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Greetings / Philippines / Superstitious

12 Crazy Beliefs & Customs from The Philippines

1. Philippine Belief: Make a child smarter

A child will become smarter if he inserts a miracle leaf (kataka-taka) plant between his books that he uses for his studies.

2. Philippine dining custom: Kamayan

There is one trait that Filipinos happy to do and that is by eating without spoon and fork or natively term as “Kamayan” (eating using bare hands). This custom usually relates more to the poor because it mirrors poverty but can be practiced by whatever social status one has.

3. Philippine gesture custom: Pointing lips

Filipinos also has their own cultural quirks and one of it is by pointing with one’s lips. This kind of mannerism can be annoying if you’re not familiar with it. When you’re asking for something or looking for someone, then they would answer you back by pointing their lips to direct you to what you’re looking for.

4. Philippines customs on love and dating

Is there a way of finding out how your future partner will look like?

You don’t have to sleep to find out how the man or woman of your dreams will look like instead, wake up at exactly 12 midnight, hold a lighted candle and face the mirror. At first, the image will be blurry but after a few minutes, you will see the face of your lifetime partner.

Are you itching to go on that dream vacation just before you tie the knot?

You might as well wait for your honeymoon. Engaged couples are prone to accidents and should not travel before their wedding day.

Thinking about whether your pet dog or cute little toddler should bring the rings during the wedding?

Better ask one of the groom’s men to hold your precious marriage symbols or tie them tightly on their little white pillows. Dropping the wedding ring, veil or arrhae during the ceremony means an unhappy marriage.

5. Philippine beliefs: Respect and body langauge

Pay respect to other creatures when you pass by a vacant lot. We believe that vacant lots and eerily quiet spaces are home to mythical creatures. We say Tabi tabi po” (Excuse me) when we pass through these areas.

When people are lost, they should wear their clothes backward so the spirits can guide them back to where they came from.

Don’t rest your chin on your hand, this invites bad luck.

do not wear red funeral philippines

6. Always Accept Food

During fiestas, every family has their own “handa” or mini food feast inside their home. so if you’re going to visit a province during festival season, expect that you’d be invited to eat at each home that you visit. it’d be rude to say no so it’s best to eat a little in every home.

7. Don’t Buy a House at a T intersection

house t intersection filipino

Don’t buy a house that’s directly at the T intersection, it’s a bad omen signifying that you’ll always be pushed

8. Do not eat Twin Bananas

twin banana filipino
Pregnant mom wanting to eat twin banana.

Expectant/Pregnant mothers must not eat twin bananas. This to avoid having twin babies.

9. Avoid This Finger Gesture

Don’t curl your index finger back and forth to beckon. This may be interpreted as an insult.

10. Shoes from others

Don’t accept footwear from a friend; he/she might be stepping on your toes later.

11. Don’t Look at your Watch

don't look at your watch time

When talking with people from the Philippines try no to look at your watch or on the clocks too much. This might give the impression you are bored, not interested or in a hurry. This can make your speaking partner feel uncomfortable.

People in the Philippines are easy when it comes to time. When you want to set up an appointment it is wise to do this weeks ahead and send a kind reminder 1 day before. When meeting up with them never rush things.

Filipinos don’t usually arrive on time especially on social gatherings. They think punctuality during parties mean that they’re too excited about the food, making them seem like “patay-gutom,” the term used for people who haven’t eaten for a long time.

They like to take things slow and easy. Before doing business they want to get to know you first. So whatever you do stay cool and take it easy. Do not rush things and take your time with them. This will always be appreciated!

12. When a spoon falls

When a spoon falls without any intention, it is believed there will be a female visitor at your house soon.

13. Quack (fake) doctors can be effective

In The Philippines it is believed that quack doctors can be very effective when it comes to illness without clear findings or clues. People rather go to a quack doctor first to get better. If this does not work then they will go to a hospital.

These days, people are more educated, but there are still few people who choose to go and have their selves or their loved ones experience ‘treatment’ from the quack doctor. Tourists, especially those who marry Filipinos who are living in a place away from the cities called barrio may be shocked because quack doctors may sometimes ask for unusual things such as pure black chicken, fresh chicken’s head, candle and water to have the melted wax of the candle drop on water, some leaves, etc.

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Active traveller with a love for Asian food and Japanese anime.