Indigenous Philippine Traditions Revived Through Ifugao Healing Hut Fundraiser 

While cherished traditions can be taught from writing and practiced anywhere at any time, here is an opportunity to build something all communities can see and touch for themselves. 

Villagers' Commune, a group of volunteers from three states on Facebook, has launched the Ifugao Healing Hut Project, an online fundraiser to build a classic Philippine dwelling place in the Igorot tradition to teach indigenous knowledge systems including healing practices. 

Supporters are encouraged to visit The Ifugao Hut Healing Project to donate. Deadline is Sept. 5, 2014. Perks include Ifugao wood tops called bawwot (given at every level) to books, certificates and discounts to CFBS conferences ($100 to $5,000), and one-of-a-kind hand hewn wooden artwork ($1,000 to $5,000). 

The project and fundraiser is spearheaded by Dr. Leny Strobel, Professor of American Multicultural Studies Department at Sonoma State University and Project Director of the Center for Babaylan Studies (CFBS), and Mamerto Tindongan, woodcarver, artist, and mumbaki (healer) from the Igorot tradition. 

The project is inspired by historic events at the turn of the 20th century, particularly the Philippine Village at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. 

"In 1996, I watched a documentary of the 1904 World Fair, where some Philippine Cordillerans were brought to Missouri as zoo-like entertainers... and it struck me like a lightning. I knew since then that something as dramatic as the fair itself has to be done to redeem the honor and pride of tribal people... In 2011, I had a vision to establish a healing/retreat center in Ohio," Tindongan said. 

Tindongan envisions a School of Living Tradition in the Diaspora in the future. In the immediate future, he would like to find a way of doing a healing ceremony at the site of the St. Louis World Fair. Filipino American communities in Missouri or in the Mid-west are invited to contact the Center for Babaylan Studies or Mamerto Tindongan about this planned event. The Ifugao Hut will serve as a symbol of peacemaking and a celebration of Filipino indigenous traditions.


The Ifugao Healing Hut Project (#ifugaohealinghut) is launched by volunteers with Villagers' Commune under the CFBS in Sonoma, Calif. The fundraiser's fiscal agency is 501(c)3 Mindanao Lilang Lilang. All donations are tax-deductible. Contributions will allow Philippine indigenous traditions to thrive in the U.S. by giving it a space where it can be taught. For more info, contact Dr. Elenita Strobel,; Maria Racho,; Ethelyn Anguluan-Cooper,; or Yvonne T. Hortillo,; and Mamerto Tindongan,