Written by Gail Howard
MRS. PANGAN: "Good St. Michael, can you give her any instructions as to what to do for now?"
ST MICHAEL: "I want you to pray harder to God. Think of God as a Spirit right before you. Kneel down, ask his Divine forgiveness. Ask the Lord that you be able to be an instrument of the Lord. Don't forget the Lord's Prayer. I want you to say it 10 times for 10 consecutive nights before you go to sleep. Kneel down before you sleep and invoke his mercy. Ask for complete forgiveness for your sins. Keep yourself clean, my child. Keep yourself clean. I want you to be pure if you are meant to be a vessel of the Lord. I don't want you to be lusty. Keep yourself clean."
St. Michael said he must go.
Mrs. Pangan told Della to ask for Saint Maria Magdalena and to have her take Della to that place where they got the flowers last time. Della held up her hands and suddenly they looked full and weighted. Then she threw 'it' at us. Suddenly I smelled a fragrance very strong and lovely coming from the direction of her hands. That manifestation really amazed me!
The mediums flicked magnetism at Della. One laid a hand on her forehead. Another medium pushed on her inner elbows, bent her wrists to her shoulders and worked the same way on her legs so she would not feel stiff afterward.
Then it was my turn to go 'up,' as they referred to this out-of-body experience. I sat at the table with a pencil in my fingers, the other hand on the Bible, and prayed. Soon my fingers were scribbling furiously. My breath came short, and my body stiffened. Mrs. Pangan took the pencil from me.
My hands patted the table in uncontrollable staccato movements, awkward and stiff. The feeling traveled down to my legs. The mediums laid me on the bed. My hands shook, at times my arms and shoulders shook.
I tried to concentrate deeply. Mrs. Pangan kept asking me where I was. I hadn't gone anywhere yet. I ignored her so I could concentrate. Suddenly I felt guilty for not answering her, so I opened my eyes and my body became still and I said, "Still right here with you."
She jumped on me for breaking the concentration. We started all over again with the pencil. Quickly I got to the same spastic state. I was told to pray fervently, to ask forgiveness for my sins, for a complete cleansing to make myself pure and my spirit light so that I could go up.
The muscles in my stomach contracted and raised my torso up and down. My feet and legs moved as if I were trying to climb and push myself up physically. My breath came short and my head became light. I felt really weird.
The first sign I was supposed to see was a bright white light. Whenever a dullish light came, I suspected it was the bare electric lightbulb dangling from the ceiling. It was difficult to block out the voices buzzing in the crowded room, the curious eyes of sympathetic but expectant onlookers near me, and the curious stares of grownups and children peeking through the windows and door from outside, the blare of a Twist number from a radio next door, the barking dogs, crying children and traffic horns.
Suddenly I was dropped. I actually felt my body drop. I had been so close and I lost it. I had allowed myself to drift from meditation and prayer to worldly thoughts for a few precious seconds.
They had me try it a third time, but I was too tired, aching, and hungry to make a go of it.
I returned to my hotel at 3 a.m., make-up smeared, hair a mess, dress wrinkled and sweaty, and collar carelessly open. As I asked for my key at the reception desk, I knew they weren't thinking I got that messed up at church.
Next day, I witnessed psychic surgery operations in person. Spiritual operations were performed on poor people who could not afford to go to doctors. The operations and healings were free of charge. They were performed not only in Manila, but in outlying provinces where mediums traveled and made sacrificial missions. By law, healers were not permitted to use 'tools' such as knives for the operations — only their bare hands. In spite of the unsanitary conditions under which those operations were performed, no one ever became infected.
During the five months I was there, from March to July 1964, Tony Agpaoa was the Espiritista with the greatest healing powers. An uneducated street sweeper, the 25 year-old healer cured people without charge, as did all the Espiritistas at that time. Tony, who received this gift at age nine, did not go into trance, but called on the power at will. Spirit simply used Tony's hands. Tony was at the height of his powers. He had even cured a woman of cancer.
On this day, the first patient had her adenoids removed. Tony pushed her nose up like a pig's snout, and then smoothed down the sides of her nose until a wad of something had slipped down the nostril on each side. Then the two balls were plucked out with tweezers.
The second patient was a girl with blocked menstrual waste. Tony wriggled his hands into her belly, and pulled out some bloody stuff that he flipped into a pan of water. He manipulated his hands inside her body a few more seconds and then twisted her abdomen shut. No wound was visible. During the entire operation her face was serene.
A Spanish-looking woman submitted to examination while seated in a chair. Blessed oil, which is plain coconut oil consecrated by a medium who is with Holy Spirit, was rubbed on her forehead. A minty fragrance permeated the air.
She remained seated there alone while Tony removed a gallstone with his bare hands from another woman.
Then Tony continued with the Spanish woman. He pressed his finger between her toes and she howled in agony. She pushed his hand away to end the torment and immediately fainted.
Mediums gathered around and threw magnetism at her, prayed, and read the Bible over her.
This was a case of witchcraft.
Low spirits are spirits that inhabit the lower astral planes. If a human's vibrations are low or there are tears in the aura, low spirits can attach themselves to the lower extremities of the human body. When the Espiritista pressed on her toes, it was irritating to the evil spirit.
The patient regained consciousness and climbed onto the operating table. Tony opened her abdomen with his bare hands and pulled out a huge quantity of fluffy straw that had been placed there through black magic. Afterward, the floor was covered with straw as if a large gunny sack of straw had been dumped out all over the floor. It was truly amazing!
A very pregnant woman was examined next. Her baby was upside down, so Tony hand massaged her balloon-like tummy until the baby was in the correct position for a normal delivery.
The next patient was me.
Another psychic surgeon took over while Tony went on break. Since my mid teens, I'd had a nagging pain in my diaphragm area. I handed my camera to Della to shoot photos of my operation, and I climbed on the table. Spirit or no Spirit, I felt nervous at the thought of my intestines hanging out in someone's bare hands.
Hassie Ilocano, the clairvoyant medium, placed her hand on my forehead and told me to pray that I feel no pain. I prayed, yet I was aware of a finger delving into the interior of my body. I felt no pain at all. Suddenly it was over. He had just let out a bit of trapped gas. I saw that I had a scar, like a healed deep scratch with a scab on it. (Some mediums perfomed woundless operations, others left scars.)
I wasn't on the operating table more than two minutes altogether, but I was never bothered by that nagging pain again. These operations were very fast, taking only two or three minutes to pull out an inflamed appendix or any other major surgery.