Pasay City, Philippines- Sixteen individuals united by a common interest in traditional Hilot and natural ways of healing banded together to form a new chapter of the Association of Traditional Health Aid Givers, Inc. (ATHAG) based in Libertad, Pasay City. The new ATHAG chapter was borne out of the initiative of Alex B. Candaza and Lope F. Tadios, Jr., both students of ATHAG President Dr. Bibiano Fajardo, who wanted to spread the word about Hilot healing while providing learning and livelihood opportunities to more people. The chapter was organized in August 2013.
ATHAG-Pasay is a diverse group, with members bringing in a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. Some members are from the education sector, while one is involved in agriculture. Many of the members are self-employed. The youngest member is 21 years old, while the most senior member is 71.
Hilot-Herbal seminars and hands-on
The members of ATHAG-Pasay are undergoing a series of traditional Hilot-Herbal seminars and hands-on Hilot training under Dr. Fajardo, ATHAG Hilot therapist Karisse Alzola, Alex Candaza, and Lope Tadios Jr.
For three consecutive Saturdays, Dr. Fajardo is teaching the members of ATHAG-Pasay about health and healing from the perspective of traditional Hilot. These sessions are interspersed with hands-on Hilot trainings during Wednesdays, which are supervised by Karisse Alzola.
The first two lectures by Dr. Fajardo were devoted to cleansing. The members learned about how important it is to cleanse the digestive system, as well as the blood and the kidneys, in order to restore and maintain health. They learned how these body systems become imbalanced, and what should be done to avoid the imbalances. They also learned natural ways on how to restore health by addressing these imbalances. Further, members also learned how to detect these problems, not only in other people, but also in themselves. This is very important, because they will already be able to recognize and address the problem while it is still easy to manage, and prevent it from getting worse.