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Learning Magic and Animism in a Global Context -

Mar 24, 2023

In the middle of the Philippines archipelago is the mysterious Siquijor -known variously as the Island of the Witches, the Island of Sorcerers or the Island of Healers. This remarkable place is home to several thriving magical and healing lineages.

Here is my story of visiting and encountering these traditions during the time of year where the healers travel up sacred Mount Bandilaan in order to collect the healing herbs their work requires for the whole year. These visits only happen on the seven Fridays between Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. I was fortunate enough to come along on one of these harvests.

It's a fascinating place that is illuminating in comparison with cunning traditions, curanderismo and other cosmovisions around the world: Saints, sacred timing, herb lore, energy work. And if you are looking to visit Siquijor, check out the show notes.

If you'd prefer some visuals, head over to YouTube.

- Note - Episode has been updated due to audio not playing properly.

Show Notes

I have added the following places to Google Maps on Siquijor, so go to the island and search for these:

  • Annie Ponce (Nearest town is San Antonio).
  • Batong Hakut (the name of Noel Torremocha's healing practice. Nearest town is Cantabon).
  • Loreto Quimno (bolo-bolo healer in the town of San Juan).

If you are visiting, I recommend the guide I used, Chelsey, whom you can contact via Facebook or Instagram. He came with me to each of the healers and accompanied me gathering herbs so he knows everyone and all the places. He's also a great guide just if you are visiting Siquijor: