Monday, October 31, 2011

Witchcraft in the Philippines

Story and Image taken from LA Times - Witchcraft in the Philippines

Mr. Cayetano Umbalsa claims that he has been practicing witchcraft for over 60 years. Now 76 years old, Mr. Umbalsa was taught sorcery by his father when he was a little child. He resides on Siquijor Island in the Philippines.

Image taken from's Conversation with a sorcerer

Image above is of Manong Edol. Another real life sorcerer. He lives on the slopes of Mount Bandilaan in Siquijor Island.

Excerpt from Dennis Villegas' interview of Manong Edol.

“How do you call your form of sorcery?” I began

“There are three procedures that I can perform,” Manong Edol said, “paktol, barang, and gaway. The paktol is a curse I put on a person I want to suffer or die. The barang, on the other hand, is commanding insects to hurt a person. Lastly, the gaway involves a rag or waxen doll which I pierce in the part where I want the hex victim to suffer.”

A good short read on the history of witchcraft in the Philippines
Voodoo is also practiced in Philippines. One such practice called Pangkukulam, which was practiced in pre-colonial era of Philippines. Psychic surgeries, where medicine men and women conduct rituals to get rid of illness, hex or misfortune are still practiced in Philippines. Witches who can cast spells or lay curses are called "Mangkukulam". Healing may also be carried out by sticking the hands of the surgeon into the patient's body and getting the disease flesh out while leaving the patient scar free and pain free.

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