Love potion or gayuma, do they really work?Angela M. Zelaña
I normally brush aside mystical chatter about Siquijor love potions or gayuma and dismiss any spiritualistic talk about the island as nonsense. However, since the topic of potions and voodoo never cease to come up in small talk, I thought of taking a closer look and reconsidering the matter. I asked myself, does it really work? And if so, how? Is it spiritual or psychological? Hard questions to answer when all you have in your hand is a bottle full of herbs and a promise.
When it comes to professing our affection to someone, we dread the nagging fear of failure, rejection, cold feet and cold sweat. For as long as people have been people, we’ve tried various paths: physical, social, spiritual and the like to get an advantage and limit our chances for failure. For a perfect example, let’s go back to that bottle full of herbs we mentioned earlier. All over the world are countless folk tales and urban legends about a surefire way to awaken love. There are many reputed rites, charms and aphrodisiac potions that you’ll hear other people swear by. Just try Googling the term “aphrodisiac” and you’ll get nearly 12 million potential search results. Clearly, this is very much on our minds!
It’s no different in the Philippines. In a small rock nestled in the bosom of the Visayas group of islands sits Siquijor Island, long rumored to be a hotbed of alternative spirituality and occult practices. One of their most popular products is a love potion (though one also hears of darker stuff, meant to hurt those we dislike). To casual observation, the potion appears to be no more than a small bottle loaded with various organic-looking substances.
One is instructed to add one’s usual cologne or perfume to the mix, then put some on when one goes a-courting. It is then supposed to make one appear, to the eye of the beloved, to be “softer” or more romantic. One becomes, as it were, easier to fall for. Ask around, and you’ll find skepticism and faith in equal measure.
But is faith, or the lack of it, really the issue? And if so, faith in what? Granting that the love potion appears to work, does it do so of its own merits, or simply because we believe it does? Perhaps it’s no more and no less than the boost it might give to its wearer’s confidence. Remember, it’s all but proven that when one exudes a sense of confidence, one becomes more attractive to others. On that level alone, there might be something to that love potion after all.
So if you think it’ll work for you, take the plunge by all means. At the very least, it’ll be something to talk about for years to come. And all else being equal, you do deserve all the love that comes your way. Happy ventures!
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