Indigenous massage featured in Luzon Culture, Arts Festival

by RONALYN BANAKEN

 


 Participants perform the gisgistu, the indigenous equivalent of the head massage employed in modern physical therapy. 

(Photo: UB Media Affairs and Publications Office)

 

 

 

The University of Baguio Alumni Foundation Inc. (UBAFI) spearheaded a talk-demonstration on indigenous massage therapy which was held at the UB Centennial Hall last June 29.

 

Andrew Bayating, president of Providence Polytechnic Institute, noted that the practice of indigenous massage in the Cordillera region dates back to the pre-colonial times. “Our ancestors had to make do with what there was – twigs, sticks, their bare hands,” he said, introducing the native gisgistu, getget-a, and dagdagay.

 

The gisgistu is applied on the head using pressure from both thumbs. “It’s the equivalent of the head massage that is being used in physical therapy these days,” said Darrel Lorena, a massage therapy practitioner and trainor, who demonstrated the method.

 

Get-get-a is done with finger pressure and is employed on the back along the spine. Meanwhile, dagdagay is applied on the whole body, done by combining gisgistu and get-get-a. In dagdagay, a pair of sticks can be used as alternative for an added pressure.

 

Rustico Natale Malilin, a physical therapist who has been practicing for over two decades, expressed his admiration for the indigenous techniques. “They’re encompassing and they’re contextually correct. In massage therapy and in physical therapy, the modalities may differ, but we have a singular goal, and that is to help the patient heal,” he said, adding that looking into a patient’s values and culture will facilitate faster healing in them. “It is equally important to put your intention to heal; otherwise, you’ll be at a loss,” he said.

 

“The Cordilleran culture is not just all about the pigs and the gongs and the dancing. There is so much more to it. In practicing these indigenous massages, we are living out a vital facet of our culture. For one, our heritage is very rich,” remarked Engr. Eleazer Demayo, UBAFI president.

 

The event is part of the Luzon Culture and Arts Festival project of the UBAFI which has the theme “Multiculturalism and Ethnic Identity: Experiencing Authenticity in the City.” The project is funded by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

 

The activity was co-organized by the UB Quality Assurance Office headed by Dr. Rhoda Basco-Galangco.

 

 

 

Darrel Lorena, a massage therapy practitioner and trainor, demonstrates the get-get-a method, a technique that targets the back.   

(Photo: UB Media Affairs and Publications Office)

 

 

In dagdagay, a pair of sticks can be used as alternative for an added pressure.

(Photo: UB Media Affairs and Publications Office) 

 

 

The speakers at the event (from left) Andrew Bayating, Khael Balboa, Darrel Lorena, and Rustico Natale Malilin with Engr. Eleazer Demayo

and Dr. Rhoda Basco-Galangco (Photo: UB Media Affairs and Publications Office)

 

 

LOAD MORE STORIES