We don't have a doctor on the island, which is no great loss, as we have a lovely bunch of hilots.
We 'developed Westerners' burned most of our equivalents, as witches, just a few centuries ago, replacing them with quacks, charlatans, and the horrors of the NHS and HMCs.
If you adhere to The Siargao Diet and keep to the kind of blameless, healthy lifestyle that I don't, then you shouldn't need a doctor anyway.
Hilot Doring is the doyenne of them all in General Luna, but nowadays, her very advanced age has made it difficult for her to make house calls, so I asked one of her acolytes, Inday, to come and fix my gammy leg. Doring once fixed a severely sprained ankle in a matter of minutes.
The problem occurred during an entirely innocent night in a Surigao City hotel, after I fell out of bed, and slammed my knee against the tiled concrete floor. It was in agonising pain, but Manny the Fixer organised me some Chinese herbal stuff, and all seemed OK after a couple of days.
Then we had the Ladies' Surfing Contest in June, with a lot of red-hot late night beach discos, in which I dutifully participated, to the full, and my knee became agony again.
Sharon the Vet gave me something to take away the pain, but I hobbled for a long time. The girls at Nine Bar vied with each other to give me lifts home (all of 150m) on their motorcycle. Then, somehow, by one of those miracles of pathology, the trouble migrated from one side of the leg to the other, and now, I'm hobbling again.
So, I called in the hilot, Inday.She massaged my leg so gently, and so expertly, with light, but knowing, finger pressure, that I can almost walk without trouble this morning.
But this time, I'm going to make sure, by following a daily course until I'm fit for the discos at the coming Fiesta weekend.
Then she turned to Shedney, massaging her back, and so on. But she didn't only do that. Somehow, she also managed to diagnose the root of her problem, a miscarriage that she suffered only a month ago, when her drunken Australian 'boyfriend' lost his temper, wrestled, and hit her.
And she did that just by massaging and feeling Shedney's hands, fingers, and finger tips, with, possibly, a little of the usual fortune-teller's solicitation skills.
This is not the kind of 'massage' that you might get from a parlour in Bangkok or London, but it is just as beneficial, and probably altogether better for you.
The massage cost me just P100 ($2). Well worth it.
Had I been pregnant, the hilot could have been midwife, and I would have popped out my brat within the hour, just like the local mothers do.
Now JC never ever did that.