Wikipedia have stated that Spiritism had been practiced in the Philippines even before the arrival of Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 and this attributed to Union Esperitista that been formally established in the Philippines on February 19, 1905. When i was in TESDA, i hear claim that Filipino were long been a Christian believer even before the arrival of Spain in our Country. I also found some article that Chritmass have been Celebrated at Bolinao, Pangasinan as early as 1324 according to this link. It is said that Friar Oderic of pordenone have said the first Christmas mass in Pangasinan.
It is believed that Friar Oderic is a Franciscan Missionary that landed into Bolinao, Pangasinan as being brought by the storm. From that he celebrated Mass as thanks giving in honor of their safe journey and his mission.
He also indoctrinated and baptized many of the Malay immigrants in Bolinao.
He returned home to Udine (Friuli) Italy after thirteen years mission. He died a holy death on January 14, 1331. His precious remains are kept in an artistic tomb of the parish Church of our Lady of Mount Carmel in Udine (Italy).
Here i want to understand what kind of Spiritism movement that happen before Spanish arrived. Do Pangasinense people were the first Christians in the Philippines? and do the Christian Holy Spirit are the one who influence the Spiritism of our Ancestors?
But according to the History of Union Esperitista Christiana de Felipinas, it was said that since the 16th century, so Magellan landed first and Christianity was introduced before the work of Christian Spiritism started.
It was Denizard Hypollite-Leon Rivail aka Allan Kardec who produced and published the Spirit’s book which later been received by Filipino Intellectuals who studied in Europe and brought the Spiritist doctrine in the Philippines. And it was Don Agustin Dela Rosa together with Inocencio Echarri, Martha Lopez de Dula, Pio Candido, Telesforo Candido, Manuel Candido and Jose Gonzales who established First Spiritist center Manila.
According to their webiste: Union’s Spiritism is a modified title of the teachings in order to distinguish from the others hence, it is deeply rooted from the admonition of Jesus Christ, a Christian Based teachings reliant from the teachings of the Holy Spirit and primarily collaborated with the Holy Scriptures,
With these, it came to my mind to ask if there branches of Spiritism aside from Christian Spiritism? As i sesrched through Wikipedia, it csme to my thought that modern psychic and paranormal investigator can be rooted out from the practice of spiritism, such as the use of ouija or spirit board so as the art of hypnotism and auto suggestion.
But can a Babaylan be considered an Spiritist? for me No! This maybe the reason why Wikipedia tell that the practice of Spiritism goes beyond the arrival of Ferdinand Magellan, because our Babaylan can communicate well with the Spirits which our local call as abyan or for the Tagalog as Gabay. In Contrast with the Spiritist doctrine that their mediums were Guided by the Holy Spirits, the Babaylan Spirit Guides is not foreign to them, because their guides must have personal relationship with the medium, thus their common spirit guides comes from the rank of the Ancestral Spirits. And this Ancestral Spirit connects the Babaylan to the Elemental Nature Spirits, Communal Spirits even to the Divine Spirits.