Facundo, pagalingin ang braso ko

12:00:00 AM

I’ve been to Siquijor thrice, but it was only on my third visit that I got to meet a healer. I sought one out, actually, after Phil, a Swiss guy who was staying at JJ’s around the same time, told me about it. He was touring the island with a group of girls, and one of them wanted to consult a healer about her health concerns, so they did. He told me that the healer just touched his friend’s shoulders, worked some magic of sorts, and what was bugging her just went away instantly. 

To be clear, I’m not the type who believes in folklore, but I got really curious about it when Phil told me that his friend never said anything to the healer about what was bothering her. And yet the old lady seemed to know exactly what was wrong, and she made it go away. 

At the time of my trip, I was still recovering some injuries I sustained from jiu-jitsu and stupidity. My elbow, which I hurt during my match at Artesuave Manila 2016, had been healing nicely until Alfred demonstrated a standing armbar with it while we were training for Libre Fighting. So it began to hurt again, but it wasn’t really that bad - I usually just feel it when I’m using the arm to lift my heavy bag, or when I’m stuck in a freezing room.

During the trip, I sustained another injury - I sprained my wrist (on my birthday, no less!) - and that made me even more determined to find a healer before we headed back to Dumaguete. When we were looking at souvenirs at the shop at the Balete Tree site, I asked the staff where I might be able to find a healer. They told me that I should go to the Church of Lazi and ask there.
Voodoo Who Do

So Daiva, Mathieu, and I drove to the Church. We asked the ladies selling candles at the gate if they knew of a healer, and for a small fee, one of them offered to have her husband drive us to the exact location. I agreed to give him Php50 for the trouble, since the healers don’t exactly have signs in front of their houses that advertise their services.

The healer was Mang Facundo, and I laughed a little on the inside as his name reminded me of an inside joke in our circle in Selecta. He lived in a small hut a few meters away from the road, and he spoke only Bisaya. It’s a good thing that our guide stayed on to help translate. 

Mang Facundo asked me what the matter was, and I told him I felt something in my arm without specifying which side. He took both my hands to stretch them out, and after looking at them side by side for a few seconds, he took the right arm (bingo!) and put some oil on the elbow and the wrist (again, bingo!). He blew softly over the length of my arm, and then chanted something I couldn't understand.

When he was done, he asked our guide to tell me to be careful - he said that I ought to wear an amulet around my neck and my waist because according to him, spirits were jealous of me. He said it’s mainly because of my fair complexion, which I found very odd considering that I was with two white people (Daiva is Lithuanian and Mathieu is Luxembourgish). HAHA! But I didn't say anything. I just gave him a small amount and thanked him for his time.
The Healer's House
My elbow actually stopped bothering me after seeing the healer, although the pain in my wrist remained. I guess he can only heal one thing at a time, or maybe I didn't have enough faith in him - I don't really know. For what it's worth, it's nice to have met someone whose practice has put a cloak of mystery over the beautiful island of Siquijor. I wouldn't mind seeking out another healer when I go back there again, and hopefully, I'd be able to talk to them more.


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