Pinoy word of the day: Babaylan

14 Apr

Babaylan. Painted by Rosendo Aguilar, Negros Museum, Bacolod City

Babaylan* is a Filipino word that refers specifically to an individual or a group of healers, mostly women, who were acknowledged by friends and family as possessing extraordinary gifts… having a gift of vision; an ability to see through schemes or situations and later advise on future plans… or the gift for healing; a specific touch or intuited or passed-on knowledge to specific processes of ‘fixing’ and ‘putting’ people and things together. The first priority of all Babaylan [is] her community. — Carlos Villa

*Babaylan is a Visayan term. Other terms for this role around the Philippines
are arbularyo, hilot, mombaki, bailan/beliyan/bagyan, catalonan, dawac, or ma-aram

http://babaylanfiles.blogspot.com/

Just like the Babaylan, don’t Filipina migrants possess the same gifts of healing and an intuitive knowledge in (re)uniting people and things around them? Their priority is also the community- a trait that has helped keep together Filipino migrant communities all over the world. Kay S. Abaño

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