Traditional healers’ manual

CHURCH HISTORIAN

Wikipedia’s Philippine medical literature during the Spanish times includes the booklet, Manual del Mediquillo Visaya (Manual of the Visayan Traditional Healers) by Fray Manuel Vilches.   

During his stint in Amlan, Fray Manuel Vilches also authored and caused to publish two other booklets: Novena ni Señor San Andres and Gramática visaya-cebuana.

Fray Manuel Carceller Galindo, a Spanish Augustinian Recollect chronicler wrote of Manual del Mediquillo Visaya: “De esta última dice el P. Simonena que estaba asistencia facultativa que, aun en aquellos tiempos en que él administró, era casi nula en la mayoria de los pueblos de Filipinas; y estaba expuesto tan delicado ejercicio a manos ignorantes que ninguna responsabilidad contraían, y que buen cuidado tenían para escabullirse y no incurrir en ella. Admitada la dura necesidad, el Padre Vilches trató de aminorarla con su orbita, enseñando a los nativos el modo de aplicar los remedies ya conocidos, sin los riesgos a que los exponían atrevidos y petulantes curanderos’”.

This Augustinian Recollect missionary visited regularly the nearby barrio of Ayuquitan where he built a chapel walled in by bricks and a rest house to stay after going on missionary excursions in its highlands.

Reaping the harvest from the seeds of faith Fray Manuel Vilches had sowed, Fray Julio Espierrez recorded in 1897 the population of Ayuquitan at 3,161, having performed 131 baptisms, 29 marriages, and 66 funerals.

Now it can be told that Fray Manuel Vilches in establishing a missionary outpost in the countryside of Ayuquitan can be considered father and founder of the future town of San Jose.