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Crazy Filipino Superstitions You Need to Know


Precy enjoys helping others learn to speak and appreciate the Filipino and Ilocano language. She also writes about Filipino culture.

Filipino superstitions.

Filipino superstitions.

Philippines is not only country of over 7k islands of beaches waiting to be discovered and tropical fruits to challenge your taste buds but it is also rich in superstitions that even today are still highly regarded and take part in the lives of the Filipinos.

As a kid, I already heard many of it, from grade school as a topic in Filipino class until college. And of course, it can be heard from elders as well and parents whenever a child does something that a superstition needs to be reminded.

There are some similarities on some other countries or culture with some of these superstitions, a cat crossing the street brings bad luck is just one good example. And to list all the Philippine superstitions I could think of and remember, here they are. Feel free to share what you know in the comment section below for other readers.

Bad Luck Awaits When You Sweep at Dusk

One of the superstition I grew up hearing from my mom and grandmother, it is brings bad luck to sweep at dusk. Sweeping the inside of the house at dusk is like sending away the oncoming luck.

And not only at dusk, this superstition also goes on New Year's Day. I heard it from my dad few times that it brings bad luck to sweep or clean the house at New Year's Day. As New Year brings fortune and good luck, sweeping would be sending away the good fortune that was already attracted and those that are still on the way for the whole year. So, all the house cleaning and sweeping should be done before the new year.

Sweeping at dusk is believed to bring bad luck.

Sweeping at dusk is believed to bring bad luck.

Resting the Chin Like This Brings Bad Luck

You might want to think twice before resting your chin on the palm of your hand, specially with both hands. It's viewed as bad luck. The Filipino word for this is kalumbaba. Having a bad day probably wouldn't do as a good excuse to do this, if you're into superstitions.

Kalumbaba - resting the chin on the palm of the hand is said to be malas or a bad luck.

Kalumbaba - resting the chin on the palm of the hand is said to be malas or a bad luck.

Baby Genders

There is a Filipino superstition as well for expecting mothers if you want to know the gender of the unborn child. A pregnant woman with a round-shaped tummy is said to have a baby girl. While a pregnant woman with a pointy tummy would be expecting a baby boy.

What's your baby's gender?

What's your baby's gender?

Utensil Tells a Visitor's Gender

Dropping a utensil could mean an unexpected visitor. Is it a man or a woman that will show up unannounced in your front door? Well, that depends whether you dropped a fork or a spoon. Dropping a fork means a male visitor while a spoon indicates a female visitor.

Single Forever?

Clearing off plates after a meal while a single or unmarried member of the family isn't finish eating yet could mean possibility of that family member not getting married.


Dreams of Tooth Falling

Dreaming of teeth or tooth falling is viewed as a bad luck. The dreamer should bite hard on his or her pillow or on a branch of any living plant to oppose whatever the meaning of the bad dream is.

Black Cat Crossing the Street

A black cat crossing the street brings bad luck or warns you of danger ahead.


Let Your Hair Dry

Sleeping with damped or wet hair can cause blindness. So better dry your hair first if you can't wait for it to dry by itself.

It is also said that sleeping with a damped or wet hair can cause gray hairs to appear at an early age.


Ears Can Tell How Long You'll Live

A person who has long ears has a longer life or tend to live longer. No one can attest to that, except for those lucky ones with long shaped ears.


A Person with a Mole on the Foot is Outgoing

A person who has a mole on her or his foot is outgoing, or should I say that person prefers the outdoor. Or not and be totally the opposite. I had a mole in my right heel, but this superstition isn't for me as I am a home buddy. I would rather stay inside the house than go out.

Cat to the Rescue

Letting a cat to scratch your throat will get rid of fish bone stuck in your throat. Goes as well for those who were born from breech birth. Those that were born feet or buttocks first, breech birth or the known Filipino word for this is suhi, is believed to be good at helping get rid of fish bones stuck in the throat by massaging the throat area.


You're Lazy if you Have this Mole

A mole on the back is a sign of laziness. That person would take too much time sleeping or prefers lying around.

There are other superstition associated with the location of mole in the body, but this is one I hear about mostly.


Jump High to Gain Height

Jumping on New Year's Eve will make one grow taller. A superstition that is still pretty much a part of Filipino New Year's Eve holiday tradition.


Planting on an Empty Stomach isn't Good

Planting rootcrops with an empty stomach will cause the plants to bear poor root crops. And you don't want that, so fill up the tummy before digging soil for planting these plants. You want a good harvest don't you?


Smiling and Singing Will Lessen the Bitterness

One should smile and think happy thoughts while cooking bitter melon to lessen the bitterness of the dish. If not, being sad, irritable or mad, the more bitter the dish will taste.


Shirt Inside Out

One should wear his/her shirt or clothes inside out when being tricked by unseen creatures who like to mislead passersby. Wearing the shirt inside out will get one back on the right track of the road.


Respect the Mound Dweller

Uttering a word of excuse while passing a mound will save one from being punish by a goblin, known as nuno that is believed to reside on the mound.


Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on May 17, 2012:

Voted awesome. Thanks for the great superstitions from the Philippines.

precy anza (author) from USA on May 04, 2012:

It had been carried over from generations from our ancestors long before the Spaniards introduced Catholicism into the country. And so even after the religion was introduced, the superstitions are still very much around.:)

Mr. Happy from Toronto, Canada on May 04, 2012:

I have a question ... How do these superstitions fall in place with the fact that from what I know, Catholicism is a strong belief in the Philippines?

precy anza (author) from USA on May 04, 2012:

Thanks Mr. Happy. ^-^' Glad someone found it as a fun read :) I would be making this a long list as I think of more to add.

Mr. Happy from Toronto, Canada on May 04, 2012:

I found this interesting and a fun read. Cheers!

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