Garden.
- Process the approved herbs into herbal medicine such as in making oils, soap, tea, capsules, syrup, etc. in PITAHC Laboratory.
- becomes a sales partner of PITAHC in distributing approved herbs.
With that being said on the possible job that a manghihilot should perform, when schooled the manghihilot should be properly equipped with the knowledge, skills and attitude in performing the said job description.
So when a Manghihilot is properly Certified a secure jobs awaits them in the Philippines. And these will also grow as there are a lot more jobs that a manghihilot can do in the Field of Philippine Traditional and Indigenous Health Care.