Hilot, the Filipino healing arts, are the oldest and the most secret arts in the Philippines. Due of the secrecy of the arts, very rarely do Hilot Masters teach this art in the general public. Most Hilot in the Philippines are either learned from relatives, through hands on practice, or inherited from their forfeathers, passing the arts from one generation to the next. Anywhere you visit in the Philippines, most Filipinos are exposed to the curative value of Hilot. The art survives through family interation, relatives, and friends. Hilot apprenticeship is taken seriously by the young "hilot" to absorb as much of the knowledge as possible from his/her "Hilot Priestess."
Hilot records date back to the first civilization of the Philippines (approximately 5th century). Due to the fact that there is no written history of this art, numerous new generation Hilot masters failed to document the origins, dates, facts, where the arts originated and who developed these effective and intriguing healing arts. There is no doubt that Hilot was practiced in the Philippines to varying degress or levels, nationwide, but now it is found in many parts of the world, carried by the Filipino Hilot.
Name of Hilot in the Philippines
Hilot is a word from the Tagalog dialect meaning massage rubbing or touch with caress. There are many words used to refer to the healer(or Hilot). From the Tagalog region there is "Hilot," "Manghihilot," "Hagod," "Manghahagod," "Haplos," "Albolary," and "Magagamot." Also there is "Aplos" in Bontoc region, "Unar" in the Kalinga Apayao region, "Aptus" in the Ibatan region, "Ilot" or "Ilut" in the Ibanag, Isneg, Ilocano, Itawis, Zambal and Pampango region. Then there is "Ablon" in the Northern Ilocano region, "Kemkem" in Pangasinan region, "Elot" in the Ilonggo region, "Agud" or "Agod" in the Mindanao and Maranao region, and "Hagod" in Bukidnon region (This portion is courtesy of Virgil Apostol taken from his Articles of Hilot in Filipinas Magazines April 2001)
There are many type of Hilot in the Philippines. The "Partera," "Komadrona," or "magpapaanak"- this the Hilot used to deliver babies. There are "Mangagamot" or "Babaylan" - this is the Hilot helps to cure various ailments using numerous alternatives remedies, such massage, oil, vinegar and herbs. There are four type of Hilot Mangagamot in Filipino native healing arts.
Hilot Albularyo is a form of Hilot treatment, uses variety of herbs, internal and external applications used, and is known of the uses of "Hagod" (massage).
Hilot Buga is a form healing treatment using a variety of herbs, fruits, vegetables, oil, water, and vinegar. They used chewed herbs and apply externally to cure various symtoms and illnesses.
Hilot Bintusa is a form of healing treatments, using glass and fire pressure or called "Bintusa." Similar to a Chinese cupping techniques, the used of accupressure points to apply the cup is similar to the accupressure points they use in Chinese Accupucture.
Hilot Babad is a form of healing treatment using water, use massage treatments in water to cure various muscle, tendon, ligament and joint injuries. This Hilot treatments is originated from Mangyans tribes and Aetas tribes in Luzon island.
Gat Puno Abon "Garimot" Baet is the latest member to embrace his family art of Hilot. He has also categorically organized and promoted the system outside his family by means of public demonstration and treatments. He began serious training in Hilot at age of 9 under his strict tutelage of his Grandmother Elisea "Eli" Baet, then he also studied under his Grandfather Jose "Uti" Baet, his Father Grandmaster Felipe "Garimot" Baet. He eventually trained under the grat Hilot of Lumban, Laguna GM Juan Ladian and GM Andoy Cacaos. He even sought other Hilot in the Mauban, Rizal, Batanggas province to absorb more knowledge. Today Gat Puno Abon is a known Filipino Hilot through out the Filipino Community in Florida. He has even demonstrated his skill in numerous Seminars in Chicago, NY, California, Texas, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Venezuela. He also established the "Hilot Research Center USA" based in Florida for the the study of Hilot and related medicines and History.