Home » Columns » Tsismis » Filipino superstitions

Filipino superstitions

The Filipino culture, as one writer puts it in an article on Filipino American Lifestyle, is rich with superstitions about anything and everything.

Excerpts from the article:
Filipino Americans cannot escape this reality as adept to assimilating to a new environment as we are. Superstition is practically interwoven into our consciousness whether we like it or not. Growing up, it was just as important to learn not to prop my chin on my hand as to learn proper table manners. Why? Because supposedly this action is akin to awaiting bad luck to happen. There were others, such as do not sing while you are cooking or you will end up widowed (at least that is the version I heard), or do not move around changing places in the table while eating, you will change husbands, or in other words divorce and marry a number of times. The latter a no-no in Filipino culture since most Filipinos still look down upon divorce. One of my favorite and least understood is the one when you open an umbrella indoors, a centipede (which I assume is the equivalent of an alupihan) will fall down from the ceiling.

A few weeks ago we attended a baptism and even the Filipino priest made mention of that strange superstition of how the parents and the newly christened child should rush out of the church ahead of the others. I am still befuddled about the whole significance of this action, but I do remember my mom urging us out of the church with our firstborn on his baptism. We ran like mad for the door leaving our puzzled friends behind.

Most of these seem laughable and founded on the most ludicrous notions, but I recently found out that their roots were at least interesting. According to Dr. Sonia M. Zaide, author of “The Philippines: A Unique Nation, one country that was very influential on Filipinos superstitions was India. She made mention of a few such superstitions: 1) as mentioned above though a variation, a maiden who sings while cooking will marry a widower, 2) a pregnant lady eating twin bananas will give birth to twins, and 3) (the most commonly heard) when one dreams of teeth falling out that means a loved one will die.
I have no doubt that China would be another culture that greatly added to the list of Filipino superstitions. Remember wearing polka dots and filling up your pockets with coins during the New Year? I also met a Peruvian doctor a while back who was horrified to see me dumping my purse on the floor. “Pick it up, ” she exclaimed. “Or you’ll go poor!”
For a minute there, I thought I heard my mom uttering those prophetic warnings. Since Peru is miles away from the Philippines, I therefore concluded that this superstition is Spanish in origin, our common
conquering denominator. (cfm/filipino_American)
These “prayers” drafted by Jerome Soldevilla of Cagayan de Oro City were publicized in the Philippines at the height of the NBN ZTE multi-million-dollar deal early this year. This may well be applicable today as more reports of new “mining deals” with ZTE are being revealed.

Aba naman Gloria
Puno ka na ng grasya.
Ang yaman ng bansa
ay sumasaiyo na.
Sa husay ni Garci
naging pekeng pangulo ka!
Bukod kang mandaraya
sa babaeng lahat,
pinagpala ring mangurakot
asawa mo’t mga anak
kaya’t wala nang natira
sa AMEN!

From: Chito Gaza
The Democratic City of Quezon

ZTE Father, who is in China
hakot by thy name,
thy kickback come,
thy wealth be done in Wack-Wack
as it is in Comelec.
Give me this day my daily bribe
and conceal all mys sins
as I conceal all those who sin
along with me
and if I am led into temptation,
deliver me from rallyists,
criticism and media
forever and ever

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.