Filipino Healer Promotes Traditional Healing Practice in New York City.

A special talk on a unique way of healing based on studies and hands-on experience was shared by Virgil Mayor Apostol.

The evening of the 26th of September brought together an audience of people who were interested in listening to a special lecture and photographic presentation on traditional healing disciplines of the Philippines. Presented by Virgil Mayor Apostol, his talk included topics on various types of healers, psychology, indigenous science, a demonstration of traditional Filipino healing and martial arts, and an overview of the intensive weekend workshop that began the following day.

The event, “Forgotten Medicine of the Philippine Islands,” was hosted by the New York Shamanic Circle (NYSC), an organization that is dedicated to the promotion and preservation of shamanic practices through regular gatherings and workshops with shamans from around the world. Itzhak Beery, one of the organization’s co-founders, contacted Apostol with the proposition of the latter presenting a healing workshop. After two years, the proposition presented itself again, this time manifesting into a class with an attendance of 16 participants that consisted of hands-on healers, core members of NYSC, as well as those who just wanted to learn the art of healing in order to help family and friends. In attendance was Naz Fontanilla who is one of the core members and who served as a liaison. His parents were also participants, perhaps as a way to connect with their own family upbringing, especially since they grew up in the Philippines where traditional healers and midwives are an intimate part of society.

The two-day workshop that followed emphasized the seated application of Ablon Chirothesia—an ancient, indigenous, spiritually-based form of traditional medicine from the northern region of the Philippines. With half of the participants taking turns sitting in a chair, the other half applied maneuvers that are beneficial for upper body ailments involving neck, shoulder joints, arms, and the upper thoracic region. Each maneuver was presented in a manner that helped develop proper body mechanics and to stimulate sensitivity through greater focus and awareness.

Also presented during the workshop for a more holistic approach and practice was the art of wooden club swinging exercises that is based on Jori (club) swinging from India and from the Filipino martial art of Cabaroan Arnis. While a special breathing exercise integrated with a unique power visualization ended each workshop day.

Apostol, grew up with two traditional healers in the household—his maternal grandmother and his father. His grandmother, Alejandra “Allang” Melendrez Miguel Mayor (c. 1897-1996) was a healer and traditional midwife from Laoag, Ilocos Norte. She learned her skills from her father, Leon “Ama Lakay” Miguel (?-1941) of Pacifico, Marcos, which was then known as Agunit, Dingras. Apostol’s father, Vidal delos Santos Apostol, Sr. (1912-2005) was from Camiling, Tarlac. He learned the art of Ablon from his mother, Rosa delos Santos (1890-1947), a healer from Alcala, Pangasinan.

The material that Apostol teaches has its root in his Maharlikan (Filipino) culture and heritage. His vast writing and research has accumulated over the years, eventually being compiled into various manuscripts, one of which was “Way of the Ancient Healer: Sacred Teachings from the Philippine Ancestral Traditions” that was published by North Atlantic Books in 2010. He has contributed his work to two anthologies, and has also co-authored the book, “Healing Hands of Hilot” in 1997.

Apostol holds a private practice, Applied Sciences of Indigenous Healing (ASI Healing), in Yellow Springs, OH where clients can come to him for their health and wellness needs. He will be launching his new website that goes by the same name, Applied Sciences of Indigenous Healing (ASI Healing,, which will offer more information on his ancestral healing traditions and services including: Ablon Chirothesia, Pekkel Therapy, Aglupos Bioelectromagnetic Balancing, Ablon Seated Therapy, and Supsop (cupping). In the mix are other related cultural practices, such as the therapeutic application of wooden club swinging, Filipino martial arts, and spiritual metaphysics. Information about his workshops, lectures, and articles; an opportunity for blogging with a vast collection of photos which will also be hosted. For more information and update visit

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