“Tabi-tabi po.” these words are usually uttered especially on places where people believe there are ghosts or supernatural creatures that are living. Here in the Philippines, tabi-tabi po is a way of saying excuse me when going or entering places that feels creepy or gives you chills. Awooooooooo! Enough of creepiness and eerie feelings, let us find out where did superstitious beliefs originate and why we ended up believing it.
Filipinos and Superstitions
Filipinos of all ages are aware of the superstitious beliefs that our ancestors have set us. Those beliefs are passed from generation to generation that makes it somehow different from the original rule of pamahiin. We Filipinos are known for adding color and spices to make something our own as well as to make something suitable to the lifestyle of this generation. Pamahiin from our lolo’s and lola are still alive up to this day and you might still do and believe some of it.
You might have heard some of the Pinoy pamahiin like if a bride fits her wedding dress before the day of the ceremony she might die, if a black cat appears in front of you, something bad will happen, or if your sibling planned to marry this year, you cannot be married at the same year because it will become Sukob and misfortunes will come to the family. People might still engage themselves to these superstitious beliefs. But the question is, do Filipinos still believe or not to pamahiin even nowadays?
Sukob, a film starring Kris Aquino derived from the popular superstitious belief
The Philippines, having been colonized by many countries before have been influenced by different cultures and traditions in which superstitious beliefs have began to transmit via oral, written, and different practices. The mixed beliefs from Indians, Chinese, Malays, and Arabs have brought us to what we have believed from up to this day. We Filipinos are known to be very superstitious people especially the old ones wherein we have gotten the beliefs that we believed to. Filipinos are known in believing in miracles and luck that is why they cling to some Filipino pamahiin even up to this day.
Let us know some of the Filipino Pamahiin that most of us still believe up to this day, with some of the AB Communication students from University of the East.
1.) If a glass is broken unintentionally, something bad will happen to you
MJ Dimalanta, 20 years old.
MJ shared about the superstitious belief that if a glass is broken unintentionally, something bad will happen to you, but he added that in able to break the bad chain, you should also break a glass afterwards intentionally to contrast the bad luck. He experienced this belief last new year when he had broken a glass unintentionally while washing the dishes. The next day, his father got sick and brought to the hospital.
“ Sabi ng ka-boardmate ko kelangan ko daw magbasag para makontra yung malas. Ayun after ko magbasag, naging okay na si Papa”
Broken glasses beliefs are also used on some movies or TV shows when there is something bad that will happen, like if there is an accident and a glass had been broken, we are aware that on a scene like that, it seems like there is an unfortunate thing or accident that will happen to someone.
2.) It is bad to sweep the floor at night because you will also sweep the good-luck.
Glenda V. Montehermoso, 20 years old.
“Bawal magwalis sa gabi sabi ni mama, pero kami naman nasanay naman kami magwalis sa gabi. Wala naman nangyayaring masama after kaya hindi ako naniniwala.”
Glenda has known this superstitious belief since she was a child. Her mother, Mrs. Gloria Montehermoso really does not sweep the floor at night because she believes that it might bring bad luck to their house. She obeys her mother, but for Glenda that belief is not true.
“Hindi kami naniniwala magkakapatid pero hindi naman talaga ako nagwawalis sa gabi. Si mama lang talaga mapaniwala sa pamahiin.”
Filipinos believe in this superstition that if you sweep the floor at night you will also sweep away the wealth of the house and the family and it will bring bad luck to the house. But up to this day, it is still not proven to be true and it is really just all in the mind.
3.) If you dream of losing your tooth, a family member will die.
4.) If you keep a certain thing that is used during the wake, a misfortune will happen.
Chelsy Mhy Festejo and Christian Jasper San Miguel, 20 years old.
Chelsy Mhy Festejo or Ceecee as her friends calls her, shared that she somehow believes in superstition because of the experience of her mother dreaming about losing her tooth several times and ending up losing her father and her husband.
“Si mama laging nananaginip na natatanggal yung ipin nya. Medyo naniniwala ako dun kasi nung una, si lolo nawala tas pangalawa si Papa”
When asked about what superstitious belief he knows and believes at, Jasper said that he believes in the superstition that if you keep a certain thing whether it is a food, utensil, or other things that is used during the wake, a misfortune will happen to you.
“Kung ano yung ginamit mo nung burol o habang burol wag mo na syang gagamitin pagkatapos”
Jasper added that there is a tendency that another family member will die or a bad luck will happen if you still used a certain thing after the wake.
“ Yung tito ko nagtabi sya ng gamit galing sa burol tas nasa bahay lang nila, after two years namatay yung anak nya”
With the experience of his uncle, Jasper believed that this certain superstition is real.
5.) Pagpag after a funeral wake
Marina Labastida, 19 years old
“Kapag umattend ka ng funeral, kelangan mag pagpag ka”
Marina, also called as Inah by her friends believes in Pagpag wherein after attending a funeral wake, you should not go directly to your house. Instead, go to somewhere else like a convenience store just to leave any bad elements or spirit that is said to follow you during the wake.
“ Sa tingin ko yes totoo yun at ginagawa ko yun eh kasi minsan mararamdaman mo may malamig sa likod mo matatakot ka nalang.”
Pagpag has been popular to many Filipinos because they believe that the soul of the dead might follow you at home if you do not go somewhere else. This superstitious belief has been carried out through the film, Pagpag: Siyam na Buhay directed by Frasco Mortiz and released last December 25, 2013 earning a box office of PHP 240.1 Trillion.
Pagpag, a 2013 MMFF Entry tackling about the popular Pinoy pamahiin
Superstitious Belief: Do we have to believe?
According to Neil Lacson, an Anthropologist, people started to believe about superstitions because of the animists that thinks that there are good and bad elements in this world. This documentary of I Juander about Pamahiin tackles about the superstitious beliefs of Filipinos including examples and statements from Mr. Lacson.
Neil Lacson, Anthropologist
Filipinos are surrounded with different superstitious beliefs and we cannot deny the fact that it is really a part of our day to day life. But in the end, it is up to us whether to believe or not to believe on these superstitions. As what some will say, nothing bad will happen if you try to believe in it. As long as you know that it will not harm you and will not cause something bad to you, involving yourself with beliefs can be a matter of luck or no luck at all.
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About the Author:
Hernandez, Kristalyn M.
She is a happy and optimistic person who dreams to be a part of the entertainment industry someday. She loves listening to music and going out with her loved ones and friends. She is afraid to be left alone, yet she finds peace being with herself. Communication is very important to her because she believes that when you open up your thoughts and emotions to someone, it makes them feel comfortable to you and will ease up everything that is getting to their mind. For her, life is like a roller coaster. It is full of ups and downs so we need to enjoy it and live our life to the fullest.