My Babaylan experience.
The weekend of Nov. 20-23, 2009. I left Oakland on Friday, Nov 20th via Southwest Airlines for L.A. It was very windy and rainy. I imagined the plane experiencing turbulence which is not something I cherish when traveling. It ended up that our plane was delayed due to an accident; the luggage truck that carried the luggage to the airplane crashed into the airplane we were on. Passengers were waiting for take-off. But we had to switch planes. I wonder, how could that ever happen? Finally I arrived in L.A after an hour and a half delay, so ecstatic and looking forward to meeting Sister Vedel, Mila, Vedel’s parents, Virgil Apostol and others!!! As I walked into Vedel’s abode, I heard the most haunting voice singing Tagalog love songs, kundiman reminiscent of Mr. Ruben Tagalog. I grew up my parents listening to Ruben Tagalog’s songs. Suddenly I was easily transported back to my childhood. It was beautiful. It was nostalgic. The man singing is Manong Rudy (family friend of Vedel’s parents). He is a healer; quite humble. He told us many stories of his profound healing journey that brought him the gift to becoming a healer. I realized I was listening to the stories of a man who embodies the Babaylan Spirit. Laughter, food, camaraderie, connection, deep listening, nostalgic feelings of my childhood………….all these were worth the flight to L.A., the delay, the waiting and the turbulence. I flew to L.A. to support the Babaylan fund-raising. It came to me that it was a flight to more heightened consciousness instead.
Sunday, Nov. 22. The Babaylan Fundraising event at Tribal Cafe. The space was quite cozy. The food served was superb! People started to trickle in slowly. All the participants’ contributions spoke and expressed our beautiful indigenous origin at many different levels. I was very honored to be present in that event; very happy and delighted to meet more kindred spirits, with special mention of Manong Faustino, another healer. Before the program started, I was tuning my harp. It turned out that on my way to the Tribal Cafe, a string loosened immensely that no amount of tightening it could do the trick. I tried and tried. Oh dear, of all times, why now? (I told myself). That never happened to me and I could not imagine playing a harp piece with a note out of tune. Such dissonance!!!! Another realization came to me. This particular incident of the string bringing dissonance is a metaphor of my own life’s journey. I announced my experience to the audience with sincerity. “We all experience dissonance in our lives. The lesson of the harp’s string loosening up is but a lesson of the Spirit, of Life. It is okay to have dissonance; always embracing Life’s imperfections; acknowledging it and even sharing it as I did to the audience. We constantly fine-tune our consciousness to strike a balance. Just like Life………as in music, when I experience dissonance, I begin to appreciate the other elements. I begin to honor the dissonance in my Life as honoring my Soul”.
My experience of this weekend is an unforgettable one. Everyone I met shared their world in a capsule; shared their gift. The Babaylan community is growing in number and it is quite amazing! Bringing the Babaylan consciousness to the lives of the people is healing. As I connect with that which I love, my physical body is energized, my emotional state is uplifted, my spiritual connection is strengthened, my mental capacity becomes clearer and my creative expression is released and shared. As we begin to share the Babaylan Spirit with others, we create an opportunity for others to open and connect to that Spirit within themselves where their gift resides…….the healer within. This is an act of Sacred service.
The circle continues…………………………..