Lamanok island has a mystical history. The island serves as a holy spot for local priests and medicine men to make ‘diwata’ or offerings to the nature spirits. Diwata or Pagdiwata Ritual is a wide spread spiritual belief in which spirits of nature were called for the community by a religious leader or ‘shaman’ to insure bountiful harvest, good catch from fishing and healing from mystifying sickness and protection from bad omen. In Anda, most of the shaman perform rituals here in the Shamman Cave. They offer pork, rice, tabaco and wine but mostly chicken or ‘manok’ in the local language. The reason why the island is called La-manok.
It takes a little bit of climbing to reach this special cave but if you look in this Shamman cave you see this beautiful natural altar with a lot of offerings behind it. Coins, cigarettes, bottles of rum are all sacrificed for good fortune. Myself, I sacrificed at least a liter of blood to the spirits since the place is full of mosquitos and I have apparently their favorite blood type. So, if you plan your trip to Lamanok Island, bring your insect repellent!
Our guide told a couple of personal stories about his family and close friends, how they asked the spirits for fortune and how they all received the luck they were asking for. As thanks giving they offered chickens and pigs.
The Shamman cave that you see is not the real place where they hold the rituals. The real cave where all the rituals are held is only accessible by the Shaman himself and you can only reach it by a very small opening inside the Shamman Cave. According to the guide the opening will lead you to an open area where there is one single coconut tree. The coconuts from this special tree are used to produce coconut oil what the priest is using as a balm to bless the people.
I try to listen to the guide but can’t stop slapping my legs. These insects are eating me alive and luckily before I sacrificed every single drop of my blood, we continue to the next highlight that this special island has to offer.