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Jalan-Jalan with Jerwin in Singapore

Jalan-Jalan with Jerwin in Singapore
Photo by Jerwin Allen Malabanan
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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Looking back over the past five years, the single and most memorable event that occurred in my life was my Haring Bakal initiation in Santander, Cebu. Over several months I visited two masters, who gave me sheets of oraciones to memorize. I used three kinds of oil in separate bottles. I underwent a rigorous grilling, after which a ritual called "pandong" (prayers over one's head) was performed on me. A candle was lit on an altar and its flame was carefully observed. The master then struck me with the blade of a katana the requisite number of times on my stomach and legs. (It hurt; my flesh wasn't slashed but bore welts and bruises for three weeks.) I had four "mutya"s (implants) inserted in my forearms. (That hurt also, and the instruments used were a rusty razor blade and a used matchstick to push the "mutya"s in.) I got terribly sick afterward because I forgot to abstain from using anything of metal for 49 days, and my forearms remained swollen for a month--you can actually see them in some of my Album photos. I was required to wear a "bakus" (belt with pouches and inscriptions) and three kinds of "chalecos" (vests) and keep a blessed coconut on my bedroom altar.

There are many other things related to Haring Bakal, of course, that I do not have the liberty of revealing on this blog.