The Philippines has a very rich and colorful history, we have a unique culture that only exists in some parts of our country and we have our own traditions to thank our ancestors for.
There are a number of different beliefs and practices that play an important role in our culture and every Filipino person’s day-to-day life.
Some of these beliefs are said to bring either good or bad fortune.
We, Filipinos, are a good example of those who believe in “pamahiin.” We have it in our blood, passed on to us by our grandparents, parents and even by people we meet outside of our families.
Some of these superstitious beliefs might be strange, weird, and even unbelievable because they are not based on science but by our ancestor’s history and culture. However, many believe in these since they oftentimes serve as a warning for possible dangers that may harm us.
As we celebrate the 123rd Independence Day in the Philippines, let us explore some of the superstitions that shaped our beliefs and practices today.
You may already know these from your family’s customs but we have to agree that these practices are just a few that tell how unique Filipinos are, and how our culture gives us the freedom to have our own beliefs.
Here are 12 of the most famous superstitions in the Philippines that still exist today.
SWEEPING AT NIGHT IS ‘MALAS’
Can you relate to this one? This takes the most popular belief seat in Filipino traditions our lolo and lola told us when we were young — not to sweep the floor at night.
It doesn’t matter how dirty your floor is or if you have dirt on the sala because you forgot to take off your shoes, do not sweep the floor because it’s ‘malas’ or unlucky.
Some say that when you sweep the floor at night, all fortune will also be swept outside of the house instead of coming inside the house.
WHEN YOU BITE YOUR TONGUE, SOMEONE IS THINKING OF YOU
If you accidentally bite your tongue, this means someone can’t get you off their minds.
Although the idea of someone might be thinking of you is somewhat sweet, the thought of having them think of you in a bad way is also disturbing.
When you bite your tongue, it is said that you have to choose a number from 1 to 26 and determine its corresponding letter from the alphabet. The first person that pops into your head whose name starts with that letter means that the person just thought about you and you might want to reach them if you haven’t been talking for a long time.
Make sure to have your mouth and teeth clean at GAOC because whether you bite your tongue or not, it’s important to pay attention to your oral health.
SERVE PANCIT AT CELEBRATIONS, ESPECIALLY BIRTHDAYS
An ancient tradition that we share with the Chinese involves having noodles whenever there’s a special celebration.
During birthdays, noodles are prepared to symbolize long life. It is believed that the longer the noodles, the bigger the wish for long life.
Here in the Philippines, instead of having a cake, many might be enjoying their birthday noodles or “pancit”.
This ever-present dish at Filipino gatherings may be a joke to some, but it remains a staple at nearly every birthday feast or barangay fiesta.
Celebrate your birthdays or special occasions together with your family or friends with a Pinoy Pancit recipe at Mesa, SM Seaside City Cebu.
BE CAREFUL WHEN SHOWING FONDNESS OVER BABIES
It’s difficult to restrain from playing with cute babies or complimenting their parents on their child’s adorable features, but doing so in the Philippines is believed to be a potential cause of illness.
Referred to as either “usog” or “bati”, this superstition dates back to our ancestors’ time.
When a person with strong energy greets a child, the child may soon after suffer from an unexplainable discomfort.
This is why older people know to say “pwera usog” in tagalog or “purya buyag” in bisaya when showing fondness over children.
These short lines are meant to counter any “usog” that may bring your children.
To show your appreciation to your baby cousins or your nieces and nephews, shop for baby clothes instead at Gingersnaps and give it to them as a gift.
BLAME YOUR MISSING THINGS ON ELVES
Have you ever tried leaving your glasses on a table, then couldn’t find it there moments later but after a while, it just reappears again on the same spot you were looking for it?
When this happens, we Filipinos usually blame it on playful elves or “duwendes”.
While these mystical creatures are also part of Philippine folklore, these mischievous yet little creatures are believed to be mostly harmless which is another bedtime story grandparents tell their grandchildren.
Here’s a pro tip, stop blaming the elves! To avoid your personal and valuable items getting lost, buy an organizer from The SM Store and never lose your stuff again.
THE NUMBER OF STEPS OF STAIRCASES AT HOME SHOULD NOT BE DIVISIBLE BY THREE
Filipinos believe in many traditions when constructing or buying a new home. There are a number of pre-construction and house blessing traditions that Filipinos practice until today to invite good luck.
But one particular area of the house that Filipinos are very particular of is the staircase. It should always end with “oro” or “plata” when chanting “oro, plata, mata” which translates to gold, silver, and death.
Many Filipinos will go to great lengths to avoid ending in “mata,” which is said to bring bad luck or misfortune to the house and the people who live in it. Meanwhile, when ending with “oro” or “plata,” it is said to bring success and fortune.
You know what else can keep your home inviting? Upgrade your decorations at home and hang a bold painting around your staircase from Our Home.
INCLUDE MONEY WHEN GIVING WALLET OR BAG AS A GIFT
Filipinos love giving gifts even on regular days. But Filipinos never forget to consider superstitious beliefs when doing this.
In the Philippines, when someone gives a wallet as a gift, it should always have money in it.
This belief is said to ensure financial success for the receiver. Even just a few coins or paper bills inside the wallet is enough to give good fortune.
Having a wallet or bag is essential to keep our money or things in one place, get these from Penshoppe and just remember to add some coins or paper bills before using them or giving them to someone.
AN ITCH ON YOUR PALM MEANS INCOMING WEALTH
Have your palms itched lately? Some would take this as a good sign.
Regardless if it’s because of an insect bite or dirty hands, Filipinos believe a good amount of money will come in the coming days if palms itch.
But just because Filipinos believe this superstition, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wash your hands. However, the belief is not applicable when someone forcibly scratches their palm to attract money. So stop scratching your palm for no reason!
Train your kids or young cousins to save money early and buy a cute coin bank from Toy Kingdom to keep their savings safe.
DON’T GIVE SOMEONE A PAIR OF SHOES OR THE PERSON WILL WALK AWAY FROM YOU
Another gift idea that we all consider when giving gifts are shoes, because of their practicality.
But Filipinos believe that when giving someone shoes, the shoes represent a message that the person who receives it will either walk away from you or walk over you.
Your bad luck increases more if you give the person a particularly expensive pair of shoes.
To avoid bad luck, the person is supposed to give you a small amount of money to prevent any rifts in your relationship.
In relation to this belief, if you don’t like the idea of someone leaving you, you might want to give them a belt — to “tighten” your relationship available at Onesimus.
DON’T POINT YOUR FINGER AT TREES AT NIGHT
Although pointing out of nowhere is considered a bad manner to some, for Filipinos pointing at night or at trees is bad luck.
Our ancestors believe that trees have spirits and souls so if you mistakenly point your finger at night or at trees during the dark, you have to bite your finger to avoid a series of bad luck coming your way.
JUMPING ON NEW YEAR’S EVE
We really don’t know where this tradition originated but a lot of people practice jumping on New Year’s Eve until today. Grandparents encourage young children to jump on New Year’s Eve to grow taller.
Aside from lighting fireworks to scare the bad spirits on New Year’s Eve, Filipinos jump to welcome a greater and higher year ahead, or some just want to grow a few more inches to become taller.
OPENING AN UMBRELLA INDOORS
Our elders have warned us since we were young not to open umbrellas indoors as it will give you bad luck.
This superstitious belief of Filipinos symbolizes blocking the good luck by using the umbrella as a shield from good luck. It is said that our guardians or good spirits inside our homes become offended when we open umbrellas inside of the house.
Fun fact about this superstition is that it is linked to the ancient Egyptians who used papyrus umbrellas to shade nobility from the sun. Because the umbrellas of that time were made to mimic the goddess of the sky, shade from an umbrella was considered sacred.
We can’t use our umbrellas indoors but we should always carry an umbrella with us to avoid a bad day outside our homes and protect us from rain or shine. How about this cute umbrella from The Baby Company?
How many of these superstitions do you still practice today? Now that we reviewed our Filipino superstitious beliefs and practices that keeps us away from bad luck, we remember these beliefs that we grew up with as we celebrate our Philippine Independence, let’s share a special meal with our families and friends.
For a #SafeMallingAtSM experience, don’t forget to bring your own alcohol, maintain social distance and make sure to wear your face mask & full face shield at all times!
Celebrate Independence Day everyday at SM Seaside City Cebu and be free to choose whatever item you wish to have with great deals and promos! Don’t forget to also follow SM Seaside City Cebu (Official) on Facebook and @smseasidecitycebu on Instagram to get the latest updates on exclusive deals and more!