Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Our culture is rich in superstition

Abe V. Rotor and Melly Tenorio
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid 738 DZRB AM
8 - 9 evening, Monday to Friday

Lesson: Superstitious beliefs are part of our culture and tradition. We treasure many of them individually and collectively. And try to determine their truth and veracity through research, debate and other means. We take pride in knowing a number of them. They add spice to conversation, make stories for bedside entertainment. Superstition gives quaintness to living. Why don't you gather superstition beliefs from your place and make a compilation for ready reference?

Felled century old balete tree (Ficus benjamina). Lagro, QC
The balete has a bad reputation. First, it is the home of evil
spirits; second, the tree kills its own host tree by strangling it,
hence named strangler's fig. It has no true trunk, instead its
massive prop roots snugly embrace the host tree until it dies
and decays leaving the prop roots inarched into a trunk. Third,
some people believe that Judas Escariot hanged himself on a
balete tree. It can't be, because the balete lives on moist
warm climate associated with a tropical rainforest - which
is too far from the biblical setting.

Elephant Tree, Kenting Park, Kaoshiung , Taiwan, is
a tourist's attraction. It is a belief of certain societies
that the spirits of the dead may manifest themselves
in other organisms. This is not confined in humans.

1. When you happen to encounter a funeral entourage, throw some coins in respect of the dead.

2. Don’t stand in front of a gate if you are pregnant.

3. If by mistake it’s the bride that hands over the arras to the bridegroom, expect that she will be the breadwinner.

4. Diamond studded wedding rings do not make a perfect relationship.

5. When blessing a new vehicle, sprinkler fresh blood of chicken in tires and engine to ward bad omen of accident.

6. Place some coins in the foundation of buildings and other structures during ground breaking ceremony to make them strong and withstand time.

7. Children are sacrificed in making bridges and other infrastructure.

8. Bury placenta with rosary and pencil so that the child will be both intelligent and God-fearing.

9. Shake (pagpagin) the items such as clothes after a customer had left without buying any, to break bad luck.

10. When you give a wallet as gift be sure you put a coin or a money bill in it so that the wallet won’t run out of money.

11. Eat raw eggs to enhance easy delivery of your baby.

12. A pregnant mother should not eat eggplant, else her baby will have dark complexion.

13. One who cries every time she cuts onions means she does not love her father- and mother-in-law (biyanan).

14. Taking a bath immediately after ironing clothes will make you sick of leprosy.

15. If a pregnant woman eats eggs, her child will be born blind.

16. Full moon causes abnormal behavior. People who are affected by this belief are called lunatics.

17. Beware of Friday the 13th, you might meet an accident.

18. No two siblings should marry within the same year, otherwise their marriages will not be successful.

19. When someone gives you a footwear as a gift, be sure to pay him any amount in order to break the omen that you will be “kicked” or pushed around.

20. When the pregnant wife skips or walks over (laktawan) her husband, the husband will bear the burden of paglilihi (maternal impression).

21. Forego your trip when a black cat crosses your path – it is bad luck.

22. Don’t clean the house at night, more so, if you sweep the dirt out of the door. You drive good luck away, (Lalabas ang suwerte.)

23. If you get lost in the wilderness, reverse your shirt, so that you will be able find your way back.

24. Tikbalang (Filipino version of a centaur) comes out when it is raining while the sun is out.

25. Three persons in a picture means the one at the middle will die.

26. A mole (taling) on the sole indicates the person is a wanderer (gala’).

27. A mole located along the path of tears means the person is going to be widowed, or a widower.

28. Bride must never try her bridal gown before the wedding; the ceremony might not push through.

29. Don’t hang on the window; you court bad luck.

30. Itchy palm means you are going to have money.

We don't believe in superstition, of course, because what we believe in needs a basis, or it must have an inference to something logical.

But there are superstitious beliefs which, for one reason or another, come true. And they come when least expected. Or things happen first, then we search for a superstitious thing to which we attribute the event.

In short, superstition mystifies us and links our living world with the unknown, with fantasy,and the supernatural. And with our faith. ~

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