Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tinig ng Babaylan featuring GRACE NONO and BAYLAN UNDIN (a Babaylan Elder from Mindanao) 19 January 2013, 9am

Tinig ng Babaylan featuring Grace Nono 
Baylan Undin (Babaylan Elder from Mindanao)

January 19, 2013 / 9:00AM to 4:00 PM
3rd Floor, Bulwagang Tandang Sora
College of Social Work & Community Development (CSWCD)
University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City

Babaylan is a Visayan term which refers to an archetypal Filipino community leader (other Filipino archetypes include the datu and panday) who functions as the community’s religious leader and ritual expert, healer, culture-bearer as well as one having extensive theoretical and practical knowledge of nature and people. Historically, while the babaylan is often a woman, the role and functions of the babaylan are open to both males and females.

"I will share about the babaylan and other Philippine popular religion functionaries whom I have mingled with in the Philippines these past few years. I will particularly focus on their use of voice…
~ Grace Nono

Baylan Undin (a Babaylan Elder from Mindanao) will do the Panawagtawag in which she will ask permission from her spirit helpers to participate in the Buhay Babaylan event.

Resource Persons:

GRACE NONO is a Philippine music artist who has been specializing both in the performance of Philippine oral chants in the Philippines and around the world these past fifteen years, and in the documentation of oral traditions for educational purposes. A graduate of the University of the Philippines-Diliman where she received her bachelors in Humanities and masters in Philippine Studies, as well as a PhD candidate in Ethnomusicology at New York University, she is author of The Shared Voice: Chanted and Spoken Narratives from the Philippines (ANVIL and Fundacion Santiago, 2008), and Song of the Babaylan: Living Voices, Medicines, Spiritualities of Philippine Ritualist-Oralist-Healers (Institute of Spirituality in Asia, “in press”). Grace is also the founding head to the Tao Foundation for Culture and Arts, a Philippine non-government organization engaged in cultural regeneration projects in Agusan, her birthplace, and in other parts of the Philippines. To date, Grace has been granted over forty awards including The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service (TOWNS), Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM), Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of the Philippines, National Book Award (for The Shared Voice), numerous Katha, Awit and Catholic Mass Media awards, for her music and cultural contributions.

LORDINA “UNDIN” POTENCIANO (Babaylan Elder) is a Manobo baylan based in La Paz, Agusan del Sur. She came to baylanhood after she was called and consecrated by spirits, led by her late grandmother. She had since been tasked to officiate during rituals where spirits chant and dance through her, and to heal the sick and help those in need, on a full-time basis. Undin is one of Grace Nono's chant teachers. She is also in Grace's book Song of the Babaylan.

ROBILYN COGUIT CANTO (Babaylan’s interpreter), Undin's niece, is a Manobo youth leader originally from La Paz, Agusan del Sur. She has participated in national youth festivals where she asserted the indigenous voice. She is also a master of traditional embroidery and beadwork, and has led her people through arts and crafts revitalization projects. Robilyn has been a member of the Tao Foundation for Culture and Arts that Grace Nono founded for many years now.



*Handog Gift Shop, U.P. Diliman Shopping Center, U.P. Diliman, Quezon City
*Popular Bookstore, 305 Tomas Morato Street, Quezon City
*Kanto, 7274 Malugay Street, Makati City
*Bahay Nakpil-Bautista, 432 A. Bautista Street, Quiapo

For Inquiry: 

0915 2952826 (Ishilta), 0933 9257861 (Tessie), 0927 5633376 (Raymond), 0928 5545824  (Minifred) www.facebook.com/buhaybabaylan / www.buhaybabaylan.blogspot.com Email: buhaybabaylan@gmail.com 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Dance of the Sacred Feminine on March 10, 2012

Join us in rediscovering the Babaylan and Mutya in the Contemporary World by Grace Odal-Devora, Resource Speaker and Ritual Leader on March 10, 2012 at the University of the Philippines Manila. Registration starts at 12 noon. To purchase tickets, visit Ripples Bookstore, 3rd Level East Wing, Robinsons Galeria, EDSA corner Ortigas Avenue. Also available at Bahay Nakpil-Bautista, Quiapo, Manila. Contact Ishilta for more information: 09152952826.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


By Rhea Claire Madarang

Imagine a babaylan come to life in these modern times and sharing her knowledge and wisdom to heal present-day health concerns like headaches and work-related stress, both physical and emotional.
This was what Girlie Villariba, contemporary babaylan healer and social psychologist, did last November 12, 2012 among over 65 teachers, students, and professionals, for the “Babaylan Bilang Manggagamot” (Babaylan as Healer) session of the Buhay Babaylan lecture-ritual series.

Villariba, who has created a healing modality she calls Body Talk, taught simple and quick practical body techniques applicable to various situations like starting one’s day, mentally preparing for a task by balancing the right and left brain for it, calming oneself emotionally, and healing oneself from common afflictions like diarrhea and ulcer.

Villariba included breathing, touch, tapping selected body parts with the fingers, and positive affirmations as part of the healing methods she shared.

She also emphasized these methods’ power and their backing by neuroscience.  For instance, she included the temples as one of the body parts that needed to be tapped by the fingers as the temples, also known scientifically, as the pre-frontal cortex, are the “happiest part of the brain.”

She also talked about practices in some rural parts of the Philippines that are later proven by science, such as elders spitting on a baby’s skin to keep a baby healthy. 

Villariba revealed that the saliva has 1,200 enzymes and many antibodies and showed how the saliva can be used for healing common illnesses and emotional tension.

“Every fluid of your body, like sweat or saliva, can help heal and balance your body,” she said.

Villariba also pointed out the importance of natural medicine through Philippine herbs, plants and spices. The turmeric (luyang dilaw), for example, can be used for colds, sore throats, and even to remove bad odors. The different spices and leaves from different medicinal plants Villariba mentioned were artfully arranged in a mandala on the floor for the Buhay Babaylan event.

Villariba said that even with all the healing techniques she taught, what was most important is the person’s mindset. “Your conscious effort to heal yourself is the best medicine. Your doctor cannot do it for you – no one can do it for you,” she said.

At the end of Villariba’s talk and demonstration, Leah Tolentino, director of Ginhawa, an NGO advocating well-being, spirituality and creativity, led a body-based ritual giving tribute to the four directions (North, South, East, West) through flowing body movements. Creative prayer ritual facilitator and social researcher, Dr. Erlinda Natocyad then led the audience into a simple ritual dance, with people moving in a circle around the mandala of leaves and spices in the middle of the room.   In the lecture-ritual, singer-composers Shayne Merioles and Aireen Landicho sang Merioles’ Haplos ng Pag-Ibig, which means, touch of love.

The event, which was held at Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City, is the third of the Buhay Babaylan lecture-ritual series. The first was the Babaylan Bilang Guro (Babaylan as Teacher) and the second was the Babaylan Sa Kasaysayan (Babaylan in History). 

The first lecture-ritual of 2012 series is the DANCE OF THE SACRED FEMININE (Rediscovering the Babaylan and Mutya of the Contemporary World), March 10, 2012, 1 PM to be held at the Little Theater and Inner Garden of the University of the Philippines Manila, Padre Faura, Manila.