Mystic Philippines: Paganism and Christianity, the unlikely friends within Philippines culture.

It isn’t easy to understand Philippines mythology, folklore, witchcraft (craeft), the unspoken links between Jewish mysticism in Qaballah (Kabballa, Kabballah, cosmic cobblers) and the links with the colonisation. We give it our best shot at delivering to you why Philippines Christianity is such a strange shape.

Haliya, Goddess from Bikol Mythology in our Mystic Philippines Paganism Series
Haliya, Goddess from Bikol Mythology in our Mystic Philippines Paganism Series

Philippines Quiet Religious Cultural Rebellion

What buoys the strange unity of all of these elements within a Christian culture that’s somehow quietly fused Witchcraft, Jewish Mysticism and Christianity is a rebellion against all things western. There is a natural rage for all of the cultural traditions and identities that were thought lost due to Spanish colonisation and a firm nationwide intent to never let that happen again after Freemasons and Israel helped liberate the Island nation from Christian oppression. The key to understanding this riddle is accepting that what should not be unified by rules, culture and doctrine has ignored all institutions to do just that in creating the pagan, masonic christian fusion in the modern Philippines. 

philippines babaylan qabballa witchcraft-pagan christianity
Philippines Babaylans and Catalonans were as common as priests and doctors are in society today.

Jewish Mysticism, Kabballa and Freemasonry

Freemasonry was behind the Philippines decolonisation movement and the recent embracing of witchcraft (craeft, kabballa) from the youth in Philippines and Filipino-Americans in the Southern California Hollywood Hills shows that these passions are still very much alive. It shouldn’t be forgotten that in most cases, the violent persuasive powers and tactics of the missionaries were so overwhelming that Filipinos had no choice but to toss their beliefs aside and embrace Catholicism. This was the embryonic beginning of the seemingly impossible Pagan Jewish Mystic laced Christianity that we see to some degree in almost all Christians and Freemasons from the Island nation. 

Philippines Witchcraft Precolonial Paganism

In the year 1595 is has been told that near Manila, Fray Diego del Villar witnessed many men and women were still seeking the mystical influences of the catalonan priestesses from the at that point considered dead pagan traditions.  This was the start of a campaign of witchhunts and mass destruction of the idols in the villages while the residents could do nothing but watch.  The Spanish Catholics then flogged and tortured the catalonans and Babaylans until they ceased to practice and embraced Catholicism.

philippines babaylan qabballa witchcraft-pagan christianity
philippines babaylan qabballa witchcraft-pagan christianity

The Extreme Christianisation

There can be no doubt, extreme tactics were used but a wide majority of the inhabitants embraced Catholicism quite willingly. Put it this way, for every single Lapulapu, there is a Rajah Humabon. For every revolt where the Filipino Pagan villages sought to fight the Spanish, there where a great many Filipino communities who stepped out of the matriarchal system of indigenous Philippines Witchcraft (craeft, Kabballa) and into the more male driven Catholocism. You can make a case that this was done out of terror but this was also a quiet revolt by the men of the Philippines to be upfront and in a Godly role of leadership and servitude to their families as protector, something that’s still considered a problem today in Philippines by Christian voices. This was the second area where the joining of Paganism and Christianity, a quiet decision to politely accept Catholicism by the men and the quiet retention of the mystic paganism by the women (and men). In the last stages of the Christianisation of the Philippines, the Datus retained their right to govern their territory as a part of the Spanish Empire. 

Haliya Bikolano Masked Philippines Pagan Goddess of the Moonlight
Haliya Bikolano Masked Philippines Pagan Goddess of the Moonlight

King Philip II of Spain, in 1594 signed into law all colonial officials in the archipelago stating that the native royalties and nobilities be given a similar respect, and freedoms in certain areas that were the norm before the violent Christian enforcement. These small areas became self-ruled barangays of the Spanish Empire. The Filipino Royalty and friends formed the elite called the noble Principalía class of the island nation. This noble elite was the class that established a birthright aristocracy with dynastic autonomy to be respect, obeyed and the full support of these small tribes.

philippines babaylan qabballa witchcraft pagan christianity
Philippines Babaylans are again practising in the open and with Jewish mysticism placed into the witchcraft and pagan culture that christianity failed to remove from Philippines

Realpolitik and Catholicism vs Pagan History

With title and recognition from Spanish monarchs came the privilege of being addressed as Don or Doña which was a status of nobility that became recognised as an emulation of the European nation system. Many honors and high regard were also handed to the Christianised nobles by the Spanish Empire. The Gobernadorcillos who was anelected leader of the Cabezas de Barangay and the accompanying Filipino officials of justice received the greatest respect from the Spanish Crown. Colonial officials were ordered to show them the honor corresponding to their respective duties. Catholic nobles became a powerful force with respect beyond their borders.

philippines babaylan qabballa witchcraft pagan christianity
Earth magick is now openly practiced in Philippines again by the Babaylan and alongside Jewish Kabballa has found fusion where there should be enmity with the many types of Christianity in the Island nation

This was just a stage in a clever plan and the Spanish colonial government being established was a key component. It was left to a powerful Christian elite to asign titles of nobility. Implementing Spanish culture and the accompanying Christianity became much easier. It became very advantageous to be a Christian if you had any chance of being bestowed an municipal title.

Paganism and Christianity finding impossible fusion

Slowly the Pagan earth magick deities were replaced with the montheistic God and the Catholic tradition of patron saints and Archangels, the folkloric creatures, spirits and superstitions managed to survive in secret and buried within Christianity but to the point that it was obvious to the Spanish colonials.  A widely known 1691 document made mention, “The superstitions and omens of these Filipinos are so many, and so different are those which yet prevail in many of them, especially in the districts more remote from intercourse with the religious, that it would take a great space to mention them.”

philippines babaylan qabballa witchcraft pagan christianity
Philippines festivals celebrate the babaylan, modern Kabballa and the witchcraft and paganism that runs concurrent with the country that has the highest percentage of christianity worldwide, Philippines.

Pagan mysticism, a matriarchal system of multiple Gods and earth Magick simply could not be replaced by Catholicism and instead created a fusion that can be seen today. Although over 80% Catholic, Philippines also has the highest percentage of Freemasons known to exist in any nation (the Phlippines flag is a Masonic apron on its side) and a gigantic array of variations of Christianity. Everything from Jehovahs Witnesses to the somewhat Satanic Iglesia Ni Cristo is practised and again, paganism is infused into the doctrine.

Babaylan Philippines Ritualistic Pagan History

Christian Paganism Doctrines

Recordings in early documents by the Spanish missionaries, and existing tribal religion elders, stated that many indigenous Filipinos believed in a supreme monotheistic God. Their understanding was that this God was invisible but everywhere, his name was sacred and only spoken during rituals (a strange emergence of Judaism), and no images of him were made nor should be created. This God was so supreme that could not be near to him and that contact was often made via Archangels through prayers and weekly attendance of ritualistic services. There was also belief in a trinity of Gods, a misreading of trinitarianism. Below the main God was his son, who was attributed to the sun for reasons not found within scripture. Then there was the spirit God who roamed the earth along with Archangels. 

philippines babaylan qabballa witchcraft pagan christianity
Philippines Babaylan Witchcraft has found a friend even with Jehovahs Witnesses as can be seen here with a Philippines Babaylan practising a pagan ritual in the robes often associated with the Freemason based JW church

Hinduism and other Eastern Paganism entered Mindanao and Sulu due to international trade through shipping between those areas and the Indian empire. Dadanhayan ha Sugay the drooling ten headed God, Diwata na Magbabaya with multiple sets of limbs and various other Pagan deities of the universe in Shiva, Vishnu and Kali in various forms all fell into folklore but under the banner of the superior belief, Catholicism.

Philippines Pagan Bagobo Tagabawa tribe in the highlands of Tibolo

What came to pass from then and now is that Hindu, Chinese and Islamic elements were readily absorbed an increasingly mystic form of Catholicism practised to this day. While the Philippine education system ignored Philippine pre-christian history, the mysticism failed to die even at the level of youth as interest in a history untold was passed down within the family unit. The goal of Catholicism can be considered a partial success in that the main framework of religion within the Philippines is indeed Christianity but the alien look it has to many outsiders is due to the rich tapestry of Jewish mysticism and pagan culture slipstreamed in also.

Philippines and Witchcraft today

E. Arsenio Manuel once said, “Where History ends, Anthropology begins.”  This is undeniable in the Phlippines but this history is being rebuilt and in actual fact, Christianity is being seperated from paganism as Witchcraft itself grows openly now in Philippines culture. The internet and new text books are introducing to the matriarchal cultural identity that’s apparent in the ways of the Philippines and a remnant of the older culture but never until now embraced.

philippines babaylan qabballa witchcraft pagan christianity
Much like Vampires and the Twilight Saga in the US, Babaylan Paganism has found a home with the young as they continue to see Christianity as their framework but embracing the craefts and pagan practices preserved in time and folklore.

Whether good or bad, Philippines Christianity doesn’t actually pass what would be considered scriptural test and is considered Paganism in of itself by more traditional Christians. It bears a closer resemblance to Jewish Kabballah and the Hasidic teachings contained within the Zohar. One upshoot of an increase in occultism in Philippines today is an increase in honesty. What was once concealed is now being revealed and the blurry lines of culture can stand alone instead of the things you might see scampering about in the background of a tarot card or Hieronymus Bosch painting during a Biblical scene.

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