Modern Medicine or the Local Albularyo?
Photo Credit: Richcanadventure.blogspot.com
**Yesterday, our housekeeper, wife of our chief gardener and caretaker here at Chateau Du Mer(CDM),suddenly started throwing up and felt dizzy. She had also an excruciating headache. Macrine gave her an anti-nausea pill and aspirin but still she did not feel well. I took her blood pressure and it was normal.
She told us that there was a stranger in front of our house about an hour ago that probably was responsible for her bahoy/balis. Her husband decided to bring her to our local albularyo*( witch doctor) who resided a couple of blocks from us. The local medicine woman confirmed that someone was responsible for her headache and vomiting.
Macrine and I thought she might be pregnant, but she told us definitely not, since she has been diligently taking her birth control pills. The medicine lady gave her ginger and advice her to boil the clothes she was wearing at the time she saw the stranger in front of the main house. She was told to drink a tablespoon of the boiled water and the rest as a sponged bath.
In the meantime, we gave her two tablets of aspirin and she went to sleep. The next day she was feeling better and her life was back to normal. So what cured her migraine headache? Aspirin or the medicine woman’s brew?
There was another incident about the efficacy of the witch doctor medicine versus modern medicine. Five years ago, my 18 year old niece from Southern Califronia spent her summer vacation at Chateau Du Mer here in Marinduque. One morning just after beach combing for 30 minutes, she came home complaining of a severe stomach ache. We questioned her what kind of breakfast she had eaten, or did she ate or drunk any acidic drinks that morning. She said she had only toast, coffee and a banana. We gave her an anti-acid but her stomach ache still persisted.
Then our housekeeper asked her if she had meet a stranger while walking in the beach. She said yes. One of them was a local teenager we know and accompanied by another person we do not know. Our housekeeper requested her husband to look for the teenager and his companion and requested them to come to the house. Our housekeeper requested the stranger to apply his saliva in my niece stomach. After a few minutes, my niece aching stomach was cured and she felt relief.
I personally do not believe in nabahoy(excruciating headache) or nabalis(torturing stomach ache). However, there are other cases that I heard here in Marinduque besides the above two incidents. As discussed in the second case, the cure is see the person that gave you the scourge and get a sample of his/her saliva, then apply it to your head or stomach.
Interesting incidents indeed! What do you think? Heard of similar incidents in the Philippines or in other places? The definition of albularyo from Wikipedia:
*Albularyo (Tagalog pronunciation: [ärbuˈlɐɾjo̞]), also spelled as albularyo, is a Filipino term for a witch doctor, folk healer or medicine men. The word arbularyo derives from herbolario, a Spanish word meaning herbalist. Alternative Filipino names include Hilot (/hee-lot/), which literally means massage in Filipino and Manggagámot (trans. – “person who heals”).
** First posted in Spring of 2011.