I don’t normally do readers request but Simon (from Trainee Golem Builder) was nice enough to ask so here we are.
Babaylan is a Visayan term identifying an indigenous Filipino religious leader, who functions as a healer, a shaman, a seer and a community “miracle-worker” (or a combination of any of those). The babaylan can be male, female, or male transvestites (known as asog, bayoc, or bayog), but most of the babaylan were female.
These are some of the terms we use to describe folk magickians in the Philippines. Every neighborhood knows one that lives around their area. They are more popular in the country than in the city these days.
Albularyo is a Tagalog dialect and generally fits the folk medicine, healer stereotype we see here. Babaylan is a Visayan dialect and generally follows the shaman stereotype.
As a sorcerer, I see definite lines and differences with their practice and specialty but in the Phillippines – these terms are generally synonymous with “white” magickians while Mangkukulams (see previous post) are generally synonymous to “black” magickians.
I’ve had my fair share of dealings with them, as well as my family; My grandfathers were magickally attacked and was healed by them, my grandfather from my fathers side eventually became one as well.
My grandma was jinxed by fae folk and an Albularyo was called in to help and the technique used by the Albularyo to divine the situation probably singlehandedly led me to become a sorcerer – that was proof in my eyes that magick exist in the world.
My great grandfather from my mum side was a notable Babaylan whose powers were said to be in the “slinging flames against village enemies” level. (I wish I could’ve seen that, lol).
When there’s something weird, in the neighborhood – who you gonna call? Not the Ghostbusters in the Phillippines. :P
[EDIT] The short clip above describes an Abularyo who heals people through channeling certain entities of the dead. He is followed by 2 entities, one whose been with him since he almost died from falling from a tree and another one who claims to be a doctor. This Abularyo can apparently heal epilepsy, diabetes, ulcers, etc. He diagnoses them through touch and heals them through blessed water (*cough* IIH – elemental impregnation)