There are many factors involved in why individuals receive different results from psychic surgery. If someone guarantees you will be healed, that person is probably a fake who is only out to get your money. Of course, genuine psychic surgery and other forms of spiritual and energetic healing can be of tremendous benefit, but whatever you receive from the healers is ultimately in God’s hands. Psychic surgery is illegal in the United States, making it difficult to find this type of practitioner without traveling abroad. Some Filipino healers travel to Europe to practice.

Some people are afraid to travel to the Philippines because of what they hear in the media. However, almost all of the negative news is about Mindanao, which is located at the southern end of the islands. Most of the faith healers are located in northern Luzon. Just follow general safety guidelines for traveling in any foreign country, and don’t invite trouble. For example, don’t walk around late at night and flash a big wad of money in a bar. I actually feel safer in the Philippines than I do in Medford, Oregon. Rape is almost non-existent, and you will see security guards with rifles standing outside banks to prevent robberies.

Dial 117 to get help if you encounter trouble while traveling in the Philippines.

Tour Guides specializing in trips to the psychic surgeons can be found on-line, but if you are an experienced traveler and feel confident about going to the Philippines on your own, you can create your own itinerary. But try to call or e-mail the healer(s) you intend to see before you buy your plane ticket to make sure the healer’s clinic will be open when you arrive.

VISAS AND IMMIGRATION

Visitors from most countries can get a free visa for 30 days upon arrival at the airport. So book your trip accordingly. It is also possible to extend your free 30-day visa. This requires a personal visit to the Bureau of Immigration. Avoid the main office in Manila, if possible, and visit one of the district offices. For more information see: http://www.immigration.gov.ph

PACKING

Pack lightweight clothing for the hot weather in the lowlands and a sweater for the mountains of Baguio. Take earplugs to block out street noise and a handkerchief for your nose to block out the fumes from the many vehicles clogging the highway and city streets. Carry toilet paper or you will have to buy it in many of the public toilets. Also avoid eating in the open-air food stalls to prevent intestinal upset.

If you have air-borne allergies or a medical condition such as asthma, COPD, or emphysema, please be cautious when traveling in the Philippines, because there can be quite a bit of air pollution in the cities.

GROUND TRAVEL

The MacArthur Highway is the major highway between Manila and Baguio. It passes through Pangasinan, the center of which is Urdaneta. The easiest way to travel between these cities is to take an air-conditioned Victory Liner bus from the Pasay Bus Terminal in Manila, just south of the Ermita District. (Take a taxi to the bus station.) Buses run on the half-hour. It’s a seven-hour trip to Baguio from Manila, and about five hours to Urdaneta, with several stops for food and bathroom breaks (“comfort rooms”). Alternatively, you can avoid the long, arduous bus ride by taking a low-cost, local, inter-island plane.

HOTEL IN MANILA

PENSION NATIVIDAD

1690 M.H. Del Pilar St. Malate, Manila (Ermita)

Website: http://www.pensionnatividad.com

Foreigners and Peace Corp Volunteers frequent this hotel. It is reasonably priced and conveniently located in an area that is rapidly changing, for better and worse. The air-conditioned rooms on the ground floor are best, at a cost of approximately $34 per night, single or double occupancy. They have other rooms for less, including a backpacker’s dormitory for approximately $10. There is Wi-Fi, and for those without laptops or tablets there is an Internet cafe nearby.

HOTEL IN URDANETA

LISLAND RAINFOREST RESORT (near Esther Bravo’s Chapel)

182 McArthur Highway, just north of the Urdaneta crossing

Website: http://www.lisland.com.ph

Phone (from the U.S.): 011-63-75-568-2962

Cost for room with two single beds: approximately $50.

This resort boasts many trees and gardens, and it has an enormous swimming pool that is built to resemble a natural lagoon. Because of the vegetation and off-road location, the air quality at Lisland is better than elsewhere in Urdaneta. However, Lisland can be noisy at night because of the karaoke bar next door, although the air-conditioning and earplugs usually drown out the music. The menu is limited, but the mango shakes are great. You can also purchase fruit in the markets.

FOOD IN URDANETA

Ambassador Seafoods is the only decent restaurant in Urdaneta I’ve found so far. Plan on eating a lot of bananas and mangoes from the market (when in season).

ABOUT WATER

Generally speaking, drink only bottled water. However, most of the higher end hotels and restaurants serve filtered water. Just ask whether the water is filtered.

INTERNET CAFES IN URDANETA

Magic Mall and the 168 Market have computer terminals (note the market closes at 5:00 p.m. and the mall at 7:00 p.m.). Many cafes and hotels have wi-fi. Of course, there are also Internet cafes and wi-fi in Baguio.

LAUNDRY

There are almost no self-service laundromats in the Philippines, but your hotel staff will do your laundry for a fee. Be sure to ask the price in advance as it can vary widely. You can always do your laundry in your room.

LOCAL TRANSPORTATION

There are jeepneys and taxis in Manila and Baguio. There are no taxis in Urdaneta, but there are plenty of tricycles, which are good for short or long distances. They can be rented for trips around town, or an entire day or part of a day, and the driver will also wait for you while you explore outlying areas and tourist attractions, such as the Church of Manaog in Pangasinan.

BAGUIO CITY, Elevation 5,280 feet

Baguio is known as the “Vacation Capital of the Philippines” because the climate is generally more moderate than in the lowlands. There are many reasonably priced hotels in Baguio, but the best ones are located on the hills above the center of town, which means there is almost no air pollution.

SIGHTSEEING IN BAGUIO

You can watch the weavers and seamstresses working their looms at the Easter Weaving room. It’s an interesting, genuine place, and they have a great store with fabric, clothing, and other gifts. Close by, there is a used bookstore with many inexpensive books in English. Other worthwhile sites include Asin Hot Springs and the Baguio Botanical Gardens.

HOTELS IN BAGUIO

FOREST LODGE and THE MANOR

Camp John Hay

Loakan Road, Baguio City

http://www.campjohnhayhotels.ph

The cost for a room with two double beds is between $100 and $180, depending on the time of year. Book on-line early, as the rooms fill up quickly.

Camp John Hay is located high above the city on a beautiful property filled with pine trees, carefully tended gardens, and a golf course. The food and overall service is excellent, and the music in the evening is also excellent. Central Baguio is so polluted that it’s very difficult to be there, except in an air-conditioned restaurant or the mall, which, by the way, has a movie theatre showing current films.

HOTEL ELIZABETH

http://www.hotelelizabeth.com.ph

This hotel is beautiful, especially the surrounding grounds, and it’s less expensive than Camp John Hay. See their website for more information. Note that if you book through a website such as Expedia and need to change your reservation, they will not give you a refund. Also, the food and food service is not all that great.

THE BEACH IN LA UNION: RESORT WEBSITES

www.balihai.com.ph

www.chinaseabeachresorts.com

FOOD IN BAGUIO

The best restaurant for delicious, healthy, organic food in Baguio is “Café by the Ruins” on Otek Street, near the main market. The food at Camp John Hay is also good.

MONEY IN BAGUIO

Any BDO bank will change money for you, although there is some paperwork involved when changing money at a bank. Another (often better) option is to go to the Public Market. There you will find many businesses that change money.

Please e-mail me and let me know about your experiences in the Philippines with the healers: medium@mind.net

Below is a fun travel article.

Mabuhay!

Happy Trip!

MUSIC IN THE PHILIPPINES 

Morning 6:00 a.m. and the birds at Lisland Rain Forest Resort are singing. It’s nearly deafening. The water on the lagoon is a pane of glass except for an occasional stirring by the pool boy, who is lifting out the leaves that have fallen into the pools. The temperature is still tolerable and hot coffee is allowable. In the restaurant, soft romantic music is playing on the radio and several waiters, who are not yet busy with customers, are walking around singing. Not intentional singing, but rather unconscious sound that erupts spontaneously as they half-listen to the radio. One of them notices me and laughs self-consciously, saying, “I’m singing, but no CD!” Yes, that’s the Philippines. The people here seem to be always singing, either to soft music, electronic pulsing, or loud rock and roll. The noise can be deafening in the streets— boom boxes booming, children shouting, dogs barking, chickens crowing, sellers hawking their goods, beggars begging, tricycle drivers soliciting riders, and the ever-present roar of vehicles spewing smoke from partially-functional engines and cheap fuel. One feels the entire country is vibrating with sound and it’s wonderful. The States will be entirely too silent when I return.

Meanwhile, over at the Magic Department Store at the Magic Mall in Urdaneta a sale is in progress. The speakers are blasting a song that sounds somewhat like hip hop: “MAGIC, MAGIC…IT’S MAGIC….” All the salesclerks (about thirty of them) are singing along to the canned music and dancing in a line. It’s a group dance reminiscent of “the fish” from the 60s. Of course, I have to dance, too, and soon everyone in the store is laughing to see the large American girl jumping around. I feel so free here in the Philippines, and it seems the sillier I behave the more the Filipinos love it.

As I make my way back to the hotel, I walk through teeming hordes of pedestrians and a death-defying army of men on tricycles, carrying yet more people. There are more people in this medium-sized town than in all of Jackson County, maybe even all of southern Oregon!

Nearing Lisland, I encounter of group of thirty or more nursing students in uniform, their arms joined five across. They are crossing the main intersection in the center of Urdaneta singing what sounds like a song for a school pep rally. Walking in front of me is a young man with a backpack imprinted with the words: “Spirit is what our country is built on.”

It could have also said: “Music is what our country is built on.”