although i am a practitioner of western allopathic medicine and an avid student of traditional chinese medicine, i never forget that as a holistic healer, i am filipino. thus, i make sure to ground myself in the healing spirit, attitudes, and values of my filipino shamanistic forebears and continue to learn from their indigenous healing traditions.
Baylan Lordina "Undin" Potenciano and her interpreter Robilyn
last weekend, i had the double treat of meeting Babaylan Undin and Grace Nono.
babaylan is a visayan term for a tribal leader, male or female, who functions as a mediator between God and man, healer, ritual expert, and culture-bearer. in other philippine indigenous communities, the babaylan is known as mumbaki, dawac, balyan, katalonan, ma-aram, mangngallag, mambunong.
Baylan Undin performing a ritual
Babaylan Undin comes from the Manobo ethnic group of agusan del sur. she followed in the footsteps of her late grandmother who officiated rituals and healed the sick through chants and dance. Babaylan Undin, in fact, serves as one of Grace Nono's chant teachers.
famed etho-musician Grace Nono
now if you're a die-hard "justin belieber," chances are you won't know who Grace Nono is. Grace is an icon in the filipino music world. she is an ethno-musician who does indigenous and pop renditions of filipino tribal chants and folk songs. not only is she a well-awarded music artist but an academician and book author as well. in fact, she is currently a PhD candidate in ethno-musicology at the new york university. i consider her to be a babaylan who heals cultures and people through her healing voice and musical artistry.
when Grace Nono sings, there's only one word to describe her, and that is-- mesmerizing! get entranced as you listen to her sing in the videoclips below:
Grace Nono singing "Pinoy ang Dating"- IBC-13's station ID
Grace Nono singing a pop version of the folk song Salidumay
Grace Nono singing the visayan folk song Dandansoy
and for the life of you, don't even dare miss this last piece:
a "live" and pop rendition of the folk song Padayon
as a holistic healer, i consider myself a modern-day babaylan in the good company of babaylans such as Babaylan Undin and Grace Nono. to both of you, thank you for being keepers of our indigenous heritage.
Thanks to a nice guy named Yaman for giving me his special coin purse
the life change recovery center group with Baylan Undin
the life change recovery center group with Grace Nono