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   Greetings to All,


Has anyone read any good books on the healing and spiritual principles/aspects of the FMA?  I came across the title of the book: Way of The Ancient Healer by Virgil Mayor Apostol.  I've read a few of the reviews and most are pretty good but I'd rather have some input from someone who has actually read the book.  Perhaps there is someone who has had some experience in the spiritual healing aspects of the art and how it compares to some of the info thats out there as well. Thank you to all for you input and opinions.



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I got this book out of the library recently.  I was hoping to learning more about forms of shamanism and healing techniques in traditional Filipino culture.  The first couple chapters were pretty interesting but I ended up skimming the rest of the book.  There were lots of detailed examples of different instances of healing ceremony that I found difficult to assimilate without a broader cultural context.  I don't recall any mention of FMA at all.  Possibly someone with a greater knowledge of Filipino culture in general would get more out of the book.  However, I would definitely recommend taking a look at it.

To my knowledge there has not been a comprehensive book on the healing arts of Hilot. This is a good introductory book if you are seeking to obtain some basic info on it. There's also 'Cebuano Sorcery' which covers more of the mysticism than actual healing practices.

Btw, are you a Sayoc practitioner? Your profile pic is a logo shirt from a Sayoc Sama Sama.

I wish I was a Sayoc practioner.  I came across the pic some time ago on the net, not sure if it was from photobucket or not, its been a while.  I will admit it is a bit old.

Also, where do you think I could come across a copy of 'Cebuano Sorcery'?  Is it still in print or even available?

The book pops up on ebay once in awhile. It goes for a reasonable price considering how rare it is. Not very thick but has some very interesting practices and anecdotes within.

The book is available for free online. I downloaded it.

Walter, This book was written by my wife's cousin. I personally read the book.  It is not about FMA. It about Filipino Healing and Spiritualism. The book is an excellent book on the subject, Virgil also supports the Babaylan Institute that has their booth at the FPAC festival in San Pedro every year. But if you are looking for book on two together I do not know if one has ever been written. This is very personal subject with any FMA Master.

     I definitely look forward to purchasing this book then in the very near future!  I do find it interesting though that the evolution of a large number of other cultural marital practices throughout human history combined the fighting/killing aspect of their defensive system in conjunction with the healing aspect of the same art.  Whether this was intentional or not, I do not know.  However it would make logical sense that the warrior best prepared on the battlefield would also have some (or perhaps extensive knowledge) of healing/first aid type skills of dealing with their own injuries or the injuries of their fellow man (or woman).  The samurai culture employed an aspect of this within their arts as well as certain internal chinese martial arts (Bagua, Hsing-I, Taiji chuan).

     Whether the FMA evolved along the same line, that I do not know.  Yet I do feel that the totality of any FMA practice or defensive system could (or should) have included aspects of healing and spiritualism to allow the evolution of the warrior to reach there full potential, as a member of their community, as a respected warrior, and perhaps to help prepare them for an unknown realm beyond that of the physical world.



We do have a systemized approach to the healing aspects in Sayoc Kali but primarily introducing western medical practices in treatment of general injuries and trauma. It was developed in the past decade to complement the system as it continues to evolve. Students carry med kits and take courses with qualified licensed medical instructors.
Would be interesting to hear if other FMA systems have followed the same path. Especially those who focus primarily in the native methods of healing.


We have several portions in our style that teach about healing. We use both modern Western Medicine concepts and native healing methods based upon traditional materials depending upon location. Using materials found with Chinese, Indian, American folk medicine & Native American counter parts to incorporate their knowledge of plants & materials for healing. You must be able to this were ever you are. This concept is one that I learned from the Filipinos from Hawaii as they had to adapt to their new home. A good example is willow bark, it found with Chinese, Indian, Native American & American folk medicine for treatment of headaches. The more traditional healers work together the stronger they get. This is no different then scholars of Asia sharing as they did long ago.

Good point Marc,

Yes, we have several sections in the system where we utilize passed down methods of healing, especially involving tendons, muscles, etc. Many of our practitioners are instructors in Native American, Chinese and other healing arts. So they have access to share methods.

However, for fast treatment of trauma and basic medical emergencies we focus on getting new students to understand what is readily around them using Western methods (for cuts, puncture wounds, etc.). This offers them something to build on for later study. 

For bruises, muscle strains and other surface injuries, we use ingredients and techniques passed down to us that are not Western, but we found works much better than Western store bought items. Willow bark is something that seems to be a constant in many healing formulas.

Long ago, the Golden Hoard under the Great Khan, brought together the healers from China, India, and Arabic culture to tend to his army. What came out of the that was the sharing of ideas and technology. Each brings something to the table. In our system I use western medicines anatomy & physiology in teaching as well the concepts of energy from Eastern Medicine. The treatment for field trauma is very good from western medicine. I should know as veteran firefighter paramedic. Today we have the same kinds of opportunity that the Mongols did to share this knowledge. Here is an example-Western Medicine is great for Train wrecks to a persons body but they can not heal their energy flow. That is something best done from Eastern Medicine. The four parts of medicine together so as not have side effects is still lost on Western Medicine. Native healers understand these ideas. Anyway i have just finished up developing a class, that shows first aid concepts for the sick & injured from Western & Eastern Medicine information. This stuff is great for disaster response.

Health, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) is the total and holistic well being of the total aspects and facets of the human person. This include therefore the spiritual, social and psycho-social aspects of the human person. The aspect of healing in FMA goes way back from our ancestors and forefathers who have mastered the art of using nature and blending it with the spiritual component of nature to heal those who are sick. In the older times when Western medicine has not yet influenced the ways and culture of the Filipino people, we have various types of "manggagamot" who use both prayers (oracions) and herbs to heal a sick person. Depending on the geographic location of the Traditional healer, the type of healing vary. Many of the old traditional books are hand written and only disclosed to a select few individuals and students. Among the sacred books on traditional Filipino healing methods that I have read and do have a copy are the following: Aklat ng Mystissismo, Sacrado Corazon, Sator Koronados, Sagradong Aklat ng Pulahan, Mistero Principal, Siete Llaves, Milagros de JesuCristo, Kapa de Guera, Banda ni Lolo Mapili, La Compania de Jesus, Viaje de Santa Maria, Encanto de Dios, Crisol del Mundo, Santa Del Arca, Viaje de Lazaro, Testamento Verdadero, Testamento ng Diez Mundos, Singco Vocales, Testamento Sagrado de Solo Ojo, Testamento ng Pader Interno, and Sagradong Libro ng Haring Bakal to name a few.  In the Sacred Books  of the PBMA, they have a comprehensive system of healing a person. They have procedures for touch healing, blow healing, exorcism, alay (offerings), oracions, Divine Words, spiritual operations, amulets, anting-anting, massage, theraphy and general automatic medicine round. Because of the dominance of Western medicine in today's health systems, the traditional medicine and its traditional healers has been labelled and branded by the modern world as "quack medicine" and 'quack doctors". This has led to the fading out of this sacred system in the mainstream health system. Most of the sacred books on traditional health systems of FMA have been scattered and taken cared of by few individuals here in the Philippines. Some took the effort in collecting them and studying them seriously. Revealed in these books are the sacred procedures practiced by our ancient forefathers before the coming of Western influence in our country. These books still exist today but are scattered all over the country. Some masters are very secretive about it because the book also reveal the sacred art of cabal, panipas, panggobol, tagolilong, tigalpo, sumpa, gayuma, lamat, and panggagamot. That's all for now.         


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