SAN FELIPE, Zambales- Twenty-three participants actively took part in the training on basic traditional Hilot healing conducted at the Municipal Centrum of San Felipe from February 29-March 4, 2016. This activity was organized by the local government unit of San Felipe, headed by Mayor Carolyn S. Fariñas, in collaboration with the Association of Traditional Health Aid Givers Philippines, Inc. (ATHAG).
On the first day, participants learned about the basic philosophy, concepts, and principles behind traditional Hilot healing from modern Albularyo Bibiano “Boy” Fajardo, who also explained the Four Elements of the Body and asked participants to share their knowledge and personal experiences about Hilot. On the following day, the participants, many of whom already had background in massage and reflexology, experienced for themselves what is unique about Hilot during the hands-on activity guided by ATHAG manghihilot Jennifer Dellosa and Yolanda Pedrigal. On the third and fourth days, participants learned about how important spirituality is to a traditional healer and how to use medicinal plants for common illnesses. They also continued to practice their newly-acquired skills.
On the last day, Ms. Aleli Pansacola told the story of how ATHAG was formed. She talked about how herbal soaps are made and the difference between natural herbal soaps and synthetic soaps. She divided the participants into four groups and gave them sheets of paper on which to portray their commitments after the training.
The first group called themselves the “Healing Angels,” and made drawings portraying a Hilot center, a Hilot training center, and an herbal products center. They also drew a Hilot mission and a “stairway to success.” They committed to join Hilot Missions so that they can help advocate for traditional Hilot and gain more experience on what they learned from the training. They also said they would often meet to strengthen the bonds of their group.
Meanwhile, the second group portrayed themselves joining hands with the trainors and the Mayor. The third group said they will plant herbs so they can use it to help other people. They also said they will practice Hilot so they can learn more. Similarly, the fourth group said that they will also join health missions, plant herbs, and advocate the use of herbal medicines.
With reports from Yolanda Pedrigal.