Albularyo’s Existence – Babaylans Belief Research Paper

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The Albularyo existed in the Philippines even before the arrival of the Spaniards and were similar to the Babaylans. They acted as both priests and physicians during the folk age, leading prayers and rituals and curing illnesses and wounds. However, when the Spaniards arrived, they labeled their beliefs as diabolic and the Babaylans disappeared. Some knowledge was kept and divided into two types of practitioners: the Mangkukulam, who practices black magic, and the Albularyo, who specializes in healing. In some areas, the Albularyo is still the first option for people looking for medical help. They are known by different names and have field specializations. However, as modern medicine and technology arose, people no longer sought the Albularyo because their medical skills had no scientific basis and were purely mythical.

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The Albularyo’s existence came to life even before the Spaniards came and colonized the Philippines; they were in the image of the “Babaylans”. They role as the Priests and Physician during the folk age, Priest, for they are the one who led prayers and rituals, and Physician, for they were the ones who cure illnesses and some wounded soldiers. As the Spaniards arrived to the Philippines, they said that the Babaylans act was diabolic, and that their beliefs were from the devil. In join with this was the fall of the existence of the Babaylans.

But the Babaylans belief and knowledge was kept by some random people, as time goes by the babaylan’s skill was classified to two type of practitioner; the “Mangkukulam”, a practitioner of “Kulam” (Philippine black magic), and the “Albularyo”, the one who inherited the Babaylan’s knowledge in healing. In some areas in the Philippines the Albularyo is still the first option of the people. On some barrios the albularyo is known in many names, like; “Mananambal”, “Mananawal” or “Orasyonan” (one who possesses power to heal by means of his spittle, oil and prayer), and the “Mambabarang” (has the same ability with the “mangkukulam”).

It is said that the Albularyo specializes more on “the Calling” (the power or ability bestowed by a supernatural being) . As what is written above the Albularyo is known in different terms and also has field specialization, and he may also be a practitioner of the kulam or barang. Except from the ones above, the albularyo can be also called as a “Manhihilot” (masseur) and may also be a “Mananabang” (unlicensed midwife). As time goes by people don’t anymore approached the albularyo for checking their health problems, because of the rise of medical doctors, the discovery of chemical medicines and the inventions of medical machines and that the albularyo’s medical skills has no scientific basis and purely mythical.

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Albularyo’s Existence – Babaylans Belief Research Paper. (2016, May 19). Retrieved from

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