Decolonizing needs to happen at all aspects of medicine including how we fund or do energy exchange for it. I use the term “energy exchange” because money is is a relatively new way of exchange for labor and goods, but it is not the only way. Prior to colonization, the Philippines did not have Capitalism. Healthcare was not dependent on extractive monetary transactions that focused on individual financial responsibility. Reciprocity was practiced through gift giving and being in relation to one another. Healers had a divine responsibility to care for the community and they, in turn, were cared for by the community.
The introduction of Capitalism and White European and American culture to the Philippines brought a disconnect with how traditional medicine was valued and accessed. The expectation of traditional healers to care for the community without monetary payment remained, but this existed within the context of a money-based system where most people lived in poverty. An ecosystem of traditional, mutual care was completely disrupted.
Decolonizing our energy exchanges for medicine is more complicated than replicating traditional customs – we can't just go back to how things were. We need to be in dialogue with our traditions and our current context. For me that has looked like the following: