Preserving our Ancestral Healing Tradition

Our participation in creating a Standard Competency Standards for National Certification and Accreditation of Hilot Practitioners, Training Institution and Hilot Healing Center has one of its aim in preservation of the Philippine Ancestral Healing Arts and Science.

Throughout the History, the definition of Hilot have been evolved through Generations.

First during the precolonial times, Hilot has been known to be the only medicine for the common people. During those time, our ancestors have power over caring for their own health by employing thier own knowledge and skills so as their behavior towards our natural resources as a form of medicine.

During the Colonial Period, Hilot has become a liberating modality not only in terms of freeing an individual from physical ailments but also from emotional disturbance and mental disabilities.

Still on the Spanish rule that extends to the American Occupation, Hilot becomes a life changing modality that gives woman the power to exercise their power of choice. Hilot has been used for abortion thats free the woman from the responsibility of taking care a new life within their body. Though later on the act of abortion has been criminalized so as the Practice of Hilot on Pregnancy as well as on Maternal Healthcare.

Later on Hilot has become a modality of luxury, where people can avail its services on a Hotel so as in a High End Spa. Now that we are in the 21st century, we are redefining Hilot as we integrate it into our National Healthcare delivery system. And lastly, Hilot becomes our Windows in the past and we dont just see it like in the museum but we can experience it; thus hilot becomes our ancestral and cultural heritage.

Hilot Development Plan

As the World will open to face-to-face interaction, We are also preparing for new Hilot Program that we will offer to the public through our Training Program we develop for International School of Sustainable Tourism.

The International School of Sustainable Tourism (ISST) is a private non-stock and non-profit corporation established in 2010 in the Philippines. It is an organization dedicated to education and technical training of manpower to develop, promote and viably operate sustainable tourism in the Philippines and other ASEAN countries. Also, it is dedicated to the upliftment of the lives of the people of communities with ecological resources that need to be preserved and can be sustainably used for tourism.

As of this moment at the time of Pandemic, Hilot Academy offers the non touch aspect of hilot which is the Traditional Diagnostic and Divinatory Course through our Non Contact Hilot: Mind and Spirit Work. Since June of 2020, we have produced graduates coming from different part of the world who completed our training program. Now, even that we are still in the Pandemic Situation, we are already preparing for the possibility of face-to-face learning that we make partnership with ISST through Hilot Philippines Development Center or HPDC.

HPDC is a private organization within ISST that aims to promote and preserve Hilot or Traditional Filipino Medicine that could be incorporated into Eco Tourism and Agri- Tourism. With this goal we have developed a 6 tier Training Program that will create personalities to sustain this Healing aspect of our Culture and Tradition.

With all training program it will start with the Basics which we call Hilot Treatment Application Course. This is a 5 days face-to-face training, that will introduce you to the Healing touch approach of Hilot. When I say Healing Touch, your fingers and hands will really make connection to the body of the person and apply the necessary techniques in order to affect cure. So those who graduated from us the Non- Contact Hilot are advised to take this class as this will complement your skills in conducting diagnostic procedures of Hilot.

We also have designed the Hilot Healing Water Treatment Course which is an advance method of Hilot Healing that employs the Use of Water. We also have a Training Course on Basic Entrpreneurship and Business Management so that our Graduates will have a skills, knowledge and attitude in marketing, selling their acquired skills either through employment or starting to have a Hilot Healing Center in their own.

We also have a Mastery Class that will ground the practitioners to the Fundamental Principles of Hilot Healing and that is through our Remedial Hilot Class and Hilot Diagnostic Method Class.

Of course we do not just envision our graduates to become a practitioner and entrepreneur, but we also see them to become a potential trainer/ teacher of Hilot that will stand side-by-side with us in preserving our Ancestral Healing Tradition through our Trainers Training Class.

As we establish this Training Program, we are also working out to integrate our Manghihilot to the Universal Health Care Delivery System by communicating with Government Agencies such as the Philippine Institute of Traditional Alternative Health Care, Department of Health, Department of Social Works and Development, Department of Science and Technology and other necessary agencies so that our Manghihilot could have local employment.

I believe that our Manghihilot is known as Primary Health Care Provider and they can be seen in our Local Government Unit which can be found in sitio, purok or Barangay; our manghihilot can be employed in Barangay as partners with Barangay Health Care Workers, they can be given task of providing preventive and promotive healthcare.

Our Manghihilot can also become an agent of Pithac within the Barangay by:

  • Conducting Research on Herbal Plants that Grows within the barangay. This can be done by doing house to house visitation, taking pictures, and asking the residents if they could have a sample of the plants that grows in their home.
  • Upon documentation, our Manghihilot will send the sample herbs to Pitahc for further conduct or laboratory research.
  • Our Manghihilot will cultivate the herbs by creating Brgy. Herbal Nursury which can grow different kinds of herbal medicine.
  • Our Manghihilot can process, the approved herbs into herbal tea, capsule, syrups which later can be distributed either for free or with minimum amount to its constituents.

Establishing our Role in our Society

Hilot has been mentioned in the work of William Henry Scott Barangay: Sixteenth-Century Philippine Culture and Society. According to his book at page 118 Hilot is described as a person who apply massage for injured or dislocated muscles, or pressure put on nerve centers. And they were known as Physical experts.

But to the eye of a Catholic Priest as mentioned in the book, Hilot according to Fr. Sanchez as a form of massage in a woman’s abdomen to cause miscarriage or abortion. Though through out time in our History, Hilot evolve so as our definition of Hilot change.

In Hilot Academy, we want to establish the Identity of Hilot as an umbrella term for Philippine Traditional Medicine. As the practitioners throughout the country has their own native practices that is known in their own local dialect. And in promoting it to the world it must have a name which people would know.

In 2012, the Philippine Statistic Authority has conducted survey on different occupational groups of the working population The Philippine Standard Occupation Classification is primarily used as basis for manpower and educational planning, program formulation, policy decision-making and serves as useful guide for statistical operations and activities, such as censuses and surveys.

In this survey we do not find the word Hilot but instead Traditional and Complementary Medicine Associate Professional. They describe this occupational category as follow:

Traditional and complementary medicine associate professionals prevent, care for and treat human physical and mental illnesses, disorders and injuries using herbal and other therapies based on theories, beliefs and experiences originating in specific cultures.

https://psa.gov.ph/classification/psoc/?q=psoc/minor/323

Their tasks include:

a) examining patients and interviewing them and their families to determine their health status and the nature of physical or mental disorders or illnesses or other ailments;
b) recommending and providing care and treatment for illnesses and other ailments using traditional techniques and medicaments, such as physical manipulation and exercises, blood-letting using natural vessels, and preparations using herbs, plants, insects and animal extracts;
c) providing care and treatment for physical injuries such as setting and healing fractured and dislocated bones using traditional methods of physical manipulation and herbal therapies;
d) advising individuals, families and the community on health, nutrition, hygiene, lifestyle and other issues to maintain or improve health and well-being; and
e) referring patients to, and exchanging information with, other health care providers to ensure comprehensive and continuing care.

Examples of occupations classified here:

Drugless treatment healer
Bonesetter
Faith healer
“Healer of indigenous people (e.g. Mansi-bok (Ibaloi); Mansip-ok (Kankana-ey) in Cordilleras)”
Herbalist
Scraping and cupping therapist
Village healer
Witch doctor

Some related occupation classified elsewhere:

Acupressure therapist – 3255
Acupuncturist – 2230
Ayuverdic practitioner – 2230
Chinese herbal medicine practitioner – 2230
Chiropractor – 3259
Homeopath – 2230
Hydrotherapist – 3255
Naturopath – 2230
Osteopath – 3259
Traditional midwife – 32223230

Through this task enumerated by PSOC, we can have a guideline in establishing our roles in our Society.

Remedial Hilot Curriculum Development

Working on our Curriculum about Remedial Hilot as i work on it i am reminded to be grounded on the Healing Principles that all individual has the ability to heal our selves so the treatment procedure we provide as manghihilot does not intend to heal but to help the individual to heal themselves.

In order for us to assist them in their healing, we should also better understand the Filipino Concept of Illness which is Pilay.

On April 27 i have to present 10 common filipino illnesses but i have identified 13 and have to divide into four category of filipino illness which is pilay ipit, pilay bali, pilay hangin and pilay lamig.

We are Stewards of mother Earth

The month of April has been known as Earth Month so as with us in Hilot Academy, we recognize this month being the month were Baybayin through the Laguna Copperplate Inscription was recorded in our history. The LCI is the first ever dated document that shows that our ancestors have our writing system. The date being recorded in this document is April 21, 900- so on the 21st of April year 2022, this public document will celebrate its 1122 years of publication. And this copperplate celebrates not only the liberation from debt but also redeem us of our Identity as a Filipino.

Since the establishment of Luntiang Aghama on year 2000, we are celebrating Earth day by conducting rituals honoring the Earth Deities and one of the result of this rituals is the establishment of Hilot Academy of BInabaylan as an Educational Ministry Arm of Luntiang Aghama Natural Divine Arts Shrine of Healing Inc. We have established Hilot Academy of Binabaylan through registering it to the Philippine Department of Trades and Industry on April 5, 2016 and this year we are celebrating our 6th year anniversary. We have register it first at DTI Makati but the processing officers refuse to process the registration, as she says that we are not allowed to use the word Hilot as a business name because it is a public domain. But i push and make appeal because we do not make it an exclusive name just for us as the Business name is a descriptive title of what we are providing.

So from Makati, I travel back to my Home province which is the Land of the Heroes in Bulacan. And luckily my registration was approved at DTI Malolos City at Robinsons Place Malolos. It was a 32 miles or 51 Km travel. It seems that the ancestors are guiding us where Hilot Academy of Binabaylan should be established. I remember when doing it in Makati, i have waited for 2 hours queuing before being rejected, but DTI Malolos, i only spent 15 to 30 minutes to process it without queuing.

From then on, our ministry began to grow that we have accept our first students of Hilot as we share the Earth Healing Tradition up now. Before we are only providing lessons on a face-to-face basis and now thanks to the Universe because we have been taught how to face life challenges such as this Pandemic of Coronavirus 19, that it has opened a window that people could still learn Hilot Virtually through our Hilot Online Training.

As of this day, we are proud to say that we have retrieved the lost healing method that been taught by Kilibansa who is the Diwata of Healing and through the guidance of Luntiang Aghama we also have developed the Sibulan Adlaw Tala Binabaylan Mystic Oracle which employs Baybayin as a Divinatory/ Diagnostic Method which is under our Tawas Divinatory and Spiritual Diagnostic Studies. And this 13th of April we are going to release our Book on Hilot Orasyon through a webinar which you can register by scanning the QR code.

And hopefully, I could finish all the materials needed so we can start the Diploma Training on Manggagamot, Magtatawas and Albularyo.

By the Way, Hilot Academy still needs fund in order to build our own place in sharing this ancient knowledge. As some of you know that we are like gypsies who goes to places in conducting this training. We really pray that we could have a proper venue, where the students could stay either for 9 days or even months in Mastering the Ancient Healing Tradition.

If you have a calling, and the Spirit touches your heart to build this School you may do so by making donations below.

HELP US BUILD OUR ACADEMY NOW

With a smile

I know that you are familar with the title of our article today. And to remind you, it derives from the Eraserheads hit song With a Smile!

I was in HighSchool when this song becomes very popular and amazingly it is still a hit for me specially right now that i had stroke. I cant imagine myself having this illness to myself. All i thought only before is I want to understand Stroke so that i could handle it properly with patients. I know i could learn it by reading books or articles in the website but now i am learning and overcoming it through experience.

In relations to the title of this article, luckily my stroke does not affect so much of my actions. except on my first 3 weeks from February 14- it paralyze my left part of my body. my left legs could not move so as my arms and hands. The paralysis reached my left face that makes me to have slurred speech.

I was so down that time and my left part of the body is literally cold and at that time i considered it dead as if your right part of the body is alive and moving while the left part is dead. i want to move it but literally i could not move. i could not even picked my nose using my left finger or wash my butt when i poop. it has no strength to carry a tabo (dipper) or even a glass of water. But in my mind i refuse to be enslaved and be chained by stroke. literally stroke makes you a prisoner within your body that makes you not only limited but totally all your freedom are frozen.

Luckily, i have a companion here in the Shrine. Lakay helps me to be warmed up and battle the coldness that covers my body. With the help of the Diwata through a Hilot Orasyon and pagpapahid, the natural heat of my body has been restored that now i can walk and move my arms. But i am still working out my smile.

Life goes on even with Stroke

As Manghihilot, We are not exempted to any form of illness even to Death. I remember my teacher, Dr. Rueben M. Galang Jr. at the School of Alternative Medicine when he died years ago. Many have asked why he died when he is a great doctor and have treated many patients and made them well but was not able to take care of himself. This is the same question that been playing around my mind when my ,mother died 3 years ago. I am a Manghihilot, why i was not able to take care well of my mother. And now, I am a Manghihilot and why you have stroke. When my mother died, I already planned to stop practicing, but people around me in person even at social media encouraged me not to stop but continue what I have started to do. And this time that I’ve got stroke, I already have mentioned that i plan of retiring but my current students and recent graduates have encouraged me to continue.

One of my current student at Non Contact HIlot: Mind and Spirit work have wrote me a letter of encouragement that says:

I am appreciative of the Hilot Academy of Binabaylan and all that I have learned. Apu has helped me connect to my Filipino identity in a way that feels authentic to who I am, my approach to healing, and my passion around decolonization. In learning the historical context of pre-colonial healing, how hilot practitioners were utilized prior to the introduction of western medicine, and how colonization forced manghihilots to hide or assimilate, I found an even deeper reverence for my ancestors and the manghihilot and babaylan who died because of their beliefs. In this course I was able to connect more to my highest, spiritual self, which I have rarely experienced in any other healing modality I’ve learned, even as a reiki practitioner, and especially as a psychotherapist. What feels special about learning hilot is that it brings me great pride to know that this is a healing practice that looks at the person in their entirety, not just the physical, but also the emotional and spiritual, and it all originated from my homeland, the Philippines! Learning and practicing tawas was extremely helpful because I was able to trust my intuition and the unconditional support of my ancestors. I feel a powerful connection to my inner wisdom and feel more confident as a practitioner after I practiced tawas. I have learned to really trust my instincts, when so much of living in America is focused on logic and achievement. I have not had a chance to finish the remaining course lessons and the assignment due on February 27th, but I plan on going through that material this week and weekend. 

WIth teary eyes, i feel that people value my work even if our Government does not recognize it, but at least my little work on our Culture and Tradition have reached out Far and Wide across the Globe.

I am also thankful to the Universe for teaching me personally to experience Stroke that I may know personally how to handle well stroke patients in the Future

Thank you, Apu, for your love, energy, and time and for sharing your wisdom with us. I am eternally grateful. I hope you heal quickly and get the care and support you need. I look forward to perhaps attending another workshop or course you or Likai provide in the future. With love.

When a Manghihilot needs Hilot

The image you can see is the thumbnail of my last vlog that i made when i still can speak clearly. But if you will compare it to my previous vlog, you will notice my difficulty of speaking in this vlog.

As manghihilot, I am not only carrying the Healing knowledge from our Ancestors but also am a Culture Bearer.

In this video i teach our viewers our Traditional Divinatory method called Luknit which uses 4 crocodile tooth or 4 tusk of wild boar. Since we dont have that material we use 4 cowry shells instead.

My journey towards this advocacy in preserving our ancestral healing arts is now at risk of being halted due to my personal health problem.

I acknowledge that im not alone in pushing this advocacy on hilot, we still have manong Virgilio Apostol Mayor in San Diego, California who teach Traditional Ablon which is an Ilocano form of Hilot.

I understand that there is a Big expectation from healers like us in terms of handling our personal health. People might think that why you get sick? You are Hilot. Heal your self.

But in fact, we know how to care for ourself, but our compassion is greater than our selfcare, which we choose to set aside our self and give our care and attention to the need of others.

The most common mistake of our local manghihilot is the idea of Divine Service which means that you as manghihilot receive your Gifts of Healing from God so you must give your service to the public for free. And because of that many manghihilot are imprisoned in this idea of self sacrifice for the betterment of the public.

And with that attitude the personal health of a manghihilot is affected. Not only with their physical body but also in their mind and emotion.

Remember they are still humans that are bound with the limitations of the mundane world. Specially those who are still alive today lives in the modern world where money id needed.

So be kind to our manghihilot, they are our healers not only of our physical body but also of our soul. They are just shy to ask as they do not want you to be bothered by their situation.

I am sending my love to all of the living Hilot in this modern times. I can feel you and i am with you.

And thank you to all who send their love to me. I promise, i will work it out to be well as soon as possible.

Mayari na!

PagAsatin!

From Rejection to Recognition

Have you felt that you are worthless? It happened to me one time in my life. It was way back 2008 when i have a live in partner who is working. I feel ashamed of my self because both of us are living in my parents house while my partner is employed and working. I really feel bad to my self that one night at the height of the full moon, i go out and pray. I went to a vacant lot in front of our house where the tiger grass stand tall. I went inside the bushes, lie down on the ground and cry. As i look up to the moon, I pray to God and the stars and the moon are my witness: “What is my worth?” Then a voice comes up in my mind asking: “what do you know to do?”; “I am not a degree holder, but i only knew Hilot and Tawas.” then the voice said: “Use that to live.”

When i go back home i tell this vision to my partner and she encourage me to find job. So i decided to apply for a Job in a well known Spa in Quezon City but I have no success. That i think of applying work abroad. I search for an agency that offers Massage Therapy Job and I found one that sent people to Oman, but when i applied, i was rejected because they are looking for a licensed one specifically who have a National Certification. I went out of that agency very down. In my sadness, I just walk my way home. While walking, i am talking to the spirit ranting all the bad feelings that i had. And on the way, i saw a poster saying:

” Free TESDA Certification and Assessment.”

So i checked that post if there is an address and i see that this offer can be found at Tesda Office in Quezon City. So I went straight to Tesda Office and said that I want to Claim the Free Tesda Certification and Assessment. And the Officer who assist direct me to go to Human Care Training and Assessment Center and from there I received my Assessment and been rewarded my first National Certification for Massage Therapy. When the Assessment Center Manager saw my credentials, she recommend also that i should take the Certification to become an Assessor and Trainer and when i had completed that my Journey in Hilot Wellness have began. From there my path have changed, from being a Tambay (Jobless/ Home Body) i had a busy life of teaching Hilot and have established Philippine Certified Wellness Therapist Association which the members are all Nationally Certified and Assessed that almost reached to 100,000 members in Quezon City and Manila alone.

I never thought that my knowledge and skills in Hilot is valuable enough that could help other people not only in maintaining their life force but also to be employed locally and internationally. We have shared our knowledge not only to our fellow Filipino but also to foreign nationality who are curious about our Natural Healing Tradition, that we also have established the Philippine Japan Hilot Association which is also recognized by the Philippine Department of Tourism.

Now, we who are fully living in the 21st Century and currently struggling over the Pandemic of CoronaVirus 19, we are taking a very important role as Manghihilot in our Society in uplifting their mind and spirit that all of us will pass through this challenge of time like Hilot who was endangered to be eradicated due to the evolution of Health Care and Modern Medicine.

Let us not take Rejection to be a turning point in changing what we know, but let us use that as a challenge to embrace harder to the gifts that has been given to us by the Divine and use it that we may see life.

The Gift of God is not a trash to be ignored,like what we are making a stand now on the practice of tawas that some advocates make as a laughing stock. Traditional Chinese Medicine was one a Spiritual Methodology as they value the concept of Chi which is also applied in Fung Sui. In Hilot we value the Soul of Man which manifest the life force within us. People may laugh at us but when our Soul left our body then people will cry.

When a Hilot Binabaylan meets Death

Every moment death happen among us and we see healers struggle with death every now and then. We may know someone who can prolong life of an individual but until when can life stay within the body.

This 7th of November 2021, students of Hilot Academy of Binabaylan will gather to an online conference as we will discuss the different forms of Death and the condition of the person on which we give in to Death.

If you are an alumni of the academy, and want to participate to our discussion, kindly email me at apuadman@hilotacademy.com

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