Traditional healing is making a comeback in Guam and Marianas islands

Academician and traditional healing proponent Zita Pangelinan Photo ©

TRADITIONAL healing is now being taught at the University of Guam to complement western medicine.

Zita Pangelinan, academician and proponent of traditional healing practices, said traditional healing is now gaining grounds and acceptance at academic institutions adding that the a course about it was introduced at UG last Sept. 9 as part of the Pacific International Programs.

“We have been progressing and we have a course at the University of Guam. This is just an introductory, but we hope to build on it. We are working towards the adoption of regular offering and to expand it,” she said.

Pangelinan, co-founder of Haya Cultural Development Foundation – a movement that promotes, protects and perpetuates traditional healing; said Northern Marianas College and the Public School System in the Northern Marianas Islands are also interested to introduce the course as well.

“We are now trying to work with educators to develop curriculum for schools. There’s a great interest in the academic…it is just a matter of developing and having materials, and be able to conduct training for teachers,” she said in an interview.

Pangelinan was one of the presenters at the recently- concluded Third Marianas History Conference held at Fiesta Resort and Spa.

In her presentation, she emphasized that indigenous peoples are still in dire need of on-the-ground support to ensure the continued vitality of traditional knowledge systems.

Haya Foundation, according to Pangelinan is also working to get more property to protect and to cultivate more of medicinal plants.

“We are also looking at ways to integrate, not just indigenous but also Western medicine to complement each other in helping heal a patient. Many places are doing that,” she said.

Moreover, she said indigenous healing practice has sustained people for over 4,000 years.

“Today, we have epidemic of cancer and all these diseases and illnesses, as well as behavioral issues such as suicide. It is obvious that people are needing help, need to be healed and from the traditional perspective,” Pangelinan said in an earlier interview.

Promoting traditional healing is very significant, according to Pangelinan.

“Many indigenous people are going back to their system of healing and successful in healing the whole person. If we are looking at statistics right now and all the money that being invested to improve people’s health, problems of diabetes and heart attacks and many other things is not going down but it is going up,” she said.

“Our healers say we have ways to heal our people but it is a holistic way and with that it is a matter of will we reclaim the value of our indigenous healing.”

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  1. Pingback: Traditional healing is making a comeback in Guam and Marianas islands - Duterte Daily

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