Sunday, February 27, 2011


 Lane Wilcken (left) and Virgil Mayor Apostol (right) in their traditional Filipino garb

Virgil Mayor Apostol, author of Way of the Ancient Healer - Sacred Teachings from the Philippine Ancestral Traditions, and Lane Wilcken, author of Filipino Tattoos - Ancient to Modern, held their book signing yesterday at the Kamakakuokalani Center of the Department of Hawaiian Studies at UH Manoa Campus.

I was looking forward to seeing Virgil again.  He had bought Phil's car when we left for Bali.  He now lives in Los Angeles.  Virgil received the gift of Filipino shamanic healing from his parents who were both healers and descendants of long lines of ancient shamanic healers.  When we were in Bali, Virgil asked me to take pictures of Balinese indigenous healers.  I was more than happy to oblige, since I had fostered a life-long interest in indigenous healers and healing methods myself. *(see links below)  Three of my photos are published in his book.

Dr. Jean Houston, the highly acclaimed researcher and teacher of cross-cultural studies of spirituality and ritual processes, and the author of A Mythic Life: Learning to Live Our Greater Story, gave Virgil's book this endorsement:

"This brilliant and powerful work is a must for everyone in the healing arts, as well as, those who would increase the depth and breadth of their humanity.  It is not only the first major study of the extraordinary practices of the visionary healers of the Philippines, but offers the reader inner knowledge of human possibilities, once thought to be mythic, now shown to be real." 

The book signing event was preceded by great ritual and ceremony, music, dancing and chants.  The authors spoke about their experiences, growing up in Filipino culture and traditions.  Virgil gave us a fascinating  glimpse of how traditional healers view illness and health.  Lane spoke about the deep meaning of traditional tattoo and its connection to the all-encompassing presence of our ancestors, who are in constant communication with us, if we would just make the effort to pay attention.  I have no interest in getting a tattoo, but it was a great reminder for me to allow silence in my life, the main requirement for being present in the moment and paying attention.  If I got nothing else from the event, this alone was worth it.

Lane and Virgil gave us all a priceless experience in traditional Filipino culture, laced through with the joy of music and dance and good food.   I wish them both wild success with their books and great happiness in all their endeavors.  Aloha ka kou.




* For my story about Jero Mangku Ardita and his wife, Jero Dasaran Ni Ketut Leseg, see HOLY OILS, REINCARNATION & A HOT ROD (in my FOOL"S JOURNEY Bali and Bangkok blog)

  And for my story about Bali's famed bone setter, Jero Mangku Made Rata, see FLOWER POWER FULL MOON MAGIC (also in my FOOL"S JOURNEY Bali and Bangkok blog)

1 comment:

  1. What a great book signing ceremony -- complete with music and dance. The planning required imagination and creativity. Well done.

    However, I personally would not seek shamanistic healing or think of getting a tattoo.