masksimage from the 2017 CfBS Retreat in New Mexico




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Click here WINTER Newsletter 2017-2018


Please read our Reflections from the 3rd International Babaylan Conference HERE


MARAMING SALAMAT to the Land – Coast Salish / Skwxwú7mesh Nation Territory, Coast Salish / Skwxwú7mesh hosts, witnesses, guests & speakers, participants, volunteers, donors/supporters and our ancestors & guides for gathering with us at the 3rd International CfBS Conference MAKASAYSAYANG PAGTATAGPO – Historic Encounters, co-created with Kathara Society. 

During the planning stages of the 2016 CfBS conference, we were honoured to be asked to participate in a Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) custom of calling witnesses. We understood witnesses to be individuals who will bear the role to see with their eyes, ears, hearts and spirits throughout the conference/event. During the closing ceremony of the conference, the witnesses spoke with honest voices and hearts about what they have witnessed.

“An important part of the ritual of the longhouse is the witnessing ceremony.  Whenever one is doing ‘work’ of any consequence and a spokesperson or ‘floor manager’ has been selected, the first order of events is to call witnesses.  These people are required to take note of the work that is taking place and to speak about the work when it has been completed.” (

We embrace the messages from the hearts and spirits of our witnesses, along with all the messages that were spoken & unspoken during the conference and after… 

From the CfBS core group, we invite you to read & listen to the Witness Report from one of our chosen witnesses, Jana Lynne Umipig. 

Please READ our WITNESS REPORT from the 3rd International CfBS Conference here


This photo was taken during the 3rd International CfBS Conference. This offering was created by the Binhi ng Lahi (Culture Wellspring) – the young ones, our most valued teachers and living ancestors!


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What is “babaylan”?

Philippine indigenous communities recognize a woman (or man) as a Babaylan, someone who has the ability to mediate with the spirit world, has her own spirit guides, and is given gifts of healing, foretelling, and insight. She may also have knowledge medical marijuana doctors near me of healing therapies such as hilot, arbularyo. She is a ritualist, a chanter, diviner. She has the gift of traveling to the spirit world or non-ordinary states of reality in order to mediate with the spirits. Babaylans are called by other names in the other languages of Philippine indigenous communities: Mombaki, Dawac, Balyan or Balian, Katalonan, Ma-Aram, Mangngallag, Mumbaki, Mambunong.

In contemporary contexts, whether in urban Philippines or in Filipino diasporic communities, the Babaylan name is used by those who are inspired by the spirit in which the primary Babaylans carried out their work: the spirit of revolution against colonization, their belief in Sacred Wholeness, their love of mother country, the desire to serve their communities in achieving justice and peace.

If we were to take a non-Filipino word to describe the various healers/spiritual practitioners, a “shaman” would be the closest. Some of our members, in their writings for a Western/Westernized audience, sometimes interchange shaman, “shaman-priest,” or “priestess” but our members also strive to use the local term when referring to a specific person, region, or ethnolinguistic group. Otherwise, it IS indeed a challenge to use English terms to describe or explain our Philippine traditions.

Those of us who are organizing CFBS and the conferences refer to ourselves as “Babaylan-inspired” out of respect for the primary Babaylans in the Philippines who are land-based in their indigenous communitiesessayhelp-nowstyle=”color:#291803;text-decoration:none”.

Come and join us in an exploration and illumination of Babaylan indigenous wisdom and spirit that can empower us in our daily lives and our communities and enable the healing and evolution of Filipino soul.

Please read about our mission and visit our updated FAQs to understand better what we are about.

Babaylan Tradition concerns the Filipino Wisdom and Power within us. Filipinos everywhere can be empowered by traditions preserved, upheld, passed on by Babaylan women and men. Filipino leaders can individually and collectively strengthen, evolve and uphold this intensifying, re-emerging respect for indigenous traditions and identity, and can in turn empower communities they serve.

You may carry the traditions of the Babaylan within you because you have answered a calling of leadership in one or more of the following: advocacy, activism, teaching, increasing awareness, healing, spirituality and vision, struggling and working for justice—actions and motivation deeply connected to the context of being Filipino. If so, you may be interested in coming to our events and perhaps in helping us bring about these events and future offerings.

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