Babaylan: Filipinos and the Call of the Indigenous
Editor: Leny Mendoza Strobel (Author, Editor), Editor (Author), Perla Daly (Illustrator)
Paperback: 324 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2 edition (September 15, 2013)
How does one embody the spirit of the Babaylan? How do we heal from colonial and sexual trauma by invoking the healing spirit of the Babaylan? Can the Babaylan narrative be a powerful critique and salve for the psychic split of modernity? This collection of scholarly essays and personal narratives by decolonizing scholars, poets/writers, artists, culture-bearers, and activities, offer the wisdom and insights gleaned from their engagement with the Babaylan tradition and practice. The writers all share this belief: If we can articulate the Babaylan healing practice and Kapwa psychology as our intellectual, emotional, cultural, and spiritual capital -- then we have much to offer to each other, to our communities and to the world. We offer these gifts to everyone ready to receive the call of the Indigenous.
I embrace this Babaylan book with warmth and reverence deep into my loob! It gifts me with a sensuous spirituality that is drawn from struggle, scholarship, and silence. As in a meditative walk, I pick up precious nuggets. Desire is sacred. Our planet's skin is sensitive. Even cities teem with spirits. Texts are alive; as a matter of fact, metaphors bleed. Colonization hurts. Decolonization heals. Loob is Kapwa. Tenderness is global. We can cease to be angry. We can choose to come home or re-find it elsewhere. See, the land has absorbed ombs, blood, and dead bodies. Call the Babaylans! Let them chant with confidence! Let them lull us to sleep and then dreamt of the past possible future. Now, I am ready yo preach the call of the Babaylan - The past is at hand. The future is indigenous. ---- Fr. Albert E. Alejo, SJ, Poet, Priest, and Peace Activist
Timely, subversive, and fascinating. In the Babaylan tradition, this collective Pinay re-membering returns us to story not as artifact but as an organic healer of rifts in culture, history and daily life, a restorer of Eros and community. The secret is out: decolonization is not the province of theoretical discourse, but a holistic act of body-psyche. It is in progress and evenjoyful. ---- Merlinda Bobis, author of THE SOLEMN LANTERN MAKER
About the Author
Leny Mendoza Strobel is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of American Multicultural Studies at Sonoma State University in California. She is the Project Director of the Center for Babaylan Studies.