SUPERSTITIONS & BELIEFS
Superstitious beliefs and customs are very much a part of Filipino culture. We
have a whole panoply of pamahiin ranging from beliefs in supernatural beings
(spirits, engkantos, witches, talismans, amulets); beliefs connected to
marriage, conception, birth, & child rearing; and beliefs linked to death &
afterlife. Many of these beliefs are considered ridiculous and silly but many
people believe it to be symbolic. For instance many of the beliefs that could be
categorized under human actions or activities are important to the lives of
people such as sleeping, eating & gift-giving. These actions feature highly in
the imagination of our people and much symbolism has been attached to them.
If you bite your tongue accidentally, someone is talking about you or thinking
It is not good to take a bath right after eating for this will cause the stomach
After bathing at night, do not sleep while your hair is wet for you will become
blind or insane.
If you dream that one of your teeth is being pulled, it means death to one
member of your family.
Have a new car blessed to avoid accidents & for greater car longevity.
Boiling egg while saying the Lord’s prayer assures a soft-boiled egg. (This is
because saying the Lord’s prayer takes about 15 sec thus assuring a soft-boiled
A broken mirror given by a beloved presages a broken engagement.
In building stairs, be sure to count the steps with oro (gold), plata (silver),
and mata (death). The last step must fall on oro or plata to insure good luck to
the house dwellers.
When building a house, the door and stairs must face the East where the sun
rises to insure good luck.
Children should not be allowed to play in the afternoon for they might bump into
unseen beings. (Of course this probably came about because parents just want
their children to take naps in the afternoon.)
When you bury dead animals under fruit trees, the fruits of these trees will be
Buying anything on New Year’s Day results in extravagance throughout the whole year.
Clearing the table while others are still eating will cause the diners not to
ever get married.
A mole on the forehead or nose means luck in business.
A lady singing while cooking will marry a widower.
A girl sitting at the head of the table becomes a spinster.
Stepping over a person while he/she is lying down removes the person’s chances
to marry. Another variation is it will cause the person not to grow. To reverse
the curse, the person who stepped over the person lying down must retrace his
If the younger sister or brother gets married before the older siblings, the
older siblings will never get married.
Getting married the day before a full moon brings prosperity to your marriage.
It is considered bad luck for siblings to marry within the same year.
During the wedding ceremony, the groom must be the first to arrive at the church
and wait for the bride, but not vice versa, otherwise it is a bad omen.
It is bad luck to see the bride in her wedding gown before the wedding.
Putting money directly on the family dining room table is bad luck.
When there’s a spider or any other insects (except roaches…eeew!) don’t kill
it because it could be re-incarnations of past relatives and is present to watch
over you and/or your family.
When you give someone a pair of shoes as a gift, ask the recipient to give the
you money (penny, nickel, dime, quarters, or anything higher) so that they can
say that they bought it off you. If that person doesn’t give you money, he’ll
step all over you. You will be taken advantage.
When you’re driving and a black cat runs across your path, spit out the window
to avoid bad luck.
On New Year’s Eve, jump up when the clock strikes midnight so that you will
On New Year’s Day, you should wear or have something around you that is either
linear or circular so that you will have a prolonged life.
Don’t sit on tables in a business office. Bad luck will come over the business.