Tag Archives: psychic surgeons

Ayahuasca, Natural Plant Medicines, and the Shamans of the Amazon Rainforest Part 2

The Amazon Rainforest is home to many thousands of plant species, and has the richest bio-diversity on the planet. Plants and herbs used for medicinal purposes flourish there. The traditional healers and shamans of the Amazon have been working with these remarkable plants for thousands of years. We explore in this article these ancient traditions and knowledge of the plant shamans by the author of Plant Spirit Shamanism (published by Destiny Books USA).

Howard G Charing, and Peter Cloudsley join Amazonian Shamans, Javier Arevalo and Artidoro in discussions about the medicinal & spirit healing plants and their use.

Rosa Sisa - Ayahuasca, and the Natural Plant Medicines and the Shamans of the Amazon Rainforest Part 2Rosa Sisa

These are a kind of Marigold, and they are used in baths particularly for children with ‘mal aire’. This malady occurs when a family member dies and leaves the child unhappy and sleepless. The spirit of the dead grandfather – or whoever it was – lingers and makes the child sick. The spirit is sad to go and stays in the house after the person is buried and it tries to caress and comfort people in the family. This makes them ill.
Rosa Sisa also controls vomiting in general, as well as being used in floral baths for good luck.

Typically an envious neighbour will grab a handful of earth from the cemetery and throw it into your house to spread boredom and heavy feelings.
Again, when something is wrong in the house – people are bored or agitated – you get a bucket of water and add crushed Rosa Sisa flowers and Camalonga and wash the floors of the house with a brush to cleanse it.

Alternatively you could have the flowers in a vase in the house for the same purpose. Many people grow them either side of the front door of their house to absorb the negativity of people who look in enviously to see what possessions they have. The flowers go black but later they recuperate themselves.
Marigolds can also be used for making wishes, blowing with the wish in mind – like we do with a dandelion – because it is yellow, the colour of the sun.

Manchare or susto (fright) are maladies commonly suffered by children, and treated with Camalonga – a tree which grows wild in the forest, but many people grow it in flower pots in the city. It smells like onions and garlic and can be macerated in alcohol to be rubbed onto the person. In cases requiring soul retrieval a prayer or chant would be used at the same time.

Typically a child gets Manchare when playing in the trees and jump down to the ground and receive a much bigger bump than they expected. In this case the Rosa Sisa is tied into a bunch with a white ribbon and brushed all over the body from the head down. This is because the spirit returns through the crown of the head. A little prayer is said to invoke the spirit back, using the name of the child.It can be used in emplasts for fevers too.

Mocura - Ayahuasca, and the Natural Plant Medicines and the Shamans of the Amazon Rainforest Part 2Mocura

Most commonly, it is used in floral baths for changing ‘luck’. You can find after a couple of weeks, things have changed, you find a job or whatever. It is also cooked in water and taken orally for interior fevers. In aguardiente it stops hair loss, if applied to the scalp directly. Taken macerated in alcohol, it can help one to find tranquillity when agitated and irritable. taken orally or used in floral baths to raise energy, or take you out of a saladera (a run of bad luck, inertia, sense of not living to the full). This plant gives mental strength and you can feel its effects as also with ajosacha, both are varieties of garlic and have a penetrating aroma. Mental strength means it could be good to counter shyness, find one’s personal value or authority. Medicinal properties include asthma, bronchitis, reduction of fat and cholesterol. Another of its properties is that it burns of excess fat.


It comes in two varieties, a high tree with a thick trunk and a small slim tree with little leaves. It is the same tree as tornillo which is good timber. The branch can be bent double without breaking, and is good for doing yoga and for flexibility in general.

It is good for prolepses, chronic diarrhoea, hepatitis, arthritis, broken bones, and cold in the body. As a teacher plant it is good for disorientation, and sense of being lost.
After drinking you need to take a shower as it makes you sweat out all the toxins.


This plant is very little known and used. Like chuchahuasi, it is good after operations, mothers caring for their babies, vaginal discharge, cancer, cold. It is prepared in water or alcohol. Painkiller.
Ushcaquiro, Huairacaspi and Chiricsanango together make a good treatment for arthritis.


Has a female spirit and makes you dream of beautiful things and takes the laziness out of you.


This is good to have in the house, it works better than an aerosol spray for fresh air because the flowers burst into flower with a perfume. Also good for floral baths to make you smell good so you attract lots of friends. Also if you have a row with a friend, they will come back to you. In cases of gastritis, appendix or gale-bladder problems you can take it as a tea.Even when dry is still smells.

Shimi PampanaShimi Pampana - Ayahuasca, and the Natural Plant Medicines and the Shamans of the Amazon Rainforest Part 2

Is a root like a potato and a constituent of Pusanga. It comes in male (white) and female (red) forms and tastes like yucca. It is very good for people with excessive anger. You grate it to get the juice, and put it in soup, coffee or whatever and sometimes it is put secretly into a person’s drink to calm them down, especially when there is a lot of arguing in the family. You can bathe in it too. The dry powder obtained from drying the root, is good for sun burn, common in summer when the river is low and people go to the beautiful beaches to swim. It takes out the impurities of the skin without desiccating it.

Visit the website for info about our Andean and Amazon Ayahuasca Yoga Retreats

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Shamanism, Healing, and Soul Retrieval

Shamanism, Healing, and Soul Retrieval

Shamanism, Healing, and Soul RetrievalThe recapitulation of life force is the body of work, which restores or recapitulates lost life force. Soul Retrieval is one of the most well-known and effective practices to this end.

To understand how recapitulation practices work, we need to look at the multidimensional nature of reality and move away from a linear sequential perspective. From this expanded perspective, ‘anything which has ever happened to anybody, anywhere; it is still happening somewhere’. If a traumatic event occurred for a person ten, twenty and so on years ago, for that person it is still happening, and I would venture to state that it is also in some way still influencing the person’s life.

Shamanism does not dwell on past events; there is only this vast awesome ever-moving great moment of now where there is no separate past, present, or future. It is possible for a practitioner to journey and move outside of linear time to go to the place where that energetic event is still occurring for that individual, find and bring back that person’s life force which is held in that energetic event, and when this has been carried out, then the therapeutic healing of the event and it’s consequences can truly begin.

The loss of life-force is known as soul-loss, and this can take place when we suffer a trauma, have an accident, experience strong emotional exchanges with a loved one, separation from a partner, death of a loved one, go through a pervasive period of difficult circumstances. When we undergo a severe trauma typically a part of our vital nature goes away, so that we can survive what ever is happening to us. It is a way for the body and consciousness to survive severe trauma. Problems develop when the soul part or fragment does not return. It may not want to come back, or may not be able to return due to the nature of the trauma

Joseph Campbell writes in his classic work The Masks of God ‘…sickness according to shamanic theory, can be caused either by the entrance of an alien element into the body, or by the departure of the soul from the body and its imprisonment in one of the spirit regions: above, below, or beyond the rim of the world. The Shaman’s clairvoyant vision must discover its lurking place. Then riding “on the sound of his drum”, he must sail away on the wings of trance to whatever spiritual realm may harbour the soul in question, and work swiftly his deed of rescue.’

The concept of Soul-loss , and the ceremonial retrieval of souls is found in many cultures. For example in the Tibetan Bon Shamanistic tradition, One of the most important practices performed by Tibetan shamans of the Sichen path is Soul Retrieval – Lalu (literally redeeming, or buying back the soul), and chilu, (redeeming the life-energy). These practices are widespread in the Bon tradition and also in all Tibetan Buddhist schools.

Although the terminology is different, the concept of soul-loss is a phenomenon well known to psychology. Jung recounts in his memoirs a fantasy in which his soul flew away from him, that is, the libido withdrew into the unconscious and was carrying on a secret life there. The libido representing the life-force, and the unconscious typically representing ‘the land of the dead’ .

There are a number of symptoms of soul-loss, for example, when people feel that they are observing life as an outsider, rather than engaging and being fully involved. Other common symptoms are when people feel that they are being ‘spaced’ out a lot of the time, not really here. Other symptoms that indicate possible soul loss are life-themes such as a pervasive fear, inability to trust people. I have also found that a severe depression can also be a symptom of soul loss. Chronic illness may also be a symptom of soul loss. This directly relates to Power. In the shamanic worldview, power and maintaining health go hand in hand, if the body is power-full, there is no room for illness or disease, which are often regarded as an invasive force.

In my practice I have worked with many people who had done considerable work on the original trauma, but still were stuck in this. One of the differences between Soul Retrieval and some modern Western psychological systems is that Soul Retrieval focuses on the return and integration of the lost life-force, rather than focus on the original trauma itself. In my view Soul Retrieval and therapy work very well together, the best combination being first the recapitulation of the lost life-force, followed by a therapeutic approach to support the person through the process of working with released feelings and emotional energy which can be uncomfortable and even raw for the individual. This release and subsequent experiencing of the emotions is a fundamental part of the whole healing process, and I cannot stress this enough.

This healing process leads to what I call the union of the life force, when the person can then move forward in their life without being anchored to the past, and live a life of creativity and productivity.

Life After Soul Retrieval

When the soul-fragments are returned, the memories and emotions associated with the departure of the soul fragment may also return. Although this may not always be a comfortable experience, it is a sign that healing is taking place. The experiencing of the emotions and feelings although they may have not been felt prior to the Soul Retrieval , the effects are still working, but at a deeply unconscious level i.e. a place of the not known. The person may have been experiencing a chronic and pervasive depression, yet not able to come to grips with this. Soul Retrieval works very well with other therapies. A therapist can only work with the parts of the person which are there, it is an encouraging development that people are now coming to Soul Retrieval sessions accompanied by their therapist.

The most common immediate response after a Soul Retrieval , is that the recipient feels that they are more ‘full’, that there is more of them. They may even experience the density of the body to have changed.

It is important to recognise, that each person is different and everybody will react differently after a Soul Retrieval. Some may feel heavier, bigger, happier, angry, sad, laughing, or perhaps nothing for a few weeks. My observation is that most people will experience a change within a two week period, two weeks seems to be the magic number when the person really feels the effect. It is important to trust the persons psyche completely.

The only role that the recipient has is to receive the healing. It is important that they keep open, and concentrate on staying open to receive this energy – that is their only task.

After Soul Retrieval , recipients should allow themselves space to be with the returned life-force. For some it may be quiet reflection, others may want to be in nature, in the countryside , in the parks. Nature is a wonderful healer, being in nature, enjoying the beauty of the outdoors, of the Earth, will help the soul-parts to integrate with the recipient.

Howard G. Charing, is an accomplished international workshop leader on shamanism. He has worked some of the most respected and extraordinary shamans and 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 Eagle’s Wing website for information about our soul retrieval healing and practitioner training

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The Enigma of Psychic Surgery in the Philippines Part 3 – Placido Palitayan

The Enigma of Psychic Surgery in the Philippines Part 3 - Placido PalitayanA 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?

Placido: 65

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

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The Enigma of Psychic Surgery in the Philippines Part 2 – Jun Labo

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.

The Enigma of Psychic Surgery in the Philippines Part 2 - Jun Labo

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).

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Psychic Surgeons and Healers of the Philippines.

Healers of the PhilippinesOver 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

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