“Espiritista,” an unwanted gift

A true story of Alice Cabaltera, a spirit medium, and witch possessed by demons who gave her powers

Gabriel Cabaltera was six years old and would often wake up at 3 am for unknown reasons. Frightened, she would look for her mother but at times see her standing at the rooftop. She was veiled in a blanket while holding a lit candle from the inside, yet the cloth would not burn.


Her mother Alice was only 4 years old when she was asked by her Lelang (grandmother) to swallow an anting-anting, in the form of a small stone. When Alice’s mother asked her who she was talking to, the young Alice said it was her Lelang. Stunned, her mother said, “Don’t you remember? Lelang died the other day.” Everyone freaked out.

The apparition of Lelang was a formal transfer of powers from Gabriel’s grandmother to Alice. Called pagsasalin, Gabriel’s mother inherited the ability to communicate with the dead or known as a Katalonan which is similar to a Babaylan.

Generational gift or curse?

When Alice turned 17, she suffered depression and would levitate uncontrollably. Doctors weren’t able to help her. She was brought to an albularyo who said, Alice is possessed by demons. She eventually embraced the spirts and became a medium.

She would often be awakened by dark clouds and images hovering at night. Alice received “gifts” and the spirits taught her how to make spells or “kulam.” She used her powers as a mangkukulam and espiritista to help others. However, jealousy led her to curse and kill people. Out of guilt, she joined a church choir.

→ Testimony of a high-rank Satanist John Ramirez turned preacher.

The exorcism of Alice

Parish priest Father Jeffrey Quintela is a recognized Exorcist of the Diocese today but in 2014, the exorcism of Alice would be his first. In one of their choir meetings, he asked Alice to be the head of a project. He then showed a Benedictine cross. He asked Alice to hold the crucifix but she dropped it because it was iron-hot. Alice’s voice suddenly changed and demonic manifestation began to show.

Father Quintela asked Alice to immediately undergo an exorcism. When she came the next day, she struggled to get inside the church. As soon as she was pinned down, the priest began casting demons out. She uttered several names and one of them was Lucifer. Witnesses said they saw black smoke coming out from her. Alice also appeared to be removing a mask and veil as she vomited the familiar spirits.

Demons that stayed

After the exorcism rites, Alice admits that life just got a whole lot harder. Occasionally, demons still torment her “but she got the hang of it,” says Gabriel her daughter. Gabriel herself occasionally experiences demonic attacks. “Sometimes I feel a stray wind,” she says. “Or my head begins to ache and I have a hard time breathing. That’s when I use blessed salt and oil.” (Manila Bulletin)

There is power in the name of Jesus

In the Bible, Jewish exorcists invoked the name of Jesus to cast out demons (Acts 19:14) non-believers were able to cast out demons. Ironically, even Satanists are able to cast “other” demons out, but in the name of Satan. Only by the power of the “true” Jesus can set anyone free even without Holy water (bendicion), salt, much less a cross that bears a “crucified Christ” who has already risen. The Bible says that if we submit ourselves to God and resist the devil, it will flee (James 4:7).

The true story of Clarita Villanueva, the first documented exorcism in the Philippines.

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