At 86 years old, Consing Achay is the only person still practising bulo-bulo - a technique to remove evil spirits. Her heavily-lined face reflects the ancient history of her art. Murmuring a special language, she adds a small stone to a glass of water then moves it around her patient’s body, blowing air into it through a bamboo straw.
The water gradually becomes cloudy - apparently that is the sickness coming out. She then repeats the ritual, continuing until the water stays clear - which took three attempts in my case, making me wonder just how many bad spirits had been attacking me recently.
Consing is not quite what I imagined a witch to be. She is devoutly Catholic and sees no contradiction between her religious faith and her traditional spells.
In fact, she says she received her powers from the Christ child in a dream and she does a quick sign of the cross before starting each treatment. She does have a black cat, but it did not seem to have an essential role in the proceedings - it fell asleep behind my chair during the treatment - and her consultations are held in a small room behind her son’s karaoke bar.