Placido Palitayan, another formidable healer from the Philippines.
Healing in the Philippines – Group Tour 2008
January 19th – February 2nd incl. 2008
We are pleased to announce that after a break of 6 years, that we are again taking groups of people (maximum 10) to see two of the most renowned healers (bare hand surgeons) in the Philippines.
A Bare Hand Surgeon enters a person’s body using his / her Bare Hands and manually removes diseased or dead tissues, tumours, calcium deposits and other matters that should not be there. This is done without inflicting any pain, coming out without leaving any visible marks or scars.
Their ability to open peoples bodies and perform operations without the use of any surgical equipment i.e their bare hands, in the absence of any anaesthetics and the skin of their patient re-seals without any noticeable marking or scars defies not only conventional medical knowledge but also flies in the face of what we consensually call reality.
Howard has been involved in Philippines bare hand surgeons since 1998, and has taken many groups to visit the Philippines and receive healing. He has also authored feature articles on these healing practices. Over a two week period you will have typically 10 sessions with time at the beach to integrate, rest, and take it easy to allow space for recuperation.
Contact Howard for a 10+ page information package.
Howard G. Charing, is an accomplished international workshop leader on shamanism. He has worked some of the most respected and extraordinary shamans & healers in the Andes, the Amazon Rainforest, and the Philippines. He organises specialist retreats to the Amazon Rainforest at the dedicated centre located in the Mishana nature reserve. He is the author of the best selling book, Plant Spirit Shamanism (Destiny Books USA).
A healer and psychic surgeon working in Baguio is Placido Palitayan. He is an extremely confident and skilled psychic surgeon. It was again a privilege to meet, interview, make videos, and work with him. I have a full interview on video with Placido, and this is the transcription following some healing sessions where Placido operated on three people (including me):
Howard: Can you tell me more about the healing and psychic surgery that you have just done which we have just videoed?
Placido: I am not a medical doctor, so it is difficult to provide a medical description or explanation. In the healing process, when I heal, I heal with my total being, my mind, my heart, and my soul is praying that god will help you.
The mystery here is the power, or energy, or what we call god. Our bodies are complex, often having problems caused by emotions. Everybody has that; no one is perfect in health. But our mind in connection (he points upwards) to him, is doing miracles, moment to moment in our life.
Howard: When you start your healing as I have just seen, you say your prayers and you meditate, and this external power enters you, and then you start to make the openings in the person’s body. Is that how you see this?
Placido: Yes it is something like that. I am doing the healing, I am not thinking about myself, or about anything. I just serve, so that the divine power will work through me, the patient just has to relax, and open their mind, not thinking about any problems, so that the divine energy works through and through the whole body system.
Howard: I understand. This is consistent with what I have heard from other psychic surgeons.
Placido: This is how the healing works.
Howard: I was feeling very relaxed with you, feeling very open, and now I am feeling a lot better, much clearer.
Placido: I know.
Howard: I would like to ask you some questions. As we have discussed, I bring groups of Westerners to the Philippines, and they would like to know more about the healer, their background and so on. So can you tell me how you started your healing work?
Placido: I think that it is a divine plan, and beyond my knowledge. I was very young when I broke my fingers. It was after my studies at school, and I was with my friends. I had to leave my friends as it was twilight time, as I wouldn’t be able to see my way home in the dark. The place I used to go was downhill, and I ran home as it was getting dark, I fell and tumbled down, and struck my finger on a big rock. My fingers went completely backwards (he demonstrates this). In my mind, because I was very young, only nine, I had thought that I had destroyed my hand. I only had one thing to do, and that was to pray. It wasn’t what I had learned in church, or what others had taught me. I prayed very deeply in my soul, a very short prayer, I can’t remember what I said even now, but it was from my soul. Suddenly after my prayer, I rubbed my hand, and shook it, and it was perfectly restored.
I went home, I could not, I could not talk, and I was so amazed at what had happened. I did not think that god did it. The next day when I went to school, the teacher asked “Placido, will you answer the question?” I could hear her, but could not speak. I was maybe in what they call a in a trance. A trance which nobody knew where it came from. The teacher came close up to me, and slowly waved her hands a few inches from my face. I knew that she was doing this, but I could still not respond. Only when she touched me, could I reply “yes maa’m”, only then was I aware.
Since that time, I couldn’t go to school anymore, as they said I was crazy! So after that I went in the mountains in solitude. In the mountains there is nobody, only sugarcane. So all I was doing was drinking was the sugarcane, and just thinking. I knew that I must be crazy; I said to myself “what am I doing here, I’m only eating sugarcane”. I could not even urinate as I had drunk too much sugar from the sugarcane. So I knew that I had to drink otherwise I would destroy my health. And that was the beginning of what they now call ‘spiritual awareness’. So after that, when ever I saw people, I was able to tell if they were ill, sick, or unhappy. I also found that I could talk to them in ways that put them at ease or made them feel happy. They said to me “you are not crazy, because you know how to answer our problems”. I said that I didn’t know how, but being young, and having nothing to lose, I said just what I saw, and they started to believe me.
When the Missionaries came, and talked about god, I felt magnetised by their words, and I became close to them. I asked if I could go with them, and when they visited other communities, I would touch people and they would get better. I realised that what the bible was saying about healing was happening to me. Later the missionaries became jealous of me, as when I talked to people they liked me, and would gather by me and not the missionaries.
The missionaries didn’t want me to be with them, and I became alone again, I felt as if no one liked me. Anyway I had to work, as here in the Philippines you have to so you can eat. My work was very hard, digging, breaking rocks, hard work like that. It’s a long story, but then along came the great psychic healer Eleuterio Terte (he was the first psychic surgeon), then Tony Agpoa, Ricardo Gonzales, and they all wanted me to work with them. I said that I couldn’t divide myself into three. Anyhow I decided to work with Gonzales (he made a better offer!). I was still very young and didn’t yet speak English. I travelled with Gonzales to Australia in August 1958. After that I was able to complete my education,
Howard: May I ask how old you are?
Howard: Listening to your story, it is obvious that your healing has developed over the years, and you perform your work with great confidence. Did you start with ‘magnetic’ and psychic healing?
Placido: At the beginning of my studies with Gonzales, I went to a tribal community of head-hunters. One of them had a big tumour, and I started to manipulate (magnetic massage) the area, and suddenly the body opened and blood spurted up and flowed out. I didn’t know why or how this had happened, as I was only manipulating the body. Then I looked behind me, and the Chief had raised his arm and holding a large bone, he wanted to kill me. He must of thought that when the blood spurted out, that I had stabbed the patient. The Chief wanted to cut off my head (they are head-hunters!), but the bone broke in half, and his arm couldn’t move. Then he saw that there was no more blood and that the wound had healed. The patient was starting to get up and was laughing too. The Chief smiled, and said that I should stay here, be with his family. I said “no thanks, I do not belong here, I belong to all people who need my help”.
Howard: Well at least you made some good friends there. As they say, it’s good to be on friendly terms with the head-hunters!
Placido: Yes, he wanted to kill me, and then he became my very close friend. After that I came to Baguio, and I joined with the healers. I didn’t do any psychic surgery, as I thought that this happened to me just once. In Baguio, I met with Tony Agpoa who was working with hundreds of people. He said “Placido, I am so tired, it is already 5 ‘o clock and I still have many people to heal! I said that I will help, and in 30 minutes, I helped all the people with psychic surgery. I was very organised, I made sure that everybody was prepared, and I just did it. He was very surprised, “how did you do it?” He asked, “All those people in such a short time”.
There are many stories to tell, but all I want is peace. I give spiritual advice, I talk not about religion, as to me religion is man made, ‘Him’ (pointing upwards) in his work is the most important thing for me. I need to train my son to do this work and help me.
Howard: Listening to what you have been saying, it really seems that the most important thing is this ‘feeling’, as a young boy you gad no thoughts about what was happening, but you had a feeling. Well I really want to thank you for your time, and I appreciate you sharing your story and adventures with us, many thanks for that.
Howard G. Charing, is an accomplished international workshop leader on shamanism. He has worked some of the most respected and extraordinary shamans & healers in the Andes, the Amazon Rainforest, and the Philippines. He organises specialist retreats to the Amazon Rainforest He is the author of Plant Spirit Shamanism (Destiny Books USA).
Visit the website for info about our Philippines Tour to meet the Healers
The enigma of Jun Labo
Together with my colleague Patrick Hamouy (of Alternative Therapies) , we met with Jun and were his guest recently at his residence in the mountain regions of northern Luzon, its location and altitude in the Cordiella mountain range keep it cool and pleasant during the hot and extremely humid summer months. His house is somewhat of an Oriental palace, with pagodas, roof gardens, terraces within terraces, large statues of lions, eagles, frogs, gnomes, and with an eclectic mixture of painted murals and bas-reliefs of ancient Chinese symbols, and warriors in combat. The gardens are filled with beautiful blossoms, and exotic tropical trees, and of course the local mountain pines. Jun has also dedicated a ‘shrine’ to his first car (a VW Beetle) in the grounds.
Jun is an enigma within the enigma, on the one hand he was (and still is) a political figure of significant influence. He was Mayor of Baguio City, and twice Governor of the province. He is world famous in the area of healing, and featured in the film ‘Exploring the Unknown’ (1977) narrated by Burt Lancaster. Jun is also proud that he has been ‘officially’ tested by doctors in the USA. He was wired up to all kinds of monitors, at Wisconsin University, and observed by a team of medical doctors and surgeons, and his healing was proclaimed genuine.
So on the one hand there is the man Jun Labo, an extrovert personality, extremely confident, very flamboyant, a former playboy, politician and celebrity, and on the other hand there is the extraordinary powerful healer Jun Labo.
Prior to a healing sessions, in which any number to 40 people receive individual healing, Jun starts with his prayers which includes facing what in shamanism would be calling in the powers of the ‘four directions’ and burns incense to raise the energy and vibration of the healing room. It is at his prayers and meditation which preclude the healing session, that you feel a perceptible shift, Jun changes in some way, and you can feel that you are in the presence of ‘something’ or ‘other-worldly’. Jun at that moment becomes (and not just figuratively speaking) a true ‘walker between the worlds’, a shaman in all but name.
Jun always insists that it is the ‘holy spirit’ that is working directly through his hands, and that he is only an instrument. Again we come to this situation where we attempt to describe in words the mystery of the spiritual forces which carry out the actual healing. What is the ‘holy spirit’, without question it has the characteristics of an external force or power. However to simply say that it is an invisible or incorporeal being is not fully satisfactory, even though my experiences have indicated that is what it is!
I recall a particular incident back in 2000 when I was working with the psychic surgeon Roger Delin in Baguio. I would go everyday to Roger’s house and sit with him just chatting and drinking tea, and then he would abruptly stand up and say let’s start. Anyway on this particular day, we seemed to be sitting around waiting for longer than usual. So I asked Roger why we were waiting for so long, he said “the spirit has not arrived yet, I get a nudge from the spirit when he is here” It was at that moment, it felt as if someone had given me a massive shove in the back, I looked around but there was no one there, behind me was empty. I looked at Roger; he smiled and said “time to start!”
Jun was born on 23 December 1934 in Dagupan City in Pangasinan, Philippines. His parents belonged to the “Union Espiritista Christiana de Filipinas” (a spiritualist church that has taught numerous healers in the Philippines). Jun’s mother was a psychic dentist and she forced Jun to go to church on Sundays. Jun was not keen on spending part of his Sunday in church and used to sneak out to play with his friends. As an interesting note, all the Philippines psychic surgeons I have met, even though they may practice in Baguio or Manila, all come from Pangasinan province, yet another enigma.
One Sunday, he became paralysed during a church ceremony. In a state of shock and with fear, he witnessed his first apparition of Jesus. This was Jun’s first encounter with Jesus who was to become one of his spirit guides for all healing.
His first healing experience came when he was accompanying his mother on a religious walk. One woman collapsed and Jun instinctively began rubbing her chest. Blood spurted out and Jun ran away in fear. The crowd brought him back and asked him to finish the healing. Jun carried on rubbing the woman’s chest and she fully recovered.
Jun’s diagnosis techniques
In order to find out the condition of a patient, Jun holds a sheet in front of the patient and uses it as a form of psychic x-ray. Through it, he is able to see spots inside the patient’s body. If the spots are dark, then the disease is serious (location and number of tumours are shown to him). If the spots are bright, it is not so serious.
In the film I mentioned earlier, Jun was operating on a Filipino patient suffering from eye problems. To diagnose the patient, Jun used his sheet as an X-ray and doing so, spotted something in the throat of Alan Newman (the producer of the documentary) who was standing behind the patient. After a successful operation on the Filipino, he asked Alan to lie down and operated on his throat, removing a large quantity of pus from it. Newman later confirmed that he had had problem with his throat for the past 8 years but had not told. After the surgery, Newman was able to breathe freely for the first time in 8 years.
My personal experiences with Jun Labo
I first met Jun three years ago, I was experiencing an ongoing lethargy, and lack of energy. He put a white sheet a few inches above me, and then quickly without any words, opened my body with his hands. There was no pain or discomfort, just a sensation of being touched. He took out a tangled mass of tissue from my chest. I looked back again and my skin had resealed. I then mentioned to him that my sinus area was blocked, he immediately and without any words, inserted his finger in my nostril and pushed it up. He then withdrew his finger with a piece of solid rubberised snot about 3 inches in length, and the thickness of my thumb attached to it. And that was it, a procedure which took about 10 minutes if that. I asked him what the problem was with my chest, and he said that one of my heart valves was blocked. I left his house breathing clearly, and filled with energy, a moment of true elation.
On my recent visit with Jun, I mentioned that my throat was feeling blocked. He removed a non cancerous growth the size of a tangerine from there, and then made another opening, and significant amount of thick pus and phlegm poured out. Patrick who was videoing all of this, was making some comments with regards to the ‘yeech’ factor as this was going on!
I witnessed and videoed a number of operations on Patrick. And as the platitude goes ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ we will be releasing some of our video footage so people can see (and hear) for themselves.
When I talked with Jun about shamanism, and how the shamans heal, he very much resonated with that and felt very much at home with that, even though he doesn’t define himself as a shaman.
Jun has a desire to teach healers, and has co-founded with Patrick (as Vice President), the International School of Metaphysical Healing and Development. This school will be based in Baguio. I have been invited to be an Associate Vice President and both Patrick and I will be bringing people interested in receiving healing from Jun, as well as learning and being trained in this form of metaphysical healing. Jun conducts a test on the apprentice or aspiring healer (I’m glad I passed!). He takes the index finger of the person, blows on it, makes a prayer and then runs the persons finger of a patient’s body. The finger running along the body makes an opening and draws blood. The opening is instantly closed as soon as the finger moves (I also have this on video).
The shamans work with the power of the plants in many ways, the colours of the flowers, the perfume, their shape, form, and associations. This although does not play a role in modern medicine, this understanding has a long history most notably introduced by the 16th century alchemist and philosopher Paracelsus, who in his famous “Doctrine of Signatures” treatise proposes his premises which are based upon the view that Nature itself is a living organism which must be considered as an expression of the One Life, and that man and the Universe are one in their essential nature, and that there is a ‘magnetic’ attraction between every part of nature and its corresponding part in man. He held that the inner nature of plants may be discovered by their outer forms or signatures. Paracelsus also applied this principle to food, “it is not in the quantity of food but in it’s quality that resides the Spirit of Life”.
Nowadays these are principles which are very familiar, in particular it one of the fundamental reasons for eating organic food. The huge concerns regarding the consumption of genetically-modified (GM) food is a powerful demonstration of the notion and ‘gut-feeling’ that it is basically wrong.
Even with this in mind, Paracelsus’s premise is a far more subtle , spiritual, and in essence shamanic then it’s rational minded critics deride, in as much the outer form is the just the gateway (i.e. an outer sensorial portal ) to the inner spirit or consciousness of the plant.
Of Paracelsus , Manly Hall the Canadian philosopher, and author has said, gained his knowledge “not from long-coated pedagogues but from dervishes in Constantinople, witches, gypsies, and sorcerers, who invoked spirits and captured the rays of the celestial bodies in dew” . As an observation it sounds just like the kind of people who do communicate with the plant spirits!
To illustrate the connection between the alchemical knowledge and the knowledge of indigenous peoples is this understanding of the form, and characteristics of the plant is not confined to the physical but also other attributes too , as an interview with the Amazonian maestro Artiduro Aro Cardenas who remarks;
‘A smell has the power to attract. I can also make smells to attract business, people who buy. You just rub it on your face and it brings in the people to your business, if you are selling, people come to buy. I also make perfumes for love, and others for flourishing. These are the forces of nature, what I do is give it direction with my breath so it has effect. I use my experience of the plants which I have dieted. I have a relation with the plants and with the patient; I can’t make these things on a commercial scale.
When I diet I take in the strength of the plant and it stays with me. Later I find the illness or suffering of the person or what it is they want, and the plant guides me and tells me if it is the right one for that person, and I cure them’
He also (as do many maestros) works with the plants not only to heal illnesses but to resolve domestic and family problems;
‘I get people coming for help to give up drug addiction, people with family problems, supposing the man has gone off and left his family, the Mama is here with me and the Papa is far away. I pull him back so he returns to his home so that the family can consolidate again. In a short time he will be thinking of his children and his wife, and he comes back. I don’t need to have the actual plants in front of me, I call the plant spirits which work for that, Renaco, Huayanche, Lamarosa, Sangapilla, perfumes and I call his spirit back to the family home. I blow smoke to reunite them.’
Another (in a very enjoyable way) the qualities, consciousness or spirit of the plant is used to attract benign forces is “los baños florales” or flower baths. In this the individual is bathed in flowers which have been soaking in water for many hours. The maestro prepares the water by blowing mapacho (jungle tobacco) smoke and at the same time placing his intention into the flower soaked water. Again these flowers and plants have been gathered from sometimes deep and not easily accessible locations in the rainforest and have been selected for their specific qualities which the maestro feels are needed to help that person.
On the edge of the Amazonian town Iquitos is the market river port of Belen, which has the famous street ‘Pasaje Paquito’ where many of the rainforest, herbs, plants, mixtures, tinctures are sold. Chatting to Delia the owner of the stall where I buy plants from, I remember her describing some of the potions, lotions, plants, tonics, barks, perfumes, roots, oils, aphrodisiacs and leaves, and remarking “when you talk to the plants you will get to know them like friends, they have their own spirits, their own personalities”.
Howard G. Charing, is an accomplished international workshop leader on shamanism. He has worked some of the most respected and extraordinary shamans & healers in the Andes, the Amazon Rainforest, and the Philippines. He organises specialist retreats to the Amazon Rainforest He is the author of the best selling book, Plant Spirit Shamanism (Destiny Books USA), and has published numerous articles about plant medicines.
The ‘bare hand’ or ‘psychic’ surgeons of the Philippines have been one of the most enduring enigmas of modern times. There has been much controversy about the so-called miracle healers of the Philippines. Their ability to open peoples bodies and defies not only conventional scientific and medical knowledge but also challenges what we consensually call reality. How can a human body open and close by touch? How can solid objects become permeable to allow a hand to move through it?
To the Western person, brought up in a paradigm structured and shaped by rational thought, it really does require a huge leap of the imagination to be fully open-minded to the possibility that this phenomenon exists. It is not only a challenge to our individual sensibilities, but also to our thinking which has been shaped by the Descartes and Newton scientific heritage.
This is an immense challenge to the consensual reality in which only the material, solid, touchable, and ultimately measurable is real. The ineffable or that which can not be measured is dismissed, labelled as ‘weird’, dismissed and excluded from mainstream Western culture. Our society has always been dismissive of indigenous healing practices. This is maybe because we do not have an understanding or an explanation of the underlying principles of how this type of healing works. It is a more convenient solution to regard the activities of shamans, folk healers, and of course the ‘bare hand’ surgeons as ‘primitive superstition’.
The current scientific paradigm is quantum theory, a model that opens up a very curious universe indeed, in which nothing can actually be measured since the very action of measuring it changes its material nature and the observer is not separate to the observed.
However we look at it, this ‘thing’ does not exist in its own right. It is the choices we make and our behaviour as observers that gives it reality at all and, even then, how we look at it changes it. We need to recognise that objective reality becomes in essence a flawed concept, and that consciousness as such is an instrument in the creation of reality. So in the words Albert Einstein; “Reality is an illusion, albeit a persistent one.”
Keeping this notion in mind, if we look at the basic purpose of a ritual, ceremony, or prayer it is really to effect a change, or influence the unfolding of reality. This change is usually to improve the circumstances for a person or group of people, typically healing, drawing in benign influences and so on. To extend this, the ‘procedures’ and ‘rules’ for a ritual, in many respects are identical to the ‘rules’ of Quantum Mechanics, and that the ineffable spiritual dimension is actually a rational undertaking of our consciousness to effect the transient probability waves that generate reality in time and space.
From this perspective, what healers and shamans are doing becomes totally rational, and a ceremony or act of healing is an ‘act of intention operating at a quantum level’ , whereby this intention is an expression of our conscious desire to alter reality using the principles of Quantum Mechanics.
However the implications of this mean that shamanism and psychic surgery can be explained in terms of modern physics. Psychic Surgeons and Shamans can effect change in local reality (i.e. their clients) through what is called ‘spiritual’ power operating at the quantum level.
The process of psychic surgery is rationalized by the Former Professor of Physics and Chemistry at the University of Dortmund, Dr. Alfred Stelter He defines the process of painless, barehanded operation as thus:
“The healers form strong etheric force or energy in their hands through intense concentration. This energy penetrates matter at the cellular or even sub-atomic levels where matter and energy are interchangeable. After the accumulation of etheric forces, the magnetic cohesive energy (force that holds he cells of the bodies together) is separated through unpolarization. And then after the operation, the cells go back to their former appearance.”
Now from a personal view, I always feel, that everything which is manifested in the physical world, has a cause or source. The fact that we maybe are unable to rationally understand, define, or explain is not relevant, as the sages and wise ones say “the proof is in the eating of the pudding”, and in the ten years that I have been working and researching in the Philippines I have come to do just that. So although the Quantum Mechanics principles may satisfy our rational and logical minds, it is not that relevant. The psychic surgeons and shamans certainly do not see their work in those terms. It is always an expression of the great mystery. If we can embrace this as a mystery, it can mean that we may enter this magical world, where reality is not as solid as we think it is. Striving for rational explanations in some way keeps us outside, and prevents us from entering this mysterious world.
The ancestral traditions and the strong folk culture of the Philippines have long provided the background that has fostered a climate of general tolerance and acceptance towards traditional healers, shamans, and psychic surgeons. This tolerance also extends to Government Ministers, Presidents, and interestingly; also to the powerful Catholic Church in the Philippines. There was a very sympathetic feature article titled ‘Priest heals through power of touch’ in a recent national newspaper (the Philippine Daily Inquirer July 30th 2007 Vol 22/ No.232) about Father Fernando Saurez. One of he reasons why he has come to national prominence is that the husband of President Arroyo, was one of those healed by the priest in his celebrated “miraculous recovery” last year. Father Saurez’s healing work is all approved and praised by the church hierarchy.
Filipinos have acquired this tolerance from their old traditions that maintained an awareness and faith in the existence of nature spirits called anitos. These magical beings reside within an extended definition of the boundaries of the natural world. Although the Filipino people broadly regard themselves as rationalists (just as we do), they also as a culture are more readily to embrace the more intangible, enigmatic, and what we know as the metaphysical and shamanic dimension of reality.
This view is endorsed by research from the Asian Studies Center Organisation; “While Christianity has been the major religion in the Philippines since the beginning of the Spanish colonial period in 1565, it has always been mixed with traditional animistic beliefs and practices, giving Philippine Catholicism a particular national character. Another characteristic of religion in the Philippines, whether it is Roman Catholic, Protestant, or Islam, is that its practices openly incorporate animistic experiences and practices”.
Although there is a powerful urban desire propelled by the commercial financial interests to move into a modern ‘shopping mall’ consumer society, marketed as the ‘Philippines Dream’ (part of the global consumer dream). This ‘Dream’ is really focussed on the major urban areas. The vast majority of people live in a more rural environment. There is also a vast gap in wealth between the urban middle class and those in the provincial rural areas. The people who live in the remote rural settlements and outer provinces have a closer and more intimate relationship with the natural world. In addition there is often a considerable distance from modern medical facilities, and finally there is not the money to pay for modern medical treatment and medication. This means that there is still a lot of work for the traditional healers such as the Albularyos (shamans), Herbolarios (herb doctors), and Manghihilot (traditional bonesetters).
Howard G. Charing, is an accomplished international workshop leader on shamanism. He has worked some of the most respected and extraordinary shamans & healers in the Andes, the Amazon Rainforest, and the Philippines. He organises specialist retreats to the Amazon Rainforest He is the author of Plant Spirit Shamanism (Destiny Books USA).
Visit the website for info about our Philippines Tour to meet the Healers
January 19th – February 2nd incl. 2008
The ‘bare hand’ or ‘psychic’ surgeons of the Philippines have been one of the most enduring enigmas of modern times. There has been much controversy about the so-called miracle healers of the Philippines. Their ability to open peoples bodies and perform operations without the use of any surgical equipment i.e. their bare hands and subsequently the skin of their patient re-seals without any noticeable marking or scars defies not only conventional medical and scientific knowledge but also flies in the face of what we consensually call reality. How can a human body open and close by touch? How can solid objects become permeable to allow a hand to move through it?
Placido is a healer and psychic surgeon working in Baguio. He is an extremely confident and skilled psychic surgeon. It was again a privilege to meet, interview, make videos, and work with him. I have a full interview on video with Placido, with videos of his healing which I recorded on my trip this July / August.
For those who are interested in experiencing this unique form of healing, please contact Howard to receive an information pack (incl. video clips).
Journey to meet the Healers
2008 Dates are, January 19th – February 2nd incl.
Itinerary and costs included in the pack.
Maximum 10 participants.
Tel : 01273 882027
click for info about the journeys to the Philippines Healers
Over the years there has been much controversy about the so-called miracle healers of the Philippines. Their ability to open peoples bodies and perform operations without the use of any surgical equipment i.e their bare hands or with rusty hunting knives, in the absence of any anaesthetics and the skin of their patient re-seals without any noticeable marking or scars defies not only conventional medical knowledge but also flies in the face of what we consensually call reality. How can a human body open and close by touch? How can solid objects become permeable to allow a hand to move through it?
My encounter with Rogerilio in the Philippines demonstrated that reality is not so solid as we have been led to believe. My experience very much reminded me of Einstein’s quote “reality is an illusion albeit a persistent one!”
I met with Rogerilio at his place which was a simple street side café cum shop selling everything from shampoo sachets to the local boiled egg delicacy which children buy in their hundreds weekly. The waiting room is the café itself and his treatment room is a small curtained off room at the back.
I witnessed and was allowed to both video and photograph Rogerilio at work with his patients who are not only local people but also many who travel from Europe, and the USA come to see him with serious and some diagnosed as terminal illnesses.
Rogerilio works in simple even humble circumstances. There is no running water, no flushing toilet, or other modern facility. He struggles every month to make ends meet to feed and support his wife, 2 daughters, his adopted son, and other members of his family (10 in total). He does not charge patients any money but accepts their donations placed on his altar without any comment. A few times I saw sacks of rice being given in payment for operations which were normally well beyond the means of poor people to pay for as there is no ‘free’ health service either with doctors or hospitals. In fact in many of the outlying provinces and islands there are no doctors, and hospitals are only in the cities.
When I asked Rogerilio where does this healing ability come from, did he study with a maestro? Or where did he learn this? His response is very clear,” it is not me, I am only a tool like a hammer, the Holy Spirit does the work. Please do not consider that it is I doing the healing in anyway. I am not worthy, why me? I can not be enriched thru money by this work in any way, and I do not ask for money.” His wife Lourdes was nodding in acknowledgement to this and then she added, “ every time he stops this work the children get sick, and he becomes weak and ill”. Rogerilio said he has to walk a thin line and it’s not easy “of course” he says (with tongue slightly in cheek) “I would like to gamble, womanise, and drink alcohol, but I can not and do this work. In the absence of any other plausible hypothesis I had no choice but to accept Rogerilio’s explanation how the healing worked and the physical opening took place, after all not only had I seen this with my own eyes, I also had my hand inside people’s bodies.
I asked if there were any other healers in his family, he said no, and added that in fifteen generations he is the only one with this gift. I asked him how did he discover this gift. He said that as a young child he was often told that he would be ‘special’ as he was a breech delivery, but he never knew or was told exactly what this special attribute was. He discovered this ability when he was thirteen, a neighbouring boy of the same age had swallowed a fishbone and he became very ill, neck swollen, infected, unable to eat, after two weeks his condition was getting very serious and another neighbour brought Rogerilio to the boy and asked him to heal him. Rogerilio did not know what to do, so he just gently massaged the boy’s neck, when suddenly his fingers moved inside the boy’s throat and in shock he withdrew them and found that he was holding the fishbone in his hand. He was so shocked and frightened, he thought he had killed the boy so he run away and hid in the forest for three weeks.
A friend later found him and told him that the boy was well and had recovered from the illness. Rogerilio on returning to his village found that circumstances had become difficult as he was expelled from school for his absence and that many people had turned away from him including and very sadly his parents, so he had to leave home and travel for he had ‘become touched by the devil”, It was a lonely and difficult period in his life as he found himself denounced when people found out who he was so he had to move on. Rogerilio then lifted his shirt and showed me the whip scars on his back. He was hounded out and whipped with vines which had thorns attached. He indicated a vase in his room in which he still kept the very same vines as a reminder of these times.
He survived as young boy, grafting, selling cigarettes, cleaning shoes, and sleeping rough, living as an outcast. He earned enough money to go to High school, and started to work as a healer helping people in an ad-hoc manner in the community. He slowly and surely built up a reputation, and he was given an award by the Junior Chamber of Commerce as a ‘Model of Compassion’ working as a healer without asking for money.
Determined to understand the human body and what he was doing, he qualified for medical training and after 6 years of internship qualified as a medical analyst. This work meant studying tissue samples, assisting in surgical operations and so on. After 5 years of practice he left the profession greatly unhappy with what he witnessed in many of the surgical operational procedures. He focussed on his healing work developing an international reputation until the major 1990 earthquake in Baguio that devastated the city and where he lost everything. He moved to Manila and found work there and started to rebuild his life. About five years ago he returned to Baguio and resumed his healing practice in the local community.
To see a person’s body opening is one thing, but I felt enormous anxiety when Rogerilio instructed me to place my hand in the person’s body. As I placed my fingers inside a man’s groin, Rogerilio asked me if I could feel this lumpy tissue, I said yes, then “pull it out”, I withdrew my hand and was looking at a piece of dead nervous tissue which had come from his patient’s prostrate gland. The man lying down had felt no pain or discomfort, and the opening in the groin had sealed and there was no markings or scar to indicate that a few moments previously it was open.
Rogerilio said that the Spirit would protect both the patient and myself from any infection. He then demonstrated how it worked; grasping my hand he brought his hand above mine with his fingers extended above mine by a few inches. “See it is if my hand is the Spirit hand, the Spirit hand moves first making the opening, and my hand follows, the Spirit hand takes the diseased tissue and places it in my hand, and as I withdraw my hand the Spirit hand also withdraws and as this happens, the opening in the body closes”. “You see I told you that I am just the instrument and it is the Spirit which does all of the healing”.
During my visits to Rogerilio I have witnessed (photographed and videoed) the following;
• During trip in January 2001, Rogerilio cleared “growths” from around my prostate. He then left a Kleenex tissue inside my body overnight to prevent the seeping of blood back in the testicles (I could feel the tissue myself by pressing on the point where it was inserted).
• He removed a 12” long tumour (as thick as a sausage!) from a friend’s intestine. What was also extraordinary that half an hour later he was eating a normal meal. Under conventional surgical procedures he would have been on something akin to a ‘baby food’ diet for many months following the surgery.
• He removed cataracts from both eyes of another person
• He removed growths attached to the spine of one woman. This lady had had problems moving her head fully and suffered from chronic pains in her shoulders for many years. The instant improvement to the head was obvious and her shoulder pains have now completely disappeared. Months of physical therapy had previously had very little impact.
• He cleared the sinuses of 2 people
• He unblocked the descending colon of another person.
• Cleared a “goitre” from a man’s throat. This was full of thick yellow pus and clotted blood formed from many years of smoking.
One of the most difficult things I encountered (apart from the bashing of my safe and comfortable Newtonian reality) was his dealing with the victims of sorcery and black magic. What was clearly impressed on me was that whilst I had thought that Westerners had the advantage of not getting ‘caught’ up in sorcery being outside that culture they were less likely to be affected, however this assumption was certainly challenged by what I witnessed. Middle-aged Swiss German came to see Rogerilio. I was sitting with Rogerilio outside his café drinking water when Johan joined us and said that his whole left side of his body was becoming paralysed. He couldn’t move his left hand, his arm was weak and hanging loosely by his side, his left eye was closed, the mouth on the left hand side was also drooping looking similar to the after effects of a dentist’s numbing injection. He also said that his tongue again on the left hand side felt frozen, and he had difficulty in breathing and lacked any energy, was unable to concentrate or even carry out what were relatively simple tasks such as buttoning his trousers up. As I studied him, it truly appeared that the left hand side of his body was shrivelled, and the fingers of his left hand were visibly smaller than those on his right hand.
Rogerilio looked at him, and then started to tell him about an island in the Philippines archipelago called Sekihor (this island has a fearsome reputation amongst ordinary Filipinos as this was the place where the practitioners of sorcery and black magic lived). Rogerilio explained that these sorcerers were paid by people who had grudges and animosities against others. As he was saying this I was thinking what is going on here? Why is he talking about this? What is going on! Very soon it became clear as he started to describe the circumstances surrounding Johan and the nature of this problem and it’s cause. Rogerilio than told Johan that a woman who held a deep grudge against him and wanted to ‘destroy’ him had paid a sorcerer to place a curse on him which was the cause of his difficult circumstances.
We went to the treatment room at the back of the shop, and for the next four days Rogerilio started to operate on him. He removed obnoxious lumps of tissue that resembled a squashed octopus from various places on the left hand side of the body.
After the first day Rogerilio told us that it was important to identify the perpetrator so the dark force could be sent back to it’s source. He described the ritual and said that we would do this in five days time. In the interim Johan had to make a list of all the women he had met in the past 12 months. Rogerilio showed and explained to us the herbs and outlined the procedure that we would use. Rogerilio asked me to look after Johan, which was a pleasant task as he was a friendly and affable individual.
By Friday Johan had prepared the list of names 65 in total, and we went in the taxi to Rogerilio’s place. When we arrived Rogerilio asked Johan to buy an egg, which he did for 3 pesos from a local store and returned to the café. We entered Rogerilio’s treatment room, where a large metal tray had been set up on his healing altar. On the tray was an empty bottle, candle, plugs of tobacco and locally growing herbs. Rogerilio asked Johan to tear the list into individual strips, fold them and place them in the bottle. I helped Johan do this; Rogerilio was by the way standing at the other end of the room and could not see any of the written names. When this was completed Rogerilio came over to the altar and made his prayers and blessings, he then asked Johan to take the egg that he had just bought and hold it over the open necked bottle. Rogerilio than poured a bottle of gin (that was the only bottle of spirits that he had). Johan was then told to break open the egg in a bowl and look for the name. Johan did this and gently poked in the bowl and there inside the yolk was a small folded piece of paper!
Johan carefully teased the yolky piece of paper open, and there was a name in his own handwriting. Johan was really taken aback “so it’s her!” He then told us that he had genuinely written all the woman he had met in the past 12 months on the list, including those that loved him, and good friends. The person on the paper was the only one who had caused him worry. He had a brief relationship with her, but she had become unbalanced and very possessive during this period. He was frightened by her behaviour and when Johan said that he was ending it, she became very cold and told him “that if she couldn’t have him, no one would!” Johan was very angry, and sad that another person could do an act like this. For myself it certainly knocked out some of my naivety about this. This ritual caused the sorcery to be sent back to the instigator thereby releasing Johan from its effects. It gave me cause for reflection on instant karma, and Shakespeare’s verse, the one about ‘the evil that men do!” I also shivered with the thought that this would have been the perfect murder and speculated of how many other people became ill and died of ‘mysterious’ and unexplainable circumstances. The main thing that after this Johan was a new man, and his body had vastly improved since the beginning of the week thanks to Rogerilio (and the holy spirit’s) work.
Some of the conclusions I have drawn from observation and participation in Rogerilio’s work have had a profound effect on my worldview, the first is that many of the debilitating diseases and decline in physical health that we associate with old age are not inevitable. They are the cumulative effects of decades of eating the wrong food, typically too much animal fat, red meat, and lack of fibre in the food.
Another conclusion is that tumours have a consciousness of some description. It is if they possess some form of survival’ instinct. They grow in places that are the most difficult to detect and only when developed do they emerge and become detectable. This ‘survival’ intelligence is also aware if it is disturbed and may respond to this by accelerating their growth and expansion in the body.
Howard G. Charing, is an accomplished international workshop leader on shamanism. He has worked some of the most respected and extraordinary shamans & healers in the Andes, the Amazon Rainforest, and the Philippines. He organises specialist retreats to the Amazon Rainforest at the dedicated centre located in the Mishana nature reserve. He is the author of the best selling book, Plant Spirit Shamanism (Destiny Books USA). Visit Howard’s website for more information on our Spiritual and Healing Tours: Healers of the Philippines;Healers of the Philippines