02 August 2006

Sukob (the wedding curse)

[You may not have watched the movie yet so I'm revealing the spoilers to a bare minimum and concentrate on my review]

The Filipino culture is rich with beliefs and supersitions, especially when it comes to highlights in one's life. The same is true with weddings. Aside from these:

- the bride-to-be should not fit her wedding dress,
- the couple should not see each other before the wedding day,
- the couple should be extra careful as they are more prone to accidents than ever before,

there is also something called Sukob. There are two kinds: sukob sa patay (death) and sukob sa kasal (marriage). The gist if the sukob belief is this: if somebody dies or if somebody gets married within the immediate family members, you have to wait for a full year before getting married or else misfortune will arise from it: be it loss of material possessions, divorce, or worse, death.

My wife and I had to follow the sukob belief because her brother got married within months of our planned date, and so following the advise of the elders we postponed it to more than a year later.

The misfortune that can arise from not heeding sukob was concretized in the movie with the same title starring Kris Aquino and Claudine Barretto. No sooner had Kris Aquino gotten married (of course following all the advice of their parents) than bad luck started following them, even involving their close relatives. A "happily ever after" story it's not.

They become baffled. especially since they did follow all the beliefs laid out before them. When they finally realize the cause, it was due to a big lie that was kept hidden from them for many years.

I watched the movie (along with an officemate who needed prodding because he preferred action movies over suspense thrillers) because I found a movie of a similar theme enjoyable. This was Feng Shui which also starred Kris Aquino and likewise directed by Chito S. Roño. Feng Shui was a play on Chinese superstitions and involved a charm that was supposed to bring good luck but instead brought with it a horde of ghouls and harm in exchange for the fortune it brought.

Sukob is even better than Feng Shui, with a twist that would keep you guessing where the malas (bad luck) is coming from. The scenes switch from one event to another, happening at that same time. A very effective misdirection is given at the early portion of the movie and slowly unravels the facts.

Like Feng Shui, it's not really a horror movie that will keep you awake at night. But there's a generous dose of startling sound effects and scenes though which keeps you at the edge of your seat.

In typical Filipino fare, the leadies kept screaming and giggles and hushed talks would ensue afterwards. I would normally get distracted at this juncture but I found myself grinning as well. It was fun. Yep, a fun, scary movie. I even got goosebumps in some scenes.

My companion consequently commented that this was even better than the movie Omen. I highly recommend this film for a night of goosebumpy, startling fun. Expect excited discussions with friends on supersitions and how the movie's twists worked out after watching.


  1. Sukob also played apart in our family. My wife and I were married in May when her younger brother needed to get married due to an impending birth of a child. Because of sukob and pressure from the bride's family who didn't have anyone getting married that year, they ended up doing a civil ceremony followed by a traditional church wedding this past December when I was there.

  2. How about the double wedding? Sukod din yun di ba?

  3. Hello Ed. Ah yes I recall reading the wedding itself in your blog. I wonder how your wife explained the sukob to you...

    Ann, sa magkakapatid? Di ko alam eh... perhaps double wedding sa hindi related.

  4. watson, kwento mo naman sakin yung film oh. natakot kasi ako ng sobra sa feng shui. as in i was awake for several nights and didnt want to be alone in the dark.

    kagabi nga lang, humirit si noel na nandun si lotus feet, natatakot pa rin ako! duh?

  5. Anonymous12:30 am

    hey guys! what about the ghost itself??? what's the story of it! di ko na-gets, all the while i thought it was claudine who was the primary ghost/spirit in the movie, but no! was it the child of their (kris & claudine 's)father to other woman??? promise, i was trying to figure out what's the history of the child!

  6. Anonymous2:44 pm

    hi ed, just asking, ok lang if civil wedding kahit may namatay sa relative mo within same year. 6 months after un plan ng civil wedding nila then church wedding plan by next year

  7. Mama Jenn, baka nga magka-nightmare ka ha. Mas maganda pa ga ang sukob sa ibang horror films eh.

    Dessagirl, face your fear. Harapin mo si lotus feet!

    Anonymous, I think the child is simply a manifestation of the evil that can happen when there is sukob. Lumalabas sya to fulfill the curse, ika nga.

    Cholo, American si Ed, so I'm not sure if he has the sukob thing all worked out. Hmmm... I'm not an expert in this thing myself. Pero kasal is kasal di ba? Be it civil or by church?

  8. Dami talaga superstitions sa kasal, meron pa noong hindi dapat makita ng groom ang bride pagdating ng church or a day before the wedding ek-ek.

    Noong kasal namin, sinalubong ako ng hubby ko pagbaba ng bridal car, iyong ibang matatanda pinaalis siya at sabi masama daw iyon. Ewan ko kung bakit.

    So far, wala namang kamalasang nangyari hehehe.

  9. Anonymous11:31 pm

    you know what, a friend of mine got married late 2005 then 6 months after his sister got pregnant so syempre got married also. after 4 months her sister had undergone premature labor and gave birth to a lifeless baby. it turned out the the baby had been dead for more than a month by then.. is it still sukob even after the year has changed?

    whos more affected ba? yung sumukob or sinukuban?

  10. Anonymous9:22 pm

    well..well.. I just want to advised to all the guys reading this that all things happen to us is the plan of GOD...thats all superstitious belief only....The more effective weapon is only PRAYER..have faith, and be sure that in all your plans u ask a guidance from GOD coz it said to the bible that "COMMIT TO THE LORD WHATEVER YOU DO AND YOUR PLANS WILL SUCCED"...

    So keep on believing to HIM...

  11. Anonymous4:21 pm

    hello, i watched sukob two times na, and i think nhar'z was right, just believe in God and have faith alang mngyayaring masama... and sukob is just a superstition... di naman yan scientific base... kaya i feel sukob is not right...

  12. Anonymous5:22 am

    hey, i would like to ask for an opinion? my bf and i are planning to get married this first quarter of 2007 when suddenly his brother returned from the states for a vacation and was planning to get married also this early 2007... both are planned to be a civil wedding... what do you think? will "sukob" affect us?

  13. Anonymous9:53 pm

    Five years na po kaming kasal sa civil ng hubby ko.. this coming March, naka schedule kami for Church wedding, eh biglang nakipagtanan ang sister ng asawa ko. Since 5 years na kaming kasal sa civil.. if mag civil sila ngayon. Subob po ba yun?

  14. Anonymous3:57 am

    Hello! I would just like to ask your advise regarding the sukob thing.. My girlfriend and i were plannning to get married by August 2008 because that will be the only time i could be back in the philippines after my contrct, but then this November 15 my sister-in-lwa died in the Bahamas Doctor's Hospital after a critical head injury she had on Nov.3, 2007. Is getting married by august a good idea?

  15. Hello everyone! I am really honored that you are asking me for advise on weddings done with Filipino customs in mind, especially the Sukob superstition. However, I feel that I really do not have the authority to give advise on this. After all, I just gave a movie review with no intention of dabbling with Sukob itself.

    Filipinos in general are still superstitious in nature. If you have parents, next of kin, or close relatives who can advise you about Sukob, please do so. It has been mu observation that Filipino customs are followed because relatives and family choose to follow it. And it is also a general Filipino trait to please our elders.

    With no other guardian, it is really up to you to follow it or not.

  16. Anonymous10:37 am

    meron na bang ngagkasal sa inyo ng sukob? anu pong nangyari?

  17. Anonymous4:00 pm

    ask ko lang...sukob ba yung months ang pagitan pero magkaiba ng year? my bf and I plan to have a civil wedding this year, 2010, and his younger sister is also set to marry her bf in a church wedding next year 2011...is it sukob?

  18. My bf and I are planning to get married on Jan, suddenly my bro. texted me that he is getting married too on March next year.. The girl is pregnant already, she is an INK and it is against their religion to have a baby out of marriage... When i told this to my bf he gets mad and now we are fighting.. what shall i do?

  19. I Need to know about the Sukob curse my wife to be cousin committed suicide Nov of 2011 and we are to marry may 25 2012 are we ok to marry since he is not in her immediate family and its not same year??????? please somebody help me

  20. Hello everyone i need to know about sukob my wife to be cousin committed suicide Nov 2011 we are to marry May 25 2012 are we okay to marry since he was not immediate family member?? and it was 2011 and date is 2012 but only 6 months apart? Please someone let me know?????

  21. Hello everyone i need to know about sukob my wife to be cousin committed suicide Nov 2011 we are to marry May 25 2012 are we okay to marry since he was not immediate family member?? and it was 2011 and date is 2012 but only 6 months apart? Please someone let me know?????

  22. Anonymous3:54 pm

    Sukob ba ang tawag kung kinasal kami ng 2010 and then magpakasal kami s church ng 2012 eh tapos ung older sister ko magpakasal sa civil early ng 2012 because her husband to be ay aalis n ulit ng pinas to work and she is getting older na and wants to have baby.
    Please advice kung sukob b ang tawag dun since kinasal nman kami before at gusto lng nmin magpachurch para mablessed nmin kami.

  23. Anonymous12:57 am

    we are planning to have civil weddng. . Pero ths past m0nths may mga nmatay n relatives s m0ther side ng bf ko. . Sukob b un or hndi. . Since civil wed naman?


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