Dr Abe V Rotor
Some time ago, a good old friend asked me, Abe how can you go back to nature? Are you going back to the farm. Don’t you like to live anymore in the city? Are you selling your car.
Yes, I answered. No not my car, that’s my only car. Yes, I can live with nature. Oo nga naman. We talked and talked, until we were back in our childhood – I mean, childhood. This was when my father got sick. And this is how I came to learn that chicken soup is good for one who is convalescing, yon’ galing sa sakit - nagpapagaling.
Chicken soup is good for the convalescent. However, there are specifications of the kind of chicken to be served. First, it must be native chicken. Karurayan is the term in Ilocos for a pure white native chicken which does not bear any trace of color on its feathers. It is preferably a female, dumalaga or fryer, meaning it has not yet reached reproductive stage. It is neither fat nor thin. Usually the herbolario chooses one from recommended specimens. He then instructs and supervises the household in the way the karurayan is dressed, cut, cooked into tinola (stew) and served to the convalescent. He does not ask for any fee for his services, but then he takes home one or two of the specimens that did not pass the specifications. (The more affluent the patient is, the more chicken the herbolario takes.)
Chicken soup as a convalescent food is recognized in many parts of the world. Because of its popularity, chicken soup has become associated with healing, not only of the body – but the soul as well. In fact there is a series of books under the common title Chicken Soup - for the Woman’s Soul, Surviving Soul, Mother’s Soul, Unsinkable Soul, Writer’s Soul, etc. Of course, this is exaggeration, but nonetheless it strengthens our faith that this lowly descendant of the dinosaurs that once walked the earth of its panacean magic.
Try chicken soup to perk you up in these trying times - with all the rush, tension, various ailments, and expensive medication. Ika nga, bawal ang magkasakit.
But first, be sure your chicken does not carry antibiotic residues, and should not be one that is genetically engineered (GMO). By the way, I was a participant in the rituals made by this good herbolario. I was then a farmhand and I was tasked to get the karurayan. Our flock failed the test, but I found two dumalaga with few colored feathers. I plucked out the colored feathers and presented the birds to Ka Pepito. They passed the criteria. Three days after I asked my convalescing dad how he was doing. “I’m fine, I’m fine, now.” He assured me with a big smile. ~