swirls_001_b.pngOur individual reflections while collaborating Wiki 1

nar3.jpgJanardan das Ladyong

When I was young, our relatives and friends usually tell us that we should eat a grilled lizard as a treatment for asthma. They would jokingly say “Just one lizard would cure you of your asthma.” Of course I was disgusted by the idea, and I thought, was there a scientific basis for this? And if there was, why is it not being promoted as a form of medicine for asthma?

I remembered this incident while researching on the different paradigm shifts in Traditional Medicine, and it dawned upon me that my questions before were very similar with how people viewed traditional medicine during the era of modern conventional medicine. This research enriched my knowledge and cleared a lot of my misconceptions regarding traditional and alernative medicine.

Actually for the past few years I’ve found alternative healing methods to regulate my asthma attacks. Regular exercise and Hatha Yoga were mainly what helped overcome this physical ailment. I’m not using any form of conventional medicine for about a year now, and this had helped me and my family especially because of the overwhelming costs of conventional medicine.


Kaydeen Olaes

At times like this when technology is considered the most reliable source of cure; it is hard to believe how feathers, moss or pests can even be considered a remedy for illnesses. As I tried to contribute on this project, I found not only one but thousands of people who were healed and were given second chances by eating bugs, drinking mud and believe it or not by watching cartoons the whole day. It sounded obscene for me and I guess for everyone who never believed that an apple a day, will keep the doctor away. If life is slipping away from your grip, wouldn’t you try even the craziest thing? I know I would.

Daniel Pidal

In the present, we have advance technologies and treatments used in medicine but there are still other people and in some places (specially in the provinces or rural areas) that prefer to use traditional medicines or practices in healing.

Also, at first I thought that TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) is the only traditional medicine in the East but when I researched about Eastern Medicine, plenty of other different traditional medicines came out. There are Ayurvedic, Islamic, Arabic, Japanese, and many more. All have unique beliefs, practices and ideals but all aims for one goal and that is to balance life (life balance).

Jose Dante (Dave) Albao, Jr.


My Lolo always told me that all that we really need is found in Bathala's nature; that in every ailment there is a cure Bathala has made as a root or an herb or a leaf. My Lola told me when I was younger that the only vitamins I need are not capsules or tablets but vegetables. Now that I'm 22 years old and both of them have passed away, what they kept saying kept ringing true to me. This makes me cherish my childhood days spent with them during summers, learning about herbs, eating all sorts of gulay, and listening to their sage-like voices on the healing power of nature.

Studying traditional and alternative healing runs congruent to my philosophy and practice as a Buddhist and a vegetarian. I have been a subscriber of mind-body medicine, and a student of ancient healing traditions. It was with pleasure that I got grouped to a team assigned to come up with this project on TAH. It gave me a chance to enrich my knowledge on such field and of course carry it on in my everyday life.

Not that it was surprising, but while doing this study I got a sense of affirmation in my skepticism on Western and capitalist pharmaceutical drugs. I was able to find many resources (which sometimes overwhelm me) that answer my questions on why some people think that meditation or yoga or herbology are quack. It runs deep in the collective consciousness of the society-at-large with decades of being bombarded by messages in the media and the Western educational system.

However, I also have learned the great discoveries of "modern medicine" and the millions of lives these have saved. I remember a Polish backpacker I met years ago, Kinga Freespirit, who was very vocal against pharmaceutical drugs and went only to community healers whenever she feels something wrong with her body while traveling. Yet she died of malaria in Africa, refusing modern medicine.

This learning and un-learning about healing practices continue. This reminds me to be open-minded and accepting towards modern medicine and its benefits. At heart, though, I believe that nature always has a way to heal.

alex2.jpgAlexandra Nicole Torres

M y family does not rely on traditional healing nowadays. W henever one is sick, we would always go Healthway or other known clinics and hospitals. But I remember as a kid, I had an experience with traditional healing.

When I was about 9, I had severe stomach aches. At first I was brought to the doctor and they couldn’t really figure out what was wrong with me. It came to a point that I had an ultrasound, and they had me confined in the hospital for me to be observed. Still, they really could not detect the problem. The stomach aches were very random. I could go days without having them, and you can’t really identify what I did or maybe what I ate to cause it. And so after about 2 weeks in the hospital, I was discharged because for a while the stomach aches stopped. Then, after a week or so, I experienced another stomach ache. At that point, my mother really didn’t know what to do anymore. Out of desperation, I was brought to an albularyo. I actually remember it like it was yesterday. It was just inside a little village near our place in Laguna back then. It was inside an ordinary house, cramped up with many people waiting for that one albularyo to help cure them. When it was my turn to be checked by this albularyo, I stood up and went to her room. All she did was put up my shirt, then starting pressing my stomach. She asked me what areas hurt the most. Then she started pressing these areas. After that, she allowed me to go out already. After a few minutes, she came out as well with a bottle filled with a concoction of some sort. She handed it to my mom and said this will cure me. My mom doesn’t remember anymore what was in it; all she remembered was that it was made by this albularyo who instructed her to let me drink it once a day till I finished it up. To our surprise, after finishing up that bottle of an unknown blend, I was cured. The stomach aches never came back.We never knew what it was, but all we know is that it did work.

In conclusion, this experience made me agree that you can’t completely shut down traditional healing and replace it with all the latest technologies that are coming out just like what I’ve learned from the researches made. Traditional healing are actually starting to be proven effective gradually, though at present has not yet been widely accepted yet.

ronan2.jpg Ronan Masangcay

At the age of 6, I was stricken with blisters which doctors were not able to cure for weeks. Out of desperation, my parents took me to an albularyo. Using, nga-nga, basin with water, small fire, she applied the processed nga-nga and whispered some small prayer; in minutes, my blisters disappeared.

At the age of 25 and at 200+ pounds, I woke up with a stinging pain in one of my joints, went to the doctor and found out that I had gouty arthritis. The doctor told me not to eat legumes, certain parts of meat, avoid soy / fish sauce and take a pill (modern medicine) whenever I felt the pain. I have struggled with the disease for the next 12 years albeit diligently minimizing the intake of the above.
In 2007, the disease finally hospitalized me (one week). The doctors gave me the same pills but added to the list of condiments and cooking ingredients I needed to avoid i.e. sinigang and other mixes and certain kinds of cooking oil among others.

Later that year, at the age of 37 then at 215 pounds, I was diagnosed with hypertension. The doctor told me I was obese and to treat my hypertension problem, we had to start with my weight and manage my blood pressure with pills.

I bought books (The Bible Cure series by Don Colbert M.D.) and learned that there are natural ways to treat obesity and hypertension (eating right, living a healthy lifestyle). 5 months later I lost at least 50 pounds, my blood pressure was excellent (110/70 average) albeit was still taking pills. Moreover, the gout and other chronic ailments I had have not stricken me since that year – in fact I have not taken a pain reliever since 2007 to date.

I have always thought of TAH as the treatment I received when I was just six years old. I never thought of living a healthy lifestyle can be TAH and is considered CAM. Through research and the input that team J provided, Wiki1 had made me realize that the millions accounts of success through TAH cannot be simply disregarded as outdated treatment that works, instead, should be looked at further as it is still globally the conventional. The practitioners of TAH particularly the herbolarios may only be technologists but the overwhelming evidences of efficacy of TAH are, and have been, encouraging scientists and other relevant entities to provide scientific support that TAH needs in order to continue to come-up with a more natural way healing.

In time, TAH may no longer be labeled with “No approved therapeutic claims”…

Christer John Fabonan

Part of a growing child is being prone to accidents, wounds and sprains. These events were the often reasons of consulting the local hilot in our community.

I was born and raised in Sampaloc, Manila, a community where variety of ethnicism and culture converge. Most of which are average people still believing in the necessity of consulting a hilot for basic sprains and body ailments. Manila is surrounded with premier hospitals in the country but the mere fact of high hospitalization rate drives the commoners to the hands of a respected traditional healing practitioner.

I hate our every visit to the manghihilot because anyone who experienced being handled with would know how it feels when the aching part of your body is massaged forcefully, believing that cold air is trapped inside. I had no choice but to endure the pain for like half an hour of cries. The maghihilot will later on advise some medications and prohibit taking a bath for one day.

Well, that was before. I could no longer be forced to visit a manghihilot to cure an ailing part of my body. I admit that most of manghihilots are capable of curing basic illnesses and that the herbal medicinal plants they use are effective. But being a scientific and modern in a sense, I would rather go to the experts. Moreover, I don’t buy the animistic side of some of the practitioners.

Good thing to know that seminars and trainings with the professionals for the manghihilots have been revolutionized for the past decades. This is in response to the growing need of basic medical services people from remote areas.

I guess traditional healing especially the use of medicinal plants will continue to be developed through scientific research while diminishing the trace of animism in it.

Roy San Buenaventura

I used to do non-professional acupuncture healing during the 80's. After a while I lost interest as I became too busy with my work.

Due to this research in Traditional and Alternative Healing, I bought a new set of acupuncture needles in a Chinese medicinal store nearr Sta. Cruz Church in Manila. I am happy that I can still do acupuncture after several years of not practicing it.

This research also made me look back when I was still young when my grandmother would boil a part of the chicken gizzard whenever I had indigestion. I can still remember how the bitter taste of the boiled concoction of some plants whenever I was sick.

I can attest to the efficacy of the traditional methods of healing.