Nueva Ecija

Superstitious Beliefs of an Ilocano-Tagalog Family during Holy Week

As a Nueva Ecija probie, my family prides ourselves as Ilocano-Tagalog decents. I grew up with a lot of superstitious beliefs that were reinforced to me and my millenial cousins. Since its holyweek, I’m sharing a list of some of these beliefs that my family passed unto me:

  1. No taking a “Bath”

A painstaking memory I had to endure while living in my grandmother’s house is to not to take a bath from Holy Thursday to Good Friday and living in a tropical country, such days were typically hot. My granny believed that the water dies along with God. She added that the possibility of me and cousins having itchy rashes is high due to dead water. Although I don’t believe her sentiment on rashes (might be told to scare us), had to follow her anyway.

  1. No Meat

I’m not a veggie lover person and seafoods aren’t my close ally either. I love meat dishes as in Filipino Adobo, Mechado and Tapa. My mom says fasting on meat starts from Sunday of Palaspas (Before Holyweek) to Holy Saturday. This a common practice in the Philippines that my family still inhibits by serving seafood dishes during holy week.

  1. Injury during Good Friday will heal for a long time

Avoidance of anything that can cause any sort of injury is a must on good friday. And so the adults in our family would see to it that the children don’t roam carelessly.

  1. No climbing of trees

“Santo-Santo” is the term used by my big brother to refer to the mysterious forces that causes the high probability of falling down the trees. And so climbing is a big no-no.

  1. Making noises was prohibited

“Was” because way back my bata batuta or childhood days, silence was extremely observed at home. Adults would yell at you saying “Wag maingay, patay ang Diyos” (Don’t be loud, God’s Dead) You’ll hear nothing except the chirping of the birds and the TV which features either God or values-related presentation in all channels. Hence, the ambiance at home would be like someone’s mourning , although no one’s crying. Kinda like silent tears perhaps. However, nowadays because Holy week is a long holiday, solemnity is a rarity that you get to experience. My family goes out and spent it somewhere like the beach after doing a Visita Iglesia (church visitation).


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