Friday, January 28, 2011

Healing, the Pinoy Way

We are a class of our own. We have great warriors, we have great cooks, we have great women. We also have great healers. They are called by many names, all I will call them are Pinoy Healers.

Since ancient times, perhaps even before the colonization of the country, the Philippine traditional healing arts developed. These healers are the few among the villages and towns who dedicate themselves in the learning of the art, handed down from generation to generations before. Surrounded by mysticism and secrecy, these healers protect the knowledge  and skills they inherited from ancestors. Stories and legends became popular, telling tales of cure of maladies, sickness and disturbance with the help of the healer.

A general term for such a person is "Albularyo."

An albularyo is believed to be a person endowed with gifts of healing. An alll-in-one healthcare practicioner, the albularyo remedies the ailments of the Filipinos whether it be physical, mental or spiritual. They are experts of the use and application of plants and herbs. They know very well the human body. They calm the mind of the distressed. They know all these through years of training under a full pledged albularyo of the town. Due to the nature of their exclusivity and secrecy, the veil of mysticism hasn't been lifted even with the modern day albularyos. Their healing arts remain a trade secret, given only to the few individuals who intend to learn the arts in order to help others.

Apparently, most of what the albularyos do is not very mystical. The healing herbs and plants are ever present in our environment. The study of human anatomy, touch points, effects of touch enable them to cure most maladies through hilot. The calm, soothing words when an albularyo is consulted brings a troubled mind to ease, especially with instructions from the apparent wise. All of these are also being acknowledged in the field of science, and slowly, the practical albularyo is gaining respect again especially from the people in the big cities. But that is just one facet of the albularyo. There are still others, but it will be said at another time.