Superstitions in My Filipino Family

September 22, 2018
I cannot speak for all Filipino families, but my traditional family has the worst superstitions. Especially my grandmother. Her superstitions make up her entire personality. I don't know how she does it every day being scared or having to back away because of the superstitions. I can count on one hand how many superstitions I believe in, and that is maybe a total of two. Let me show you what my family believes in:

This is my grandmothers favorite one. I don't know how this even became a thing in our house but to her, if we came down before we showered and ate breakfast, we would make all the food dirty and ruin the rest of our day. My mom had to deal with this, but I get a free pass cause I eat in my room.

When I was younger, I noticed my mom would iron for hours and after, she would never touch any sort of water. She would wait for 30 minutes to an hour until she could drink a cup of water. I still don't know what this means. My mom says she waits because her hands can cramp up. It sounds like when you don't wait 30 minutes after you eat and go swimming before your stomach starts to hurt. I don't ask questions about this one.

Okay, this one I can understand at a certain point but not for the reason my family thinks. I used to wash my clothes when it got dark so I wouldn't get so hot and could wake up with dry clothes for the next day. Apparently, I wasn't supposed to do this. It was not because the clothes could get dirty at night, they could get bad luck cause of the darkness. I really can't say much about this.

You probably know this as, Restless Legs Syndrome. It's that one where you would sit in class and your leg would just start to bounce for no reason. I used to do this all the time cause I would get anxious and my mother would never let me get away with it. To her, shaking your leg so much causes bad luck.

I did not add this before, but my grandmother is Chinese-Filipino so, you can imagine what its like to deal with her. The number 4 is considered unlucky while the number 8 is lucky. We are never allowed to have fours in our house. I once wanted to go out with my cousins, and my grandmother made us take one of the little kids so we would have five people instead of 4. My grandmother's sister only had four kids, and I can just think about how horrified their family was. Lucky for my aunt though, she had eight kids.

Another Chinese superstition. The color red is lucky. That's why during Chinese New Year we always have red. My grandmother only has her nails painted red, and so do I.

This is more of Feng Shui thing. My grandmother and my aunt go to Chinatown and just buy these little glass figures of elephants, dragons, pigs, frogs, fish, ducks and turtles. In every room of our house, we have some sort of figure. In my room, there is a golden dragon and in my cousin's room is a huge green buddha and a turtle. I was born the year of the dragon so having dragons around don't bother me as much.

Never believed this one until I was getting white hair in elementary school. My mom told me if I kept sleeping with wet hair, my hair would start to turn white and fall out. In reality, though, my body just lacks melanin so I will sleep with damp hair mom.


  • If a butterfly starts to follow you around, that is a loved one that passed away coming to greet you. This one always makes me happy, and it is true. My Lolo has proved that to me.
  • Moving the body of a person who has passed away may curse you. I just think souls can come back and haunt you for not letting them rest. Weird that I feel this way since my course is Criminology. 

I could go on and on about how many more weird things my family believes in, but then it would start to get into an area of no return, and some people would think my family is crazy. Everyone has their beliefs, but Filipinos have some superstitions for unknown reasons. 

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