Superstitious Beliefs that Influence Filipino Homes

Low Budget Home Design

The Philippines’ long and rich history – from the pre-colonial past to the highly influential Spanish, American, and Japanese colonization of the archipelago – greatly influenced our norms, culture, and traditions today. Its influences are undeniably present to many aspects of our daily lives like our language, food, religions, among others. Interestingly, the animistic ways of Filipino ancestors before the colonization were mixed up with the religious practices and traditions making today’s celebrations more vibrant and colorful. For example, one of the most anticipated festivals in the Philippines, the Sinulog Festival, is a Roman Catholic tradition whose roots have been highly based on pagan celebrations. In this article, we’ll talk about some superstitious beliefs that elderly and even modern day Filipino believes in.

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The development of current Filipino superstitious beliefs were based also on the interaction of the two eras in Philippine history and influence by various factors like religious beliefs and other customs. To name some, Filipinos are familiar with pagpag (the shaking off of dirt). In the context of a wake, one should go somewhere else before going home after attending a wake for the soul of the departed will not go with you in your home. Another example is the Filipino custom of saying “Tao po” when knocking on someone’s house. The common connotation about this is that the knocker is calling someone inside the house. However, it is said to stem from the knocker reassuring the people inside that s/he is a person and not a possibly harmful supernatural creature.

Even building your dream house and lot or acquiring your condominium unit is not spared from the rich Filipino beliefs that many still adhere to. Others also might say that their respective homes influence their fortune or misfortune for that matter. Though Filipinos are highly influenced by their religious beliefs, many still consider these beliefs and say that “there is nothing to lose if they follow”. Here, Bria Homes will share with you some of the Filipino beliefs in constructing your dream home for your information or consideration.

Filipino Superstitions When Selecting a lot:

1. Avoid dead-end steets

According to Kapampangan traditions, one should avoid buying a lot and constructing a home at the end of a dead-end street as it may cause you financial misfortune and worst, death of a loved one. 

2. Rectangular cuts are better

Shapes also of the land matters. The rectangular-shaped lot or lot in perfect proportion, are revered. Lots with equally-long sides are believed to be the most ideal in ensuring sound and harmonious home- this is rare of course as rectangular lots create more efficient subdivision cuts.

3. Snakes are Lucky

Animals that are present in the property narrate another story. Unlike the well known misfortune caused by a passing black cat, snakes are thought to bring good fortunes. According to popular belief, if it happens that you find a snake in your new yard or lot, it bears a sign of good luck in business or work. But snake bite are far from being lucky at all— eliminate or remove the animal quickly!

We are all surely hunting for an affordable house and lot or condominium unit. But be wary of properties being sold whose market prices are too good to be true. There are high chances that these properties have witnessed harrowing incidents in the past and might cause you similar misfortune as well. 

Filipino Beliefs when it comes to the location of the property

The Philippines’ diverse cultures and traditions have resulted in unique and vibrant beliefs related with constructing your home in every tribe or group.

1. Door and roof should be facing the right direction

For instance, in Bontoc province, the front door of the house should face against the floor of a nearby river according to their local folks. In Romblon, the roof of the house must slope following the direction of the incline of the nearby mountains. While in the  Cordilleras, it is different. The ridge of the roof is always positioned at right angles to the ridge of the mountain on which the house stands.

2. Welcome the morning sun into your home

According to popular Filipino beliefs, the sun brings about good luck and could influence one’s success. This can be achieved if the facade of the house faces and welcomes the morning sun. This is possible if the house faces east. Furthermore, the more windows your residence has (or the larger they are), the better the chances of your house absorbing natural and spiritual graces.

Read Also: What Makes a Good Home Location?

When laying the foundation of your home, Filipino beliefs include:

1. Putting coins or religious medallions in the foundation posts

Influenced by high and impactful religious beliefs in the Philippines, property owners want to embed religious medallions – or at times, coins – inside the foundation post for good luck and abundant blessings.

2. Smearing pig or chicken’s blood

On the other end, remnants of the pagan roots of the Filipinos likewise have sway over the matter. Many believe that the blood of a pig or chicken smeared on the house’ foundation makes the structure sturdier and prevents bad spirits from wreaking havoc on the home.

3. Place chili and salt under the post to drive bad spirits away

Aside from what was mentioned, another means to drive bad spirits away through the foundation is by placing chili, combined with salt, under the post (the combination is a good traditional termite deterrent, though). If you have extra money for another traditional Filipino belief, expensive wine should be poured down the footing excavation to please any entities residing within.

4. Don’t build solitary posts in the middle of the room

Position of the foundation posts also matters. Famous in the Bataan province – also in some provinces in the Tagalog region – the construction of a solitary post in the middle of a room. Apart from being an eyesore, it is said that it brings misfortune to the family. 

5. Placing coins on the doorstep

Wishing to have abundant financial fortunes? Place more coins on the doorstep of your home to encourage steady cash flow.

Beliefs on setting up the interior of your home

More than to what was mentioned above, interior layout and design also influence one’s life and fortunes (and misfortune for that matter).

1. Doors shouldn’t be facing each other

For example, interior doors should not be designed to face one another to avoid easy flow of luck through the house. Do you want to maintain a good relationship with your neighbor? You should avoid not directly facing one’s neighbor’s to prevent conflicts with the said households and avoid wrestling with each other for the possession of the luck that passes in front of both your houses. 

Read Also: The Golden Rules of Being a Good Neighbor

2. Avoid exposure of bed to the door

You want to have a long and happy life? The positions of the doors and bed will help achieve this, at least based on popular Filipino beliefs. The door should not be positioned in such a way that when it is opened, one would face neither the foot nor head of the bed as it resembles the position of the coffin as the departed enters the final resting place. For context, some of the final resting place in the Philippines is not under the ground but instead, apartment style. 

Read Also: The Two Most Common Bedroom Styling Mistakes to Avoid

3. Stairs shouldn’t be facing the East

Stairs similarly play a vital position in the long list of popular Filipino beliefs. In Bulacan, just like many typical Filipinos, believe that a stairway facing east is considered to have caused bad luck. Because like a withered plant exposed for a long time under the sun, anything facing the early sun dries up ahead of all others including the family’ health, livelihood, and wealth. 

As earlier mentioned, this set of Filipino beliefs is the fruit of a long, vibrant, and complicated history of the country. Traditions and cultures provide an avenue for a community, or nation at that, to collectively express their sense of being a Filipino. If you are the type of person who adheres to these customs, talk and discuss these matters to your architect.

However, remember that we are the primary responsible for our decisions we make and the fruit and/or consequences it bears.

Talk to any of Bria Homes’ agents or brokers as you begin your journey for your dream home.