06 October 2006

Very superstitious...

An officemate just returned from a 4-day leave as she attended the wake of her uncle. And just last week, we watched a local movie called "Pamahiin" (superstitions), a suspense movie about what can happen when superstitions and beliefs are not followed, especially in funerals.

The last time I attended a funeral was as a guest of Sarah. That was months ago. And the last time I attended a funeral for a relative is even years ago.

I thought about our Pamahiin in funerals and as an early All Soul's Day post, decided to make a list here. Please feel free to add or correct me. Thanks!

For Halloween
1. When a butterfly enters your house, it means a relative who's passed away is visiting you and your family so don't shoo it off (applicable not only on All Soul's Day).
2. In the evening when the cemeteries get filled with relatives honoring their dead (and having a family get-together in the process), those left at home should light candles around the house and in the rooms. This will enable the spirits who wander off at this time of the year to see where they're going and not linger at your house.

At Funerals
3. When the wake is being held at home, the relatives staying in the house should not take a bath for the duration of the wake. (Do you know why this is so?)
4. All mirrors should be covered with cloth in the home of the dead person because if you see the dead person reflected in the mirror, you will be next.
5. When coming from the house or place where the wake is being held, do not go home directly or the spirits will follow you.
6. Do not let tears fall on the casket or death will visit once more and take a family member.
7. Do not let the names pinned on the casket be buried with the dead.
8. Before the dead gets buried, all the younger generation (grandchildren, nephews, nieces) present should pass over the casket (usually carried from one person to another on opposite sides of the casket).

Hmmm... that's all I can think of for now. I think the most difficult part is item 3, though this is easier done in Baguio because of the cool climate. Harhar.

And as you sing the song "very superstitious", I wish everyone a Happy weekend!


  1. sabi nila bawal din daw magwalis sa habang may lamay. daming pamahiin no?

  2. Anonymous11:37 pm

    yung position ng pagpasok sa nitso, meron ding sinusunod na orientation, tapos meron din iba kapag lalabas na sa bahay yung kabaong magbabasag sila ng bote. tapos may mga naghahagis ng barya sa mga naglalakd kapag may inililibing. marami pa nga...

  3. we did most of these, you know when my mom died a few years back. we were at my inang's (grandma) house at Nueva Ecija so we need to follow their superstitions w/o questions. anyways i don't think they even know the reasons for these. although the old relatives allowed me and my siblings to take baths because we were adamant when it came to this. i think my mom didn't mind really or she would have haunt us by now.

  4. Kapag pinasa ang bata sa itaas ng ataol, mawawala raw ang mga sakit nito, kung meron.

    Ginawa sa akin yan nung maliit pa ako. Di ako nakatulog ng ilang araw sa takot na multuhin ako nung patay.

    What a horrible experience.

  5. may mga nakikita akong naglalagay ng chicks (baby chickens) sa ibabaw ng coffin. dunno what it's for, though...

  6. Scary stuff... maybe it is better to believe in nothing...

  7. First time I was exposed to Filipino burial customs during a visit to my first wife's home in Pasig back in the early 80's I remember being absolutely captivated. From the wake to the procession to the actual "burial," it was all very intriguing for an outsider like me. Coincidentally, my wife will be staying up all night tonight to keep her friends company during the wake of a young man who apparently drank himself to death. American burial customs are very sterile compared to what you have here.

  8. Anonymous6:18 pm

    hmmm... I don't really believe much in pamahiin, but with what youve mentioned, ive seen the babies carried over the casket of my uncle when he was burried. And the taking a bath thing, is mejo parang di applicable dito and hindi rin sha hygenic...hehehehehe....

    well, im still sleepy from the lack of sleep in nearly a week of being in the funeral home... we are going again to baguio before my cousins go back to their own world...hehehehe...to visit our grandma and grandpa there :D...

    - follen

  9. Anonymous9:34 pm

    Natatandaan ko naman na sa libing dapat daw yung buntis ay nauuna kaysa sa funeral car, ewan ko rin kung bakit? Sa amin ay palayok ang binabasag at hindi bote.

  10. so that's why some kids were being passed over the casket of my lolo..

    panu yan? yung name ko naka pin sa kabaong, nalibing din? am i going to be next?? duh? that was more thatn a decade ago..

    but then again..

  11. A colleague said here that chicks are placed on top of the coffin when the dead met a violent death in the hands of another person (ex. murder). The chicks will hopefully make the murderer guilty and remember the wrong he's done. Interesting.

  12. Iskoo: aaah, so kahit sa lamay ganun yun...

    Cruise: ang dami ko pa palang di na-mention... at di alam...

    Amie: yeah, I always think about how the relatives manage not to take a bath in three days or more...

    Mama Jenn: I learned that they break glass so nobody else will follow.

    Kulas: guess what. That is also memorable to me because when I was a kid, my lola died. We were close to her. Before she was buried, they opened the casket and the kids asked for blessing by putting our lola's hand on our forehand. It was cooold! And then each of us was passed over the coffin.

    Meowok: I learned that when the dead was murdered, it's supposed to make the murderer not forget his deed and haunt him.

    Sidney: our culture is rich in these traditions, which makes for very interesting burials indeed.

    Phil: a man drank himself to death? Must be a lot of emotional baggage. Do you also stay up late in funerals?

    Follen: condolence ha.

    Ann: hindi kaya mapaanak yung buntis kasi nasa likod nya yung caro? ahuhuhu

    Dessagirl: really? wow. I remember in Baguio they realized that the names were still pinned when the dead was buried. They brought it out again to remove the names! I don't know what it's for really but it's just superstitions I guess.

  13. No, Americans don't have "wakes" anymore... we used to, back when the bodies were placed in the family parlor the night before burial. Those days ended about 60 or 70 years ago.

  14. Phil: Really? You mean the dead gets buried or cremated immediately?

  15. Anonymous3:31 pm

    And di mo ba napapansin na kokonti ang naglilibing kapag araw ng Lunes? Dahil sa pamahiin din ito na kung Monday ang libing ng patay, may susunod pa raw.

    Bawal ding tuluan ng luha ang kabaong dahil hindi raw matatahimik ang kaluluwa ng namatay, hindi rin siya magiging masaya sa kabilang buhay.

    Talagang ang dami niyan.

  16. Anonymous5:32 am

    pano naman po ung me hawak na pera ang patay?what for?

  17. Anonymous5:50 pm

    pag daw ung isang tao ay namatay dapat lagyan ng pera ang kamay kasi magaling daw un s negosyo...kya dapat bago ialis ng bahay ang patay ay kunin muna ung pera n hawak nya tpos itago mo lang s wallet mo at wag gagastusin...
    pag my hawak din n pera ang patay ay madami syang makokolekta n abuloy....


  18. i attended a wake and burial of my friend's grandfather about 2 weeks ago, on the day of the burial a relative of theirs said na kunin yung mga pins na nakakabit with the names, at iwan ung mga names sa luob ng kabaong.. nung ililibing na tinangal ung mga pins at inilagay sa luob ng kabaong ung mga names.. was this ok?

    @ babypink: panu yan, kinuha ung pera na hawak hindi sa bahay kundi sa place na ililibing na siya which is on their backyard.. wala kasing nakasabi na dapat bago ilabas sa bahay ung namatay..


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