I was eight when we moved in into our newly built house. Before we did, my grandmother who is very traditional briefed the entire family about the things to do and things to remember before moving in. She was also hands on in making sure we did certain things while the house was being constructed. Some of these were placing coins (for good wealth) and religious medals (to protect the family from evil) under each structural. My grandmother also made sure we moved in on a date with number 8 in it- 8, 18, 28. According to her, this will make sure we live harmoniously.
On the day we moved in, my dad carried a bowl of rice, my mom had a jar of salt, and my sister had a pitcher of water with rose petals on it. My mother made everyone drink water with rose petals and let us scatter coins in every corner of the house. We were reminded to never pick these coins ever; doing so would remove the financial luck of the family. I moved out ten years ago and the coins are still there until now.
I was so excited to invite my bestfriend for sleepover since I was proud of my new bedroom, but this was not allowed right away since it is believed that the number of people who slept in for the first night should be the same for the next nine days, otherwise, death will occur.
Few days after moving in, we planted a jackfruit tree in our front yard. Doing so would ensure a sweet life. Most Filipinos would plant fruit bearing trees on their front yard for this very reasons as well as it adds shade to the area. Trees that have sour fruits such as mangoes and lemon should be planted on the backyard.
If your family are Catholic here in the Philippines, expect a house blessing either before moving in or few weeks after. A house blessing would entail having a priest come over and perform a ceremony. Every family member should attend the ceremony bearing candles. The priest, family members, and few guests (which always include grandparents, aunts, and uncles) would then tour around the house with their candles while the priest would sprinkle holy water everywhere in the house- no room would be excluded. After the ceremony, everyone would gather for a meal which would usually include lechon (roasted pig) and puso (hanging rice).
These are just few of the traditions and customs that we follow before moving in on a new house in the Philippines, especially if you live in a rural area. As a kid, I used to ask for explanations for all of this. Sometimes I will get answers, but mostly I will just get “just because”.