Rub in the name of love
POGI FROM A PARALLEL UNIVERSE - RJ Ledesma () - July 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Ah, true love. It can be bottled, rubbed on, ingested, sprayed, and sold right outside Quiapo church. But if you really want true love to work, you will need the help of your bodily excretions.

That is according to full-time movie and TV producer, all-around mystic and former construction worker Ruel Ruiz. Ruiz grew up in his own version of Hogwarts: his late lolo, a Qabbalist of French descent, was the divino encantador (divine charmer) of an organization of well-known metaphysicians (or in a local context, albularyos) slash mystics headed by the Salvador del Mundo (Rescuers of the World). Back in the early 1930s, this group of metaphysicians conducted hermetic and herb-based healing and kulam (spells), cured people of sapi (possession) and performed other rituals that will have you sleeping with the lights on after you’ve heard about them. Unfortunately, all that remains of their legacy are several volumes of Babel-like texts that were written in a jumble of Aramaic, Latin and number codes.

Taking up the mantle of his lolo, Ruiz started studying all these books at the age of eight. Along with the insights he gained from his relatives, Ruiz developed his own system of herbal medicine. Or, more specifically, for the creation of a gayuma (love potion). And his expertise has been putting a big, stupid ear-to-ear grin on the faces of thousands of former No Girlfriends Since Birth (NGSBs) across these islands.

So how exactly does he educate NGSBs on how to formulate love? With a pinch of iron, a blade of grass, a slice of toenail clippings, and a dollop of kulangot.


PHILIPPINE STAR: For the sake of my gayuma-addled three female readers, just what exactly is a gayuma? And does the Department of Health and the Population Commission know what you are doing?

RUEL RUIZ: A gayuma is a pang-halina (something that entices you), a pampa-amo (makes you subservient), a pampa-lubag loog (makes you feel consoled) or a pampa-addict (makes you addicted). It is a potion composed of herbs and ingredients that will make someone fall in love with you to the point of addiction. When somebody is under the influence of a gayuma, he or she will always look for you. 

Wow. So you can make yourself your own illegal substance.

But you also mix it with certain liquids from the body. It can be tears or sweat or…

I get the picture. I actually feel some bodily fluids traveling out of my stomach and into my mouth right now. How exactly did you become an expert in gayumas? Did you think it would help you launch a lucrative career in the fields of reproductive health or animal husbandry or the adult film industry?

Gayumas are actually part of the traditions and cultures of the Pinoy with regard to using herbs as medicine. But on top of healing, our ancestors also made formulations for attracting people so that their lovers wouldn’t leave them or so that they could attract lovers. As far as my own background is concerned, the metaphysicians left a lot of books on herbology that I studied. For example, I studied plants like niyog (coconut) and how its properties affect the mind, body and spirit. In the process, I discovered that certain herbs are not only for health, but also for love and success. 

That’s my rule to success: good credit standing, clean underwear, and a pair of coconuts. Does being a gayuma expert require a lot of self-experimentation? Does this mean that you are more in love yourself right now? I can’t tell by the state of your forearms.

(Laughs) I believe that anything that you do must be tested on yourself first. When I first tried the gayuma on myself, I gradually became very vain. I thought I was so gorgeous and guwapo. But that was just me. (Laughs)

I’m sure you and your full-length mirror have a lot of stories to tell. Tell me, if you are such an expert on gayumas, does that mean that your wife is very, very much in love with you?

(Laughs) There’s a problem there because I don’t think my gayuma works with my wife. I met my wife through my mother-in-law, who was my close friend even before I met my wife. Until now, my mother-in-law is super selosa and super kulit, she’s the one always asking my wife about my whereabouts. My mother-in-law is also into the paranormal, so maybe she used the gayuma on me.

Ah, the formula for the start of a beautiful and psychologically troubling relationship.


How exactly does a gayuma work? Legions of NGSBs, pick-up artists and dirty old men (DOMs) demand to know.  

A gayuma works in three ways. First, the gayuma’s chemical composition works on our brain and nervous system. Second, the gayuma works on the mental and emotional aspect of the person. Third, the attributes of a specific plant used in the gayuma work on the human body. Note that when concocting a gayuma, the formulations have to be correct and complete or else the gayuma will not perform its intended function. For example, if the gayuma is not mixed correctly, then the person who receives the gayuma will not look for you out of love, but merely look for you.

That sounds just like my yaya. So is it difficult to make a gayuma? Do I need some measuring cups? Some vetsin (MSG)? Some pre-selected bodily fluid?

Making a gayuma is just like cooking. It’s not like sinigang where you just throw all the ingredients into the mix. There is a system. First is the mineral, which is the base of the gayuma, then the plant, and then finally the animal.

This was not how they taught me about food groups in grade school.

Each of these ingredients must be apportioned properly. Sometimes a gayuma requires one part mineral to three parts plant to three parts animal and then one part bodily fluid.

And hopefully it is a bodily fluid that will not require an act of contrition. Are there any exotic ingredients required for a gayuma? Like Himalayan herbs? Or eye of newt? Or even exotic bodily fluids?

There are some people who read foreign books on love potions that require ingredients like dragon’s blood or dove’s ink. But, based on my research, these plants with exotic names also have scientific names and classifications and if you check them carefully, you will find out that they are also available in the country. We also have alternatives to these ingredients — if we can find the closest related group of plants and animals, we can use that as well.

So for the dragon’s blood, I guess we just drain the blood of a kotong cop. For the benefit of future Harry Potters and soon-to-be felons, run me through the creation of a typical gayuma. How do we make a gayuma and what would be their typical effects on the intended target?

Most gayumas are pampa-amo (make you subservient). And the lowest form of this will make you relax or pampa-kalma (calming). The second is to entice or a pampa-akit (to make you more attractive) or a pampa-gana (gives you more of an, um, appetite). And the most potent form of this type of gayuma is when you are sunud-sunuran (blindly following), so much so that if he or she asks you to jump off a building, you wouldn’t hesitate to do it.

Thank God we just live on the ground floor.

From the garden-variety gayuma up to the jumping-off-the-building variety gayuma, there is always a base ingredient — which is the mineral. The mineral is the “battery” of the potion. Let’s say you want to “arouse” a person, the “battery” is iron phosphate — just like the iron phosphate you find in multivitamins.

So that’s why my wife is stocking up on them. I just thought that she was a health buff.

(You wish – RJ’s wife)

Iron phosphate is a carrier of oxygen into our system. The more oxygen you have in your system, the more efficacious the gayuma. Meanwhile, the plant ingredient is reed canary grass or the flowering portion of the taheebo. Finally, the animal ingredient is the kuko (nails) of the dove.

Hmm, all the ingredients seem reasonably accessible. Now all we have to do is find out is where doves like to cut their nails.

What does the kuko of the dove do? This serves as an irritant for the genitals of the target.

I see. Well, the only thing from a dove that’s coming near my genitals is a bar of soap.

The purpose of the taheebo is to get you more excitable. However, the taheebo might only excite the brain or increase the adrenaline. To make sure the gayuma makes the target more libidinous is the animal ingredient. But to make sure that the targets feels libidinous towards you, you have to add some of your bodily fluids to the formulation.

I never realized my bodily fluids could be so attractive.

There are three forms of gayumas. One that is aerial that you can blow towards your intended target; another form of gayuma is one that you need to rub on certain parts of the target’s body; and the last form is one that can be drunk by the target. These gayumas are all different and their application depends on your diskarte (strategy).

Hmmm, I’m not quite sure what type of diskarte you can use with any of these three gayumas that will not get you arrested.

For example, if you don’t know the person, I doubt that you will be able to get the person to drink the gayuma upon meeting them. So you will need to use the gayuma rub or balm.

So you “accidentally” rub the balm on the target without them knowing? (My three female readers, you have been forewarned: Please wear a chain mail suit of armor the next time you wade through crowded areas.)

We actually experimented on that with one of my last few potion-making students in Cebu. We prepared a gayuma and initially tried it on ourselves. Ayun, it hit us and made us quite ahem — amorous towards each other, especially since there was no one else in the room. Panget (That was ugly), no? Before we could try anything on each other, we went to a bar and tried it out with the patrons and ayun

Panget pa rin (Still ugly)? Well, I’m sure your wife breathed a sigh of relief that nothing happened between you and your female student.

This student was a guy (Laughs).

(RJ suddenly feels his gonads retract into his intestines.)

(Laughs) Don’t worry. (Ruel casually tries to sling his arm around RJ’s neck.)

(Whimpers) Um, okay, Ruel, I think we can end this interview now. (RJ calls his yaya on cell phone): Yaya, uwi na ako. (I am going home now). I feel really dirty. Please prepare my bath. And for the base ingredient of my bath, please use muriatic acid.

* * *

For comments, suggestions or pre-mixed bodily fluids, please text PM POGI <text message> to 2948 for Globe, Smart and Sub subscribers. Or e-mail or visit

Ruel’s book Potions, Gayumas ATBP, published by Psicom, will be available in bookstores next month. You can also e-mail Ruel at

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