HALIMUON THERAPY AND THE BURST OF EMOTIONS

Ishilta, my therapist that afternoon, said that I was a virgin. Yes, that was the first time ever that I tried and experienced a form of spiritual healing. And it happened in a place called Bahay Ginhawa.

When literally translated to English, bahay means “house” and ginhawa means “relief.” But I think, the word “release” would be more fitting to describe my initial divine encounter. Bahay Ginhawa is actually a home for a number of holistic sessions, whether Eastern or Western, that are crafted towards the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being of its clients.

Ms. Ime Morales, a friend and founder of the Freelance Writers’ Guild of the Philippines (FWGP), was the one who invited me to this wholistic home. Her first message to me about this was around the first week of February, but the two of us were only able to visit about a month later.

Given that time-frame and since it was my first time to undergo such a session, Ishilta said that maybe, there was a reason why He brought me here, moreover, why He structured the turn of events for me to try Halimuon or the aroma therapy healing.

A Warm Welcome

Located at 100-A, K6th St., East Kamias, Quezon City, Bahay Ginhawa felt so homey the moment I entered the door. The house welcomed me with colorful mats lining the living room. Here, Ishilta oriented me and Ms. Ime about Halimuon.

 

oils copy

 

The name actually came from the Tagalog word for scent or aroma. Halimuon is a therapy involving the use of 12 essential oils, which Ishilta ships from the United States to be able to give Filipino clients one of the best aroma therapy sessions in town. These specialized oils, were created by Young Living, the world leader for natural wellness oils.

But Ishilta said that using the 12 essential oils could be an overdose, especially for virgins like me. So for that afternoon, he would be using only six.

And together with some gentle touches, with the permission of the client, Halimuon could turn out to be an emotional therapy meant to release “toxins” that were stored deep down.

The Six Scents

I lay down on a bed and Ishilta gave me a sleeping eye mask for better relaxation. The moment I withdrew my vision and rested my head on the pillow, my brain automatically signaled red alert to my other senses as if setting an elusive defense mechanism. As I was waiting for Ishilta’s next move, things started panicking inside my brain: how I almost got lost getting there, how my meeting afterwards would be, how the therapy would unfold, what will Ishilta do to me, how would my body react, how would I react.

 

Ishilta applying the oil of Valor. Photo by Ime Morales.

Ishilta applying the oil of Valor. Photo by Ime Morales.

 

Ishilta started the session with the oil of Valor, asking me if he could rub them on the soles of my feet. I gave him my permission and then the room was suddenly filled with a mixed aroma of spruce, rosewood and frankincense, from which the oil was made. According to Young Living, the oil was crafted to promote strength, courage and protection, and so to pass that to me, Ishilta held my feet for a while. But this did not stop my thoughts from running to and fro.

The next oil in line was called Harmony, made from ingredients like lavender and ylang-ylang. Ishilta then proceeded to putting oils on certain points of my body, with my full permission, like my wrists, my neck, my forehead. Ishilta later on revealed that these were the chakra or energy centers on my body and the oil was set to harmonize the flow inside my system. Still, my thoughts were stubborn enough to align themselves.

The next oil was called Release, made from ingredients like grapefruit, spearmint and rose. When coupled with the oil of Forgiveness from sesame and chamomile, these scents were said to unlock emotional and personal walls, releasing repressed and hurtful memories. And if the oils were busy doing their job, my brain was so pre-occupied to even notice anything about the fragrances.

 

forgiveness copy

 

At some point, Ishilta also asked for my help in putting some oil on my stomach and on my chest.

Another oil was something called Present Time, which reminded my brain to be “in the moment.” I somehow felt that time, my thoughts finally noticed the scents and started to relax.

Lastly, there was the oil of the Inner Child. The blended fragrance of orange, lemongrass and spruce was aiming to reconnect me to my inner self, which could have gone through some tough time during my childhood. According to Young Living, when people got “misused” at a very young age, they tend to detach from their “natural identity, or inner child.”

Activating the Halimuon

After all the oils had been applied, I felt Ishilta position himself near my head. And the moment his palms touched my hair, the remaining perkiness of my thoughts suddenly disappeared and my mind and body just seemed to “align” themselves towards Ishilta.

with ish2 copy

Applying oil on my stomach. Photo by Ime Morales.

 

He went on by asking me some questions and I answered accordingly. But for some weird reason, there were no images forming on my head. The thoughts that were disturbing me earlier were never awakened. It was like staring and floating into a vast sea of nothingness, welcoming Ishilta’s whispers inside my already opened personal wall and just letting those expressions explore the hidden corners of myself.

I was drifting into deeper states of relexation when he started whispering words like self-worth and forgiveness. And then all of a sudden, a tear just fell from my eye. I was not sure what specific emotion I was feeling at the time. All I knew was that the words, somehow, had finally hit their targets.

Ishilta continued the flow of words and soon I was catching my breath. There even came a point when I could no longer produce an answer to him for I was overpowered by some faint whistling from my chest, a sign of a mild asthma attack.

Finally, Ishilta stopped talking. But lifting his hand from my head was like removing the plug from the drain. He said that the session was over. I sat down and the moment I took off the eye mask, all the emotions that reacted to his words earlier just burst out. I had been emotional for the past months now, but I would say that this cry was the most liberating of all.

The Aftermath

Ishilta gave me time to gather myself up. And for the first time in months, I felt so light. It seemed like a huge weight, which I had been carrying for the longest time now, had just disappeared.

Ishilta said that normally, clients would only get emotional when the session was over. But I was already reacting midway through the therapy. Maybe there were just so much to be released. I now wonder what would be the effect of 12 oils.

He also said that the topics he was asking the clients during the session differ from one to another. He said that maybe everything depended on what He wanted this particular person to know.

And in my case, maybe, He just wanted me to finally let go and be free.

release copy

 

 


 

On March 19, Bahay Ginhawa will be having a special event entitled, “Indigenous Healing Practices of Women,” with guests from Mountain Province and Mindanao. On March 20, guests Donna Vergara and Karen Gamutan would be sharing some enlightening talk. For more details, you may contact them through:

09199848089

09152510558

bahayginhawa@gmail.com

Or through their Facebook page linked above.

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Partner in Crime

bare, first home

It is bare. Yes. I am living alone in this apartment for almost five years now, but it is still bare.

I was invited by Urban Compass to participate in a new project of theirs called Starter Stories, wherein a few select bloggers were asked about their first place.

Urban Compass is a real estate platform that connects folks searching for apartments with the neighborhood that matches their personality and taste for finding NYC apartments.

I started living alone in May 2011, around 7 months after I got my first regular job. Most of the stuff here were given by my father: an old tv, table, chairs, LPG tank, coffee maker.

kitchen first place

Some stuff on the kitchen counter. Rice coffee from Ilocos. Durian Coffee Jam from Davao. Corn Coffe from Cotabato. Chocolate-coated sunflower seeds from Dagupan.

 

I never bought and wouldn’t be buying any furniture because, first of all I was the thrifty kind of housekeeper.  When you were self-supporting, you tend to track down and think twice to where you would spend your next pay check.

And besides, I was the only one living here. All that I needed were a bed (actually just a mattress), a table as work space, and a chair.

Secondly, I always thought of this place as something temporary, so I wasn’t dressing it up that much. I dream of course of giving myself my own permanent home someday. Yeah, someday.

But I also never thought that something temporary would produce permanent and lasting memories.


This post had been transferred by the author to another blog named “Nimotsu Counter.” To read the rest of this article, kindly click here.

 

EPOL and the Rain Bearer’s Mended Heart

Part 2 of 2 of the December Waterfall Chronicles


 

A week after the heartbreaking Kawasan trip, I was still craving for an “authentic” nature getaway.

The 22nd of December was a rest day for the Davao leg of our nationwide event. So I tried my luck on one of Davao’s finest.

It was quite a long bus ride. My bus window showed a free film featuring breath-taking mountain views. The sun was shining brightly and the clouds cast various shadows over the green meadows and forests of Mindanao. The chill of the wind was particularly evident as the bus traversed over the zigzag highway. Christmas was surely coming.

The bus was jam-packed that morning. Even people from this part of the country were cramming for the holidays. People climbed up the vehicle with all sorts of baggage: sacks of rice, coal and cotton; containers of fish and other sea food; bags full of native delicacies; vendors selling durian and mangosteen candies; and boxes and boxes of gifts. Christmas was definitely round the next corner.

epol falls highway

I went down at the middle of the highway at Sitio Bagong Silang, Brgy. Baganihan, Marilog District, Davao City. The place was around five more hours away from Cagayan De Oro City.

epol falls yellow bell

A native specie of Yellow Bell.

Across the street, I saw a nipa hut selling a variety of plants. And there I saw the signage.

 

My feet subconsciously stepped backward. I was getting allergic to the word “resort” when attached to waterfalls (see my heartbreaking Kawasan Falls trip here).

But then I saw this path.

epol falls

I started to feel the ants walking over my feet. There was a sigh of relief.

epol falls

Birds began calling me and a grin registered on my face.

And the gush of the water made adrenalin flow through my veins. This was what I called “genuine adventure.”

The Ate at the entrance, to whom I paid seven pesos for maintenance fee, said that I just needed to follow the path and I wouldn’t be lost. Sounds familiar, eh? But she was washing some clothes and didn’t offer me any apples so I applied my insect repellent and moved on.

I came across a magnificently-shaped tree. My heart was already jumping. I could already sense the waterfalls from here.

Then I came across another nipa hut. There was a Kuya who asked me again for another seven pesos. I couldn’t remember seeing any furry ears and tail behind him so I thought he was also telling me the truth when he said, “follow the path.”

I came to a wooden makeshift staircase where I saw this. And I was frozen right then and there.

epol falls

 

It was just… beautiful.

And it was just a perfect timing. The group that got there before me were already leaving when I came. So now, the waterfalls was all mine.

 

epol falls

Yes, a selfie.

 

 

(sigh) Isn’t it serene?

epol falls

(sigh)

epol falls

And for the next two hours, I just sat there staring blankly onto the falls, drowning my consciousness onto the melody and succumbing my senses to the depths of the icy waters.

 

That afternoon, the rain poured, as the sun was shining brightly over the clouds.

The place was just enchanted. The rain bearer was in love.

Isang Taon mula sa iyong “Pag-uwi”

Hunyo 8, 2013 nang kayo ay umuwi.  (Mababasa ang aking artikulo ukol dito sa A Certain Definition of “Uuwi na ako”)

Isang taon na rin po ang nakalilipas.  Kumusta po kayo diyan? Alam ko pong masaya naman kayo kapiling Niya.

Miss ko na po ang pagsakay sa tricycle ninyo. Lalo na po ang palagi ninyong pagpiprisintang sunduin at ihatid ako, saan man ako galing o papunta.  Mula noong bata po ako, noong elementary pa ako, hanggang ngayon na nagtatrabaho na po ako, wala po kayong mintis sa pagpapasakay sa akin sa inyong tricycle para lamang makatiyak na ligtas akong aalis o darating sa aking paroroonan, lalo na sa mga madaling-araw na mga biyahe.  Nami-miss ko po iyon kasi wala pong ibang taong gumagawa noon, kayo lang.

Isa lang po ang masasabi ko, sigurado na po ang aking pag-uwi ngayong araw para dalawin kayo.

 

Oh yeah, there’s a theme

Oh yeah, there’s a theme

I had been missing the theme for several days now.  And so here’s some color for you. Day 46 of the 365 Challenge

Just when I needed it

a view from my bus ride window

 

Ever since I learned to ride a bus alone, bus windows became my creative and emotional companion. They suddenly turn into a moving picture frame whenever ideas came popping inside my head. And they suddenly transform into re-enactments whenever sadness flooded my heart.

And so today, when my mind is bothered by a creative dilemma relating to a project, the sunset outside my window just took the panic away and gave me serene calmness that only such divine scenery can give.


Day 2 of the 365 challenge. My phone’s camera is not superb but just enough to capture the gist of the scene.

CALOY, THE INFAMOUS MASTER OF AN INFAMOUS ART

The sun was up.  The sand was warm.  The water was excited to hit the shore.

A hammock was swaying in between two coconut trees.  It carried in it five children, laughing loudly as the cool breeze hit their faces.  Another four were standing near the tree, shouting to have their turn on the hammock.  And Caloy was one of them.

The screaming and begging of the kids were halted when Auntie Beth called for lunch.  The boy next to Caloy said, “Let’s race to the picnic table!”  And off the children went, but not Caloy. Once the hammock was vacated, he saw this as an opportunity to ride in the hammock, solo.  But as soon as he sat in it, the rope connecting it to the trees snapped and he fell to the ground.  Auntie Beth saw this.  But instead of helping him stand up, she said angrily, “Is that how an honor student acts?! You know that five had already been on it and you know that the rope is not strong enough.  But still you sat on it.  Didn’t you realize that? Look what happened to you!  You are an honor student, you should have known better!  And… didn’t I tell you to come and eat?”


This post had been transferred by the author to another blog named “Nimotsu Counter.” To continue reading about Caloy, kindly click here.