7 Ways To Avoid Bad Luck For The 16th Century Filipino

7 Ways To Avoid Bad Luck For The 16th Century Filipino

The Halloween and Undas season has just ended and that season’s always full of superstitions. For example, there’s an old tradition of lighting a candle in front of your house to guide souls when they visit their old home. It kind of makes you wonder about the history of superstitions and how they change over time. We already know some Filipino superstitious beliefs practiced today, like how you’re not supposed to take a bath on Fridays because it’s bad luck, but what were the superstitious beliefs of Filipinos hundreds of years before?

It’s a good thing Ambeth Ocampo wrote about this in his article about the Boxer Codex. No, it’s not a catalogue for ancient undergarments. It’s actually a Spanish manuscript that talked about different people from South East Asia and it has awesome illustrations by an unknown Chinese artist. (You can actually check it out in the Ayala Museum or at the National Museum.) It featured different Philippine peoples like the Tagalogs, Bisayans, and Cagayanos, and one of the things it talked about were local superstitions at that time.

So, how did our Filipino ancestors ward off bad luck?  To give you an idea of how the 16th Century Filipino avoided misfortune and tried to stay on the good side of luck, read on.

7 Ways To Avoid Bad Luck For The 16th Century Filipino

7. Never eat in the rice paddies.

According to early superstition, you shouldn’t eat in places where rice is planted. You’ll either die or go mad. No explanations as to why, though. Today, I guess it’s all rice, este, alright.

7 Ways To Avoid Bad Luck For The 16th Century Filipino

(Original rice paddy picture by Ferdinand Garrido)

6. Turn around if someone sneezes, if you hear a lizard clucking, or if a snake crosses your path.

If you’re walking, and one of these three things happen, turn around, or wait a while. Filipinos used to believe it was a sign from above which meant it wasn’t God’s will for them to continue; if they did, something bad would happen. 

Today, it actually still makes sense. You can turn around just to avoid the flu, or because you’re afraid of lizards, or maybe because A SNAKE JUST PASSED IN FRONT OF YOU. (which is ahas-sle.)

7 Ways To Avoid Bad Luck For The 16th Century Filipino

 

 

5. When it’s raining and the sun is shining, hide.

According to the Boxer Codex, rain and sunshine didn’t mean a tikbalang wedding. If it was raining and the sun was shining and a bit reddish, early Filipinos believed it was a sign that the anitos have united to wage war on the mortals. Women and children weren’t allowed outside. 

7 Ways To Avoid Bad Luck For The 16th Century Filipino

(Photo credits: Sam Cua)

 

4. Make wishes to the New Moon. 

For early Filipinos, the New Moon wasn’t just a novel a lot of people make fun of. It was a chance to make wishes. The first time it appears, you’re supposed to adore it and then make your wish, like maybe wish you’ll have a better love story than Twilight.

Wait, no, that’s too easy. 

7 Ways To Avoid Bad Luck For The 16th Century Filipino

 

3. Crocodiles are friends, not food.

If you happen to be a Filipino in the 16th century and you’re at the river, either on a boat or just washing clothes or something, pray to the crocodile. Early Filipinos prayed to the crocodile, asking it to go to the deep and not to harm them in any way since they’re not the enemies of the crocodile.

And then they pray that the crocodile would harm their enemies.

I guess technically that’s applying the advice that you should pray for your enemies.

7 Ways To Avoid Bad Luck For The 16th Century Filipino

2. No visits to the barber while your wife’s pregnant.

Husbands weren’t allowed to cut their hair while their wife was pregnant. If they did, the baby would come out bald and hairless. 

If we still apply this today in our overpopulated country, half of the country would only get annual haircuts.

7 Ways To Avoid Bad Luck For The 16th Century Filipino

(Photo Credits: Heart 2 Heart Online)

 

1. Don’t eat twin bananas when you’re pregnant.  

Pregnant ladies were discouraged from eating twin bananas, or any kind of food that’s “two in one”, or any kind of food that’s “two in one”, or else they’ll give birth to twins, which was considered a great insult back then.

Today in the Philippines it’s perfectly fine to have twins. And triplets are more awesome. Just don’t go around eating 3-in-1 coffee powder when you’re pregnant.

7 Ways To Avoid Bad Luck For The 16th Century Filipino

 

So there’s 7 Ways To Avoid Bad Luck For The 16th Century Filipino!

Got any weird Filipino superstitions to share? Share them in the comments section below!

Source:

Ocampo, A. (2012). “The Boxer Codex” In Prehistoric Philippines. Mandaluyong City: Anvil Publishing.

7 Ways To Avoid Bad Luck For The 16th Century Filipino






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