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Philippine Journey 2017

The last two weeks visiting my homeland the Philippines has been quite an experience.  Coming here after my year's journey of decolonizing has brought so many amazing experiences to my visit, both complementing and supplementing what I learned from my own journey.

I turned 57 here on my birthday and celebrated with lunch on Malkapuya Island, Coron, Palawan.  My one wish from this trip was to find some almasika for smudging (if possible.)  I did not have much hope in finding this special item but a chance meeting with a Tagbanua elder Aling Maurita - seaweed vendor and an amazing person - led me to find the almasika. 

The Tagbanua called it "Taing" and Aling Maurita shared that aside from its use as smudging or incense material, it was also used for other purposes.  One of which is tea - made from adding a half teaspoon or so of the taing to hot water - and taken to relieve pasma (tremors?), inflammation, and indigestion.  She said that they add ginger or tamarind or kal…

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