Indigenous Healing Practices, Policies and Perceptions of Young and Elderly Ga’dang People in Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines


  • Nueva Vizcaya State University, Bayombong, Philippines


Indigenous healing practice is a very essential part of healthcare systems in rural areas in the world. Very few studies have addressed an inclusive scenario of indigenous healing practices to boost the spirit of ailing people. This study explored typical forms of indigenous healing practices, policies and perceptions of young and elderly Ga’dang (Indigenous Filipino peoples) in Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines. This research utilized the descriptive-qualitative method and data gathered through community immersion, observation, focused group discussion (FGD) and face-to-face interview with the informants. Ga’dang elderly in Nueva Vizcaya apply materials and resources for indigenous healing modalities like relaxation techniques, massage (hilot), use of medicinal herbs, psychocultural education, cleansing ceremonies and rituals. They are forms of immediate remediation before bringing the patient to a clinic or hospital. They have been adept and continually practicing indigenous healing to help patients improve their health condition but with little value within their existing culture, especially the younger generation. Related ethnographic and qualitative researches offering wider understanding of the cultural value of indigenous healing and have impact to the lives of the people may be instigated.


Age Group, Indigenous Healing Practices, Government Policies, Perceptions

Subject Discipline

Languages and Literature

Full Text:


Tanner W. Wildlife and traditional medicine. 2015 May 2. Global Wildlife Conservation Group. Available from:

Ndikum V, et al. Traditional medicine: Past, present and future research and development prospects and integration in the National Health System of Cameroon. Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2011; 8(3):284–95. i3.65276. PMid:22468007. PMCid:PMC3252219

Obomsawin R. Indigenous knowledge and sustainable development. Development Express. Available from:

Harley DA. African Americans and indigenous counseling. In Harley DA, Dillard JM (Eds.), contemporary mental health issues among African Americans. Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association; 2005. p. 293-306.

Lambrecht G. The Gaddang of Isabela and Nueva Vizcaya: Survivals of primitive animistic religion. Philippine Studies. 2003; 7(2).

World Health Organizations. Fifty-sixth World Health Assembly on Traditional Medicine. A56/18 Provisional Agenda Item 14.10.

Oliver SJ. The role of traditional medicine practice in primary health care within Aboriginal Australia: A review of the literature. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2013; 9. PMid:238 19729 PMCid:PMC3702459

Solomon, A. and Wane, N. N. Indigenous healers and healing in a modern world. 05 Moodley.qxd 2/1/2005 4:27 PM Page 52,

Lee CC. MCT theory and implications for indigenous healing. Sue DW, Ivey AE, Pedersen PB (Eds.). A theory of multicultural counseling and therapy. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole; 1996, p. 86–98.

Lee CC, Armstrong KL. Indigenous models of mental health intervention: Lessons from traditional healers. Ponterotto J, Casas JM, Suzuki LA, Alexander CM, (Eds.), Handbook of multicultural counseling. Beverly Hills, CA; 1995. p. 441–56.

Day D, Silva DK, Monroe AO. The wisdom of indigenous healers. 2014; 20(1):37–46. PMID: 24730191. https:// PMid:29669645

Gelfand DE. Aging and Ethnicity: Knowledge and services (2nd ed.). New York: 2003. Springer Publishing, Co.; 2003. p. 978.

Republic Act No. 8423. The Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care (PITAHC) of the Philippine Government.

DOH. PITAHC, Empowering traditional and alter native health care. 2017 28 Sep. Available from: http:// alternative- health-care/

Tolentino RD, et al. Herbal medicine utilization am ong Batangueños. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, Arts and Sciences. 2019; 6(1). Available from: ds/2019/07/APJEAS-2019.6.1.02.pdf

Batangan DB. Alternative health care for indigenous Filipinos. The road to empowerment and strengthening the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act. Nurturing the Earth, Nurturing Life. Manila, International Labour Office. 2007; Vol II.

White L, Edwards A. Method of Research. New York: Wildlife Conservation Society. Conservation in Afri can Rain Forest; 2000. p. 4444.

Fokunang CN, et. al. Traditional Medicine: Past, present and future research and development prospects and integration in the National Health System of Cameroon. Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2011; 8(3): 284–95. v8i3.65276. PMid:22468007. PMCid:PMC3252219

Bassett D, Tsosie U, Nannauck S. Our Culture Is Medicine: Perspectives of native healers on post trauma recovery among American Indian and Alaska native patients. 2012. PMid:22529755 PMCid:PMC3327107

Pesek T, Helton L, Nair M. Healing across cultures: Learning from traditions. EcoHealth. 2006 Jun; 3(2):114–18. 2-z

Republic act No. 10742. The Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act of 2015 of the Philippine Government.

Relon LP. The language of folk healing among selected Ilocano communities. International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research. 2018 Oct; 9(10).

Republic Act No. 9257. The Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2003 of the Philippine Government.

Eaves Y. African Americans and alternative therapies. Available from: nurs/095/001/culturalcompetence/ppts


  • There are currently no refbacks.