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9 Filipino Superstitions You Need to Know

9 Filipino Superstitions You Need to Know


I can tell you that we are a superstitious bunch. From predicting death through the howls of a dog to blaming elves for lost items, we have a belief for almost everything. And while some of these superstitions might sound crazy, there are some that I follow religiously.

Filipino Superstitions

Dogs howling

filipino superstitions - dog howling

For example, did you know that if you hear a dog howling at night, it means someone is going to die? And if you hear a rooster crowing at night, it means the same thing? I’m not sure how I’m supposed to sleep with all these animals predicting death around me!

Deaths and afterlife

And speaking of death, there are all kinds of superstitions about what happens after we die. For example, we believe that if you step on a grave, you’ll be haunted by the spirit of the person buried there. If you hear someone calling your name when no one is around, it means a spirit is trying to communicate with you. And if you see a butterfly, It’s believed that the butterfly is a butterfly is a reincarnation of a departed loved one.

Bad lucks everywhere!

If you break a mirror, it means you’ll have seven years of bad luck. If you see a black cat, it means bad luck is coming your way. And if you sweep at night, you’re sweeping away your good luck. (Looks like I’ll have to do all my cleaning during the day!)

Read next: Blast from the Past: 12 Nostalgic Filipino Toys of the Past

Unwanted guests

If you want to get rid of unwanted guests in your home, you can sprinkle salt around your house. It’s believed that this will make them uncomfortable and they’ll leave on their own. I’m not sure if it works, but I’ve never had any unwanted guests since I started doing this!

Don’t buy red cars

filipino superstitions - red ferrari 458 italia on road

But not all superstitions are that harmless. For example, some Filipinos believe that red cars are prone to accidents. I’m not sure where this belief came from, but I’ve heard it enough times to be a little wary of driving a red car.

Spin your plate

And if you happen to swallow a fish bone while eating, don’t panic! Just spin your plate three times and the bone will magically disappear. Okay, maybe not magically, but it does seem to work.

Pancit for your birthday

On the other hand, some superstitions can actually be beneficial. For example, serving noodles at celebrations is believed to bring long life. So if you want to live a long and healthy life, be sure to serve some noodles at your next party!

Blame the elves!

And if you ever lose something and can’t find it, don’t worry – it’s not your fault. Blame the elves! It’s believed that elves like to play tricks on humans by hiding their things. So if you can’t find your keys or your phone, just say “tabi tabi po” (which means “excuse me” in Filipino) and ask the elves to return your things.

Give discount to your first customer

Lastly, if you’re a business owner, you might want to try this superstition out. It’s believed that if you give a generous discount to your first customer of the day, your sales for the day will increase. I haven’t tried this one myself, but I’ve heard that it works like a charm. In fact, I paid my first customer today and I’m hoping that it will bring me lots of sales for the week!


All in all, Filipino superstitions can be funny, strange, and even a little bit scary. But whether we believe in them or not, they’re an important part of our culture and heritage. So the next time you visit the Philippines, keep an open mind and don’t forget to sprinkle some salt around your house!

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