If you grew up in a Filipino household, it’s possible that you’ve had experiences with natural medicines or remedies — from your parents use of the aloe vera plant on a burn to the use of tawas as underarm deodorant.
For TFAL co-host Ryan, he would have never known the healing effects of ginger root had his dad not ground some up, created some paste with it, spread it on his sprained ankle, and wrapped it up with cloth as he recited a little prayer. Although the use ginger root or other herbs and plants are very effective, it is sometimes looked upon as too simple or inadequate in the eyes of Western/modern medicine practitioners. Who knows what Western medicine’s comment would be regarding that prayer?!
In reality, Filipino traditional healing is extremely complex. Although it can sometimes be as simple as using ginger in your tea, Filipino healing traditions encompass faith, intentionality, and connectivity to nature, which all have their own specific guidelines and processes. We all have a connection to our parents and nature, but are we aware enough to know how to channel it or know its power?
On this episode of This Filipino American Life, we discuss Filipino healing traditions with Lyn Pacificar, an albularya or traditional folk herbalist/spiritual healer, and her partner Gilbert. Lyn comes from a long line of Filipino healers and mystics. Her dad, a hilot from the islands of Leyte and Samar in the Philippines, while her mom hails from the Islands of Mindanao, Panay, and Bohol–all within the Western Visayan region of the Philippines. Lyn uses a combination of modalities including prayers, ritual, diagnostic readings, and ancestral communication to achieve a certain goal for the recipient. Throughout our discussion Lyn explains her vocation and speaks to the power of our own pre-colonial methods of healing.
Join the TFAL crew as we explore our own experiences with natural healing we learned from our families. We share our thoughts on Western medicine, talk about the healing effects of different natural plants and herbs, and discuss how our pre-colonial healing traditions meld with our Catholic faith. Her inspiring life’s work sets out to re-invigorate people to unearth those hidden memories within our souls, reminding us how we truly lived in harmony with Mother Earth. Have a listen.
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Did you grow up or do you practice Filipino healing traditions? Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, leave us a voicemail at (805) 394-TFAL, or write us a comment below!
Finally, check out Lyn Pacificar and her awesome products on her website!