Philippines’ traditions and beliefs

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Filipinos are rich in traditions and beliefs and all of them originated from their ancestors. Each region has its own traditions and beliefs and those traditions sometimes signify what region the person came from.  Most of the traditions and beliefs of the Filipinos are about paying respect to the elders and value of family.


The famous tradition of the Filipinos is saying Po and Opo to the elders. They said that you will know that the person is a Filipino if they say Po and Opo during their conversation. It is said whenever you are talking to someone older than you or a senior in your organization. It is a way of paying respect and they know if the person has a good upbringing is when they respect the elders.

Giving respect by doing Mano Po, other famous tradition of the Filipinos is Mano Po. It is done by taking the elders’ hand and you will bow so that your forehead can touch the back of the elders’ hand. It is being done when you will greet and say goodbye to the elders.

Filipinos are seems to be related to each other, they intend to call some older than them as Kuya, Ate, Tito, Tita, Lolo and Lola though they are not related to each other.  It is a sign of paying respect to the elders.

They said Filipinos are the only nation who used spoon during their meal and if you lived in other country, you will know that you are stepping in a Filipino’s house is by looking at their dining room. You will see a picture, poster or sculpture of “The Last Supper” displayed on their dining room.

Filipino families have tight relationship to each other and unlike the western families wherein they oblige their children to move out of the house when they reach the age of 18, it is a different story in the Philippines. The parents are willing to keep their children with them as long as they want and sometimes even if their kids are already grown up and had families of their own as long as their place can accommodate them; they are open to the idea of living together under one roof.


Philippine beliefs are all originated from their ancestors and for some those beliefs do not make sense but some still follows it religiously. Here are some Philippines beliefs that are being believed by many. Different beliefs applied in various aspect of Filipinos life from building house to death.

During house building

Filipinos’ belief that once a house is built in a cross shaped plan the house will bring jinx. A house with sunken living room will have bad luck and sickness in the family. A post should be turn clockwise during construction before cementing it to make the house typhoon resistant. The number of the steps in the stairs should be exact with oro, plata, mata; the last step should not fall to mata because it is belief that it will bring bad luck. It is also a belief that once you imprinted a coin on the front of your house, your family will have a continuous flow of money. To keep your spouse faithful you must build a house with a door on the right side and a stairs that turn to the right to avoid spouse infidelity. Number 13 is not used for house number and there is no 13th in buildings because number 13 is believed to be a bad number.

During Pregnancy

During the pregnancy of a woman many beliefs are being applied and being insisted to be followed to make the baby healthier and beautiful. It is belief that whatever the pregnant woman is eating during her pregnancy will somehow reflect on her baby or whatever things or person the pregnant woman is fond of will reflect on the appearance of the baby. The pregnant woman’s appearance and tummy shape has something to do with the gender of the baby; if the woman is pretty during her pregnancy it is belief that she is carrying a baby girl and if not it is a boy; if her tummy is rounded she is carrying a girl and if the tummy is pointed it is a boy. A pregnant woman is not allowed to attend funerals because she will have a hard time during her labor.

Money Superstition

A debt should not be paid during night time because it is belief to be a bad luck. It is a belief that one should not borrow money from others during the first hour of the day, first day of the week, first week of the month and first month of the year because it is belief that it is a bad luck and you won’t be rich. It is a belief that black ants inside the house mean good fortune and color green is believed to attract money.

Death Superstitions

It is a belief that once a dog howls or digs it is a sign that someone in the family will die. If a picture of the person fall on their house it means that death is coming for the person in the picture. If one has a dream of falling teeth means a death of a close family is coming. Some Philippines ethnic group used to put the things of the death inside the coffins because they believed that the death person may use it in afterlife.

Filipinos have many superstitious beliefs that been passed to generations to generations and each beliefs is sometimes being changed through times. In the modern life today, some people somehow found a logical reason for all of it but there are still people who still holding on to the beliefs.

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