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Anting-Anting Hunting on Holy Week: Filipino Talisman, Charm or Amulet


What Is Anting-Anting?

Anting-anting is a Filipino word for charm, talisman or amulet that provide its wearer protection or whatever the anting-anting is being worn or carried for and sometimes called just anting. It can be a pendant-like with inscribed symbols and Latin text that is believed to contribute to the talisman or the amulet's power to protect its wearer from illnesses, evil spirits and other types of harm. The anting, is usually worn as an unexposed pendant, others chose to tie it to their waist or clipped on the clothing as having the amulet exposed or touched by others will lost its efficacy.

The anting once empowered will protect its owner from danger and misfortune but that depends on what amulet or anting-anting one is wearing for. It could be one that protects its bearer from misfortune and harm, one that provides health and luck. Or it could be one that provides its wearer invincibility from thundering bullets and shades its owner from sharp knives. I also learned of an anting that enables its wearer an easy fishing.

Empowering An Anting-Anting

Once an anting-anting was gained, the bearer must know how to empower the anting or amulet. The owner will have to empower it which can be done through oraciones or Latin prayers. Some are blessed to be given an anting-anting as they're chosen by an anting owner. With that, they are taught as well on how to empower the amulet once it's given.

But having an empowered anting-anting, one has to maintain the anting's efficacy. Its owner has to devote himself/herself to continuously recite the destined Latin prayers on a specific time or day of the week. In some instances, reciting the prayer for the amulet is also accompanied with the act of immersing the anting-anting into a body of water, or reciting the prayer on a chosen day of the month, or whatever is needed to be done but that depends on the kind of amulet one has.

The amulet is also known in many names aside from anting-anting: agimat or bertud are two other Filipino words used. It has also been depicted on Filipino movies such as the Nardong Putik and Tiagong Akyat which was based on true to life stories of people who was known for their anting-anting.

How to Obtain An Anting-Anting?

For those looking for an amulet and talisman to obtain invincibility, health and protection, Good Friday is said to be the best time to go look for one. Some seekers climb up mountains believed to be sacred to look for anting-anting. Some prefers going to the forest, the cemetery or wherever they could find that specific anting that they want to possess. And there are still those some, who, I'd say was just lucky enough to deserve an anting-anting for the talisman or amulet to find them instead. While some are busy navigating secluded areas or climbing up mountains to find one, there are those few who gets bestowed with such a powerful gift from either a stranger, someone they just met or a relative passing the anting to them. With that, I'd tell you one story about this person who happened to have received few anting-anting.

This someone told me that when he was a young boy, he would go and fetch water in a river early in the morning. One morning he went on the river, too early as it was still dark but he decided he'd rather go this early as he also have to go to the field, and this was on a Good Friday. According to him, he heard chirping and flapping of a bird's wing above him. He looked up and saw this bird circling above. "This bird is going to poop," he thought to himself. Not long after that thought, something dropped below between the rocks -- an egg. The boy was astonished to see the egg and that was one lucky egg, it wasn't broken at all and wasn't drifted by the water, it sits there between the rocks. He considered it a lucky find as it was on a Good Friday. The boy gave the egg to his father and hasn't seen the egg after that. He still wonders to this day what happened to the egg.

After many years, that young boy grew up and started a family, and again, another Holy Week strange egg encounter but that was another story. Aside from this, he also shared other amulet stories but I rather not include all of that here as it will make it a long hub.

Each anting has a different purpose or use but here's few I've heard about.

Examples of Anting-Anting

Anting comes in many forms, each for different purpose but here's few I've heard about.

* The stingray tail, known as buntot pagi in Filipino language, buntot (tail) and pagi for stingray is used and is believed to be effective for warding off the aswang which is a Filipino mythological creature that is most feared in the country.

* Sinukuan. Sinukuan (sinuku/suko means surrender) is believed to be a mystique tree from the highlands. I've never seen the tree, even wonders how it looks like or maybe I've seen one, but I doubt it. But since it is a mystique tree, I'm pretty sure I've never seen one.

Having a piece of the wood (Sinukuan) will protect its bearer from evil spirits and illnesses caused by them and any other creatures. It is said that the tree of Sinukuan can be found in a secluded mountain in Bicol region and in some forest in Mindanao. It is very risky to go near the tree specially during daylight or on moonlit nights as it will paralyze whoever goes under its shadows. I've also heard that with the Sinukuan, the possessor will not have (or less) trouble with people, making them give in or agree to his liking.

* The infinito de deus is a medallion for protection against danger and enemies. It also protects the bearer from bullets. With this amulet, the owner should devote himself into charging it on Fridays with the appropriate Latin prayers for the infinito de deus.

* Eyeless Coconut (niyog na walang mata) A very powerful talisman that when another specific amulet is placed inside the shell, it will protect its possessor from bullets.

* (Mutya ng Saging) Mutya (pearl) and saging (banana) is a very much known anting-anting even depicted on fantasy type movies or tv series. One who wishes to possess the pearl has to wait patiently for the banana blossom to open. But you have to be ready, armed with courage and strength to fight against sprites and other entities who also wish to possess the pearl as it falls from the tree. The pearl needs to be swallowed, they will do their best to snatch the pearl from you or make you spit it out. If you have proven yourself to be deserving, the pearl is yours.

Anting-anting such these can be seen for sale in the country near church entrances or sidewalks.

Anting-anting such these can be seen for sale in the country near church entrances or sidewalks.

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Possessing one and retaining its efficacy also means having some sacrifices to things the owner can and can't do. Like for example, there are some anting-anting where the bearer isn't supposed to bath on specific days, or not being able to go to vigils amongst others.

There are a lot of amulet and talisman being sold now for those who wants to have one, even Ebay has it. But as few real anting owners said, an anting-anting is more effective when they are given or passed and not acquired. And when you are given one, it is that fortunate feeling that you know you were chosen to have one.


Gerry on March 31, 2018:

my father just passed his down to me on my 35th birthday this month. He said his grandmother used it to help this sick and poor in her community. They are not sure how far they go back but one has a date of 1776 and another has a relation to a Sisters of Charity that was est. In 1633. The wooden triangle has w's on each corner, unlike the one you have pictured with th all seeing eye and A's on each corner. I see some latin acronyms on another that looks like a ressurection scene. There is another wooden one shaped like a house with loots of fingerprints on it. Another of S. BENEDICTVS . MO and the reverse is full of latin acronyms also. Theres also a san rafael one i cannot seem to crack. Reverse has a triangle with sun rays beaming from behind, this is the one that says 1776. If you can help me identify, that would be great! Otherwise, i have had pleasant results wearing these around my neck everyday.

mary on November 29, 2015:

hi i was a victim in kulam can i get powerful amulets from you?

ernie villaroya jr. on May 17, 2015:

I wish i had a very powerfull rosary and a very powerfull amulet or anting anting because i have one but it wasn't enough for me....can you gave me one sir.....????

josar on October 15, 2014:


precy anza (author) from USA on March 05, 2013:

Hi Deomar :) Now that you mentioned that, isn't that something interesting?! I asked someone years ago how come Latin prayers are used of all languages and the answer I got, is because Christ had speak the language. And because Latin prayers are much more effective to use.

@ Avian: And thanks for the visit, and maybe you'll stumble into something this year's Good Friday?! :)

@drbj: Maybe. :) It might not be the stingray tail but maybe a lucky charm :) But I'm sure you had a good time with the visit in the country. Thank you for dropping by!

drbj and sherry from south Florida on March 03, 2013:

Fascinating information about Philippine talismans, precy. I believe I own an 'anting' and didn't even know it. I have a small purse about 8x4 inches made from a manta ray or stingray. I purchased it in an open-air market the last time I visited Thailand. Maybe it's lucky! Who knew?

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on March 03, 2013:

Thanks for the history lesson from your part of the globe. It truly helps me to understand where our beliefs are found.

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