Meet the Blind Masseurs of Cagayan de Oro

by Dave from The Longest Way Home ~ April 26th, 2010. Updated on November 30th, 2010. Published in: Travel blog » Discover World Culture » Philippines.

Blind Masseurs in Cagayan de Oro

Seeing the Unseen: in it’s truest sense

As long term readers of this journal and my exclusive RSS / Email updates will know I spent a lot of time making this travel journal accessible to those with sight impairments. Not only is there a high contrast sight impaired version of this travel blog here. But at the top of each post here there’s also a “listen now” button.

Also, each entry in my travel stories page comes with a podcast version.

“Why all this extra effort?”

I’ve spent my life fighting to survive one way or another. To get this far is still quite unfathomable in my own mind sometimes. I am now on my own on a search that’s leading me around the world. If I don’t make it, then I most certainly gave my life to a cause I believe in.

This does not make me special, for there are thousands of others around the world who have to fight everyday to survive. More so to get out.

Being blind or sight impaired in the developed world is tough enough. Now imagine it in a place that tourists with guidebooks and gps systems have a problem getting around. Yes, that’s a terrible example, but there are many other underlying problems the blind and others of disadvantage in the Philippines face everyday.

“Nonacceptance, lack of independence, freedom and social inequality to name but a few.”

To spend some time in opening the accessibility of my travel journals to a section of world society who may not get to experience travel like I do, has always been a pleasure. People have emailed me telling me my story and journey is turning into one of their favorite weekly reads … it’s good to know.

What does it deliver?

The audio and high contrast version of my journal hopefully provides some entertainment, interest, and maybe, just maybe some inspiration or  happiness for those that don’t have access to such material else where.

So imagine my delight when I met the Blind Masseurs of Cagayan de oro city in Mindanao. For the first time I was able to look, and listen on as I brought their names, faces and story to a travel article I wrote.

Where are the talking pictures?Gracia would ask as I passed through the following week from Iligan.

“Right here, ” I said pulling my internet enabled phone out from my pocket.

Right then and there I watched some faces smile as they heard their names and stories come in from the world wide internet. A concept they are all too knowledgeable about. It was an honor and a privilege to bring their stories to the world.

I also know that Lu, Grace, Andy, Ne-ne, Joel and the rest of the guys are going to listen to this as well. I can also imagine them smiling as they listen on to this message –

“Mabuhay guys! Glad to have you listening along to my talking pictures! I hope the rains come for you soon. Anyone meet a new boyfriend or girlfriend yet? ha ha ha. Keep safe, study, be what you want.

And, remember your message – Treat us like normal people!!!  But to me, you guys are very very EXTRAordinary in a very good way! Well done for accomplishing so much. You deserve to be proud of yourselves!”

If you’d like to read the full story about these guys, then you can right here on my travel stories page read more …

Small note: It doesn’t take much to put a free audio button on your website or blog. And, in doing so you could be opening up your story, travels, and world to whole new audience that will love every minute of it.

Put  aesthetics, page load, and the other ‘web’ oriented thoughts aside. And just deliver something good to people out there that might not otherwise get an opportunity. This is especially true of travel blogs, or other blogs that tell a story that people can listen too.

You bring your stories to the world, but there’s also a whole group of people who’d like to hear about it too!

You could also just create a separate page with an audio version, or offer an audio rss feed. Check out which can offer an audio feed within 5 minutes. Yet, give years of enjoyment to a lot of people.

If you do any of the above, let me know and I’ll be happy to link to your website and give you a mention.

Coming Soon:

More great food from the Philippines

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13 Great responses to Meet the Blind Masseurs of Cagayan de Oro

  1. Andi says:

    You are such a thoughtful person and I have no doubt you will make it around the world successfully!!! I am sure they are amazing massage therapists!

    • -Andi- Thank you, for your kind words. Yes, sight impaired people are generally very good at massage.

      -ciki- At least you tried, hopefully it work for you. Good luck with your site

      -Shivanand Manthalkar- I’m glad you are still reading my friend. I find it impossible to find work, I am privileged to meet those who were are told the same, but are.

      -SpunkyGirl– Thanks for your very kind words. Travel opens you mind to the plight of many. Hopefully in my own search I can highlight the plight of others too. :)

      -Nomadic Chick- I am glad you felt from it. I hope your rss button works. Try setting up another rss feed in your feed-burner account and use the odiogo service through that.

      -Ivy– I am touched you are still with me on this journey. And, I appreciate your kind words. Yes, the trend in the world today is not so good. With so many reasons and objectives as to why. You have mentioned a few. Hopefully humanity can evolve past this.

  2. ciki says:

    hey, great write up! i use to hv that button but I did not insert it correctly. it was fine on the homepage but not on the others. i need to ask cumi to see if he can put it in again! xoxo ciki

  3. I have been following you and reading all your posts, Just thought of leaving a small note here. Nice post and good read, really felt happy for them, these days getting a job is a serious problem for the handicapped in such countries.

  4. SpunkyGirl says:

    You truly amaze me. You think and do things that have never occurred to me. I think it’s wonderful that you’ve made your blog accessible to the sight-impaired.
    Keep up the great work, you’re an inspiration :)


  5. Dave, what a touching story. And you’re right, it doesn’t take much to add that button. I’ll try to work on the audio rss feed. :)

  6. Ivy says:

    I’ve always find your blog one of the best i have ever visited, cause you are considering everything objective and like a human should do. Yeah, there are a lot of living creatures that haven’t got the luck we have in western society. And are we aware of that? No, not at all … we continue to kill animals, to demolish all what is left of our earth, to kill each other … for money and power!! Brilliant blog. : )

  7. Krista says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I love your care and consideration for your masseur friends, especially taking that extra step to ensure they feel welcome at your blog. I’m going to look into doing this right away. Thank you for opening my eyes to something good I didn’t even know was possible. I just found your blog today and as I’ve read I just want to reach over and give you a big hug, like you’re one of my brothers. I hope you find the home you long for, with people who love you just for you, in a place that brings you joy and peace.

  8. aldam says:

    the article is touching. recently, more blind people in the philippines are making a living for being masseurs.

  9. Hi there!

    I’m also a blind masseur and a blogger too! All the things you and the people in the comment section have said are true. We are always looking for the Western system of accessibility for the blind but unfortunately, we’re not included in the Philippine government’s priorities right now. That’s why (Massage) is the number one source of income for us. .001 percent of blind community in our country is in the call center field however, but still, most of us here are still unaware that we can still have jobs other than massage.

    If you went to Manila, you would see that most of the VI’s (Visually impaired) people go to school or work in a company.

  10. leto 2011 says:

    Appreciate you for taking the occasion to approach this subject. I’m happy I stumbled upon your webpage on this matter. I’m doing analysis on this field right now and this assisted me a lot. Keep up the helpful work.