Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Why I Think I'm Still in the Philippines #3

View outside my window. Apt setting for weird stuff, no?

6. One of my father's stories about his Batangas childhood was of an uncle much-whispered about in their little town. It was rumored that the man possessed supernatural powers. He was a shape shifter, an aswang. On his deathbed he summoned nephews and nieces, told them that it was time to pass on the gift, said that whoever wanted it should step forward now. Scared, everybody just stayed where they were. On the old man's last breath, those present swore that they saw a living thing exhaled out of his mouth, a creature they agreed most resembled a scrawny chick, except that this one had feathers all black.

Remember Pierre's aunt, la hilot? We were having lunch with her and her husband one day when talk turned to how the gift of healing had been passed on to her by an old woman friend. Un secret, it was. So this gift can be given outside the family? another aunt piped up. Bien sur, la hilot answered, although it is always better to share it with a relative. Her husband's turn to talk. Maybe Apol is interested? he asked. Shrewd grey eyes studying me, la hilot began to nod.

If the day ever comes that finds me running all over the French countryside trying to escape a black chick, rest assured that I'll tell you all about it here.

7. Every first of November or sometimes during the Holy Week, turn on the television back home and you're bound to come across a show being done on faith healers, men and women with the power to banish illnesses, everything from a fever to cancer, sometimes with nothing more than their hands placed over the ailing body part. Year after year, we watch the same thing, so somebody tell ABS-CBN reporters that for a fresh angle they should hop on to an Air France flight and visit our part of Europe quick!

If you've suffered too much sun exposure, la hilot will touch you while muttering prayers to ease the feverish heat. With a slightly different technique, her sister-in-law can do the exact same thing, plus rid you of a fish bone, if one happens to be stuck in your throat. Another family member, Pierre's uncle, is a magnetiseur who uses energy to cure. Over here we're certainly not lacking for healers, les guérisseurs.

One time I was beginning to wonder if, really, I didn't just move to Siquijor, and felt the beginnings of a headache. I have a cure, my husband reassured. Ready to faint if he started laying hands or invoking ancient powers, I heaved a sigh of relief when all he did was hand over a plastic bottle containing prosaic white tablets of codeine.

[CLICK HERE! Why I Think I'm Still in the Philippines #1 and #2.]

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Apol,
Just blog hopping,when I saw yours,for me it's like a deja vu...I mean reading your posts made me think of what I was(well,in some ways)years back.
You're young and intelligent,keep us dreaming...
Bon courage et Félicitations!

decorator said...

is codeine an over the counter drug there?


:)

decorator said...

by the way, photo reminds me of the electric cable photo you took some three years ago... minus the moon and the evening star...

nao said...

my late father is from Siquijor. Marami rin dawng aswang don. I've been there like twice already but never seen one.

jumping from Makis sis!
have a nice nice day

apol said...

ANONYMOUS, did France ever become less surreal for you? GWYN, my electric urbanscapes! Mahilig talaga ako sa mga lines lines ano? Hi, NAOMI! I've actually once made uzi sa blog mo. You seem fun :)

Anonymous said...

Bonjour Apol,
Yes,I think I've at last consider France for real,ma vie est ici...quoique...
You live in a nice place, provençe,we used to drive around Aigues M, St.Remy de P,Arles ahhh Camargues...trés beau pays.

haze said...

When I was a child we used to go to hilot or albularyo and it worked for us! But now there's a modern faith healer, i guess, it's called osteophaty! You can check this site http://skepdic.com/osteopathy.html to know more about it.

The family is into it and I assure you it is effective. I have a friend who specializes osteopathy and whenever we have a problem we ask him cure us!

BTW, nice to meet you with Pierre...at last! If you don't mind I'll add you to my links...gros bisous! A la procahine

mardigras said...

believe it or not, i even went to a class to learn how to heal people using Qi energy. hahaha. Got fooled there. But anyway, if someone will teach you magic tricks for free, ok diba?

the bee said...

Hi. I've been passing thru here, your life is fascinating. And your Why I Think I'm Still in the Philippines series is hilarious. Carry on.

apol said...

ANONYMOUS, leave me a note if you want to have coffee anytime you drive through again. HAZE, that was a fun afternoon! I will go to the website. TUESDAY, Maya is into reiki. It works daw. Hello, BEE, thanks and welcome here.

Boyet said...

hey Apol !!! I happened to chance upon a copy of this month's Cosmo and voila, you're there! i still remember the last time we got together in Bora...haaaaaayyyyyy, the best time of my life (if you know what i mean...i was with a loved one, on vacation during Valentine's in a great place...with you sharing the fun times with us... ).
i hope all is well...you are always in my prayers:)

Boyet Sison

Anonymous said...

Looove that pic!

Kala

mcsister said...

Beautiful shot. As for my experience with Reiki, everyone I've laid hands on admitted feeling the heat, electrical charge-y feeling. Some say they feel relief (like Tara and her headache, my colleague and her ab pain, and my sis Rina said it felt relaxing). But to claim that I, while doing Reiki, am a healer is false – the reiki energy from me works with the other person's energy to balance whatever needs balancing. Manang kepweng ba? ;-)

KatsMeow said...

Ati, what is your number?

apol said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
prettypem said...

the pic is beautiful. i like your blog. =)

my mom's from antique and that black chick story is true according to my lola. she said some people who are rumored to be aswangs have bloated tummies because of the chicks. you know naman how it is in the phils.

my great-grandmother was a faith healer but not like the ones they show on tv. she used to rub my forehead with ginger while muttering prayers to ease my fever. i think i felt better then because of the touch therapy. your blog makes me want to go home to the province. =)

KatsMeow said...

Ati, sorry, the time you called I tried calling you back but the number wasn't showing up. I'll try calling you again this weekend. I have to finish a research paper for work this week kaya medyo hibang ako. (Nako-conscious ako sa Taglish ko ha.)

boyetsison said...

hello again Apol...how's everything?