WELCOME to KALINGA where Caring is Natural
FROM BABAYLAN TO NURSE NATION
The Umbilical Cord from the Filipino Homeland to the Diaspora
“Babaylan: indigenous, shaman, healer, priestess, ritualist, herb doctor, village therapist, diviner, mediator between ordinary and non-ordinary realms of reality. S/he is known by other names in various tribes: Ma-aram, balian, balyan, mumbaki, dawak, catalonan, manogbulong, tambalan, and more. In many tribal communities’ governance structure that included the tribal chief or datu, the bayani/bagani (warrior), and the panday (craftsperson), no decisions were ever made without consulting the Babaylan. These four pillars of a tribe held together the communal life of its members, but the Babaylan seemed the most important and powerful and hence became the target of extermination as soon as colonizers arrived in the islands in the 15th century.
“Today there are still primary Babaylans in indigenous communities in the Philippines. Outside of those land-based communities the Babaylan is now often disguised and donning a different dress and language; she walks among us like a shadow, revealing herself only to those whose souls cry out for her.
“The Babaylan intercedes for the community and individuals. She heals the body by recognizing the spirits that cause illness. Through shamanic rituals, she can call the lost or wandering soul back into the body. Through herbal medicines she heals the physical body. Having the ability to know and communicate with ancestral spirits and the spirit world, she becomes a transmitter of knowledge from the different worlds which then becomes a part of the collective cultural consciousness.”
“She is still with us. Re-membered. Re-claimed. The various kinds of appropriations of this tradition by Filipinos in the homeland and in the diaspora symbolize our attempts to draw on her power to give us back our sense of wholeness and Beauty and restore the harmony in the interconnected webs of Life in all its forms.”
(Babaylan: Filipinos and the Call of the Indigenous, Leny Mendoza Strobel, ed.,Center for Babaylan Studies, Santa Rosa, California, c2010.) “A special feature presented in Life Magazine read: “What we call alternative medicine is traditional medicine for 80% of the world, and what we call traditional medicine is only a few centuries old.” Preface to Way of the Ancient Healer: Sacred Teachings from the Philippine Ancestral Traditions, by Virgil Mayor Apostol, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, CA (c2010).
KALINGA: Cultural Roots
“Kalinga,” (Pronounced with nasal ‘ng’ sound). Filipino Tagalog word meaning: to protect; have custody of; to take care of; to rear or provide for; to support; to solicitously take care of one in need; to care about; to look after; to love. (Synonymous with another Tagalog term, alaga.)
“Kalinga” (pronounced with guttural ‘g’ sound) refers to one of the indigenous tribes of Mountain Province in Northern Philippines.
The Nursing Office runs from a long lineage of Filipino nurses who, in serving this country and elsewhere, have faithfully performed their duty guided by the Florence Nightingale Pledge:
I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly,
to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully. I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug. I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession, and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling.
With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician in his work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care. ~Florence Nightingale
The similarity between who the Filipino Babaylan is and Florence Nightingale’s depiction of who a Nurse must be, is unmistakably striking, familiar and deeply resonates together.
In the most intrinsic Filipino cultural sense, the belief, concept and practice of Kalinga spans the beginning-of-life until the end-of-life cycle of all human beings. As in all traditional cultures, the care of Newborns is grounded, surrounded and embedded with emotional, social, religious, cultural beliefs and practices.
Uniquely, what Filipino nurses carry with them is a deep sense of Kapwa, meaning Self as Other. In Sikolohiyang Pilipino (Enriquez, 1995), the innate sense of Self: Kapwa, Damdam, Loob is at the heart and core of the Filipino Nurse’s unequivocal quality and characteristic borne by her DNA lineage and heritage of the Filipino Babaylan tradition. Her embodiment today makes the Philippines truly a Nurse Nation serving the global community.
KALINGA LLC Vision-Mission
Embodying our great Filipino Babaylan tradition, the compassionate sense of Self as Other, and utilizing the Scientific, Evidence-based principles, training and experience of modern-day nurse Nightingales, KALINGA LLC, under the auspices The Nursing Office seeks to:
Render and deliver comprehensive, high-quality nursing services to the Newborn’s parents, other family members and significant others.
Initiate and establish nursing services from the Newborn’s first-day entry into the household that continues until such time when all significant others surrounding the Newborn have agreed and learned to create, maintain and sustain the most healthy, wholesome environment for the Newborn.
Newborn Specialist Job Description - Newborn care specialists are called upon to help new parents care for their newborns. Newborn care specialists typically come into the home for several weeks after a child is born and help the parents develop healthy eating, sleeping and care routines. Many newborn care specialists function as parent educators, teaching parents proper and accepted baby care techniques. Newborn care specialists typically work 8 to 24 hour-shifts and are responsible for all tasks related to the baby’s care, including bottle preparation (if needed), baby laundry and nursery organization.
(-From EMPOWERING NURSES - The RWJF Initiative on the Future of Nursing at IOM, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, Child & Family Health)
Through a Nursing Care Plan supported with a Training curriculum, the Newborn Care Specialist educates the parents, family members and all significant others in the household, in wholistic approaches to:
- Breastfeeding and Lactation
- Utilizing Aroma therapy and Aroma touch in breastfeeding
- Techniques and skills in Newborn massage
- Preparing the proper Diet and Nutrition for the Newborn
- Basic and essential hygienic, sanitary environment for the Newborn’s family/household.
In addition, KALINGA LLC recruits, orients and organizes Filipino nurses for private duty, utilizing basic nursing principles and practice. From documented experience in Newborn Care, KALINGA LLC explores new or other helpful approaches, techniques, skills and practices that do not require licensing, in order to broaden its scope and create innovative, cutting-edge approaches to sustain a maximum healthy environment for the Newborn and her family.
KALINGA LLC operates within The Nursing Office.com’s general program, Taking Care of Communities, where:
The Nursing Office develops programs to extend its health and nursing services to the community, and makes these services available to communities of minorities, ethnic groups and marginalized populations of both urban and rural America as well as the international community. The Nursing Office is a Community and Public Health Delivery System.
KALINGA LLC functions in partnership with The Nursing Office.com, through the
Organizational Model of Shared Mission, Shared Governance, and Shared Resources:
- The Nursing Office acts as a consultant in the development of management and administrative policies for the Partner Organizations according to its Shared Mission, Shared Governance, and Shared Resources organizational model.
- Collaborates with the partner organization in developing programs and its delivery in the community.
- Shares in the execution and implementation of all policies and decisions of the Board of the Partner Organization.
- Reports to the Board of Officers of the Partner Organization.
Program Director/The Nursing Office