Superstitious Beliefs in Santo Tomas, Batangas by Aurora A. Hernandez, 1925 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Superstitious Beliefs in Santo Tomas, Batangas by Aurora A. Hernandez, 1925 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Superstitious Beliefs in Santo Tomas, Batangas by Aurora A. Hernandez, 1925

This page contains the complete transcription of the 1925 ethnographic paper written by one Aurora A. Hernandez from .jpeg scans of the originals made available by the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections. Corrections for grammar had been made in certain parts but no attempt was made to rewrite the original paper. Original pagination is indicated for citation purposes.

Henry Otley-Beyer Collection

[Cover page.]

Tagalog Paper No. 480.
Aurora A. Hernandez.
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  1. TAGALOG: Santo Tomas, Batangas Province.
  2. Summary: Folklore: Beliefs.

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March 1, 1925.

[p. 1]


Aurora A. Hernandez.

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I. Concerning Man.

1. If you happen to bite your tongue, it is a sign that somebody is talking bad of you.

2. If there is dead at home, do not gamble for you will surely lose.

3. Do not wait for the gambler even if he comes home late, lest he may lose.

4. Supply the gambler with money willingly and he will win but if angrily, he will lose.

5. If you dream of somebody in mourning, a friend will get married.

6. Sisters or brothers should not marry within the same year, lest one will die.

7. If the wife is older than the husband, she will overpower him.

8. If the couple is both the youngest children, they cannot live harmoniously.

9. If the couple is both the oldest children, they will always quarrel.

10. When passing by a forest, do not point to the uncommon things that you see, lest you will get sick because

[p. 2]

of some bad spirits.

11. When you hear somebody calling your name in a dream, do not attempt to answer him, lest you will die. The one calling you may be only a bad spirit.

12. If a mother wants to lessen her milk, she should hang her key on her neck.

13. Just after the marriage ceremony, the first one to stand up at the same time pressing the other on the shoulder he or she will overpower the other.

14. The first one to get the candle and go out of the church will have the greater power than the other.

15. After the marriage ceremony, take hold of some money and then keep it in your box, you will surely have money in that box always.

16. If the bride and bridegroom on their way to church met a cadaver, they will have bad luck.

17. When you are about to be married, if possible, try to stay at home most of the time, for if you go out, you may encounter misfortune.

18. Children (about 7 years old) who always urinate on bed should be fed with “hipong-urong” (a kind of shrimp).

19. Do not marry on Thursday for it will bring you bad luck.

20. If you find an eyelash on your face, put it on your palm and tip it. If it flies form the palm, you will surely have a visitor.

[p. 3]

21. If, during the meal, a knife falls, you will have a man visitor; if spoon, woman visitor.

22. Do not gather the plates while one is still eating, lest she or he will be deserted by her lover.

23. Never sell the clothes you have already worn, for it will make you poor.

24. In gathering the plates from the table, do not pile them, lest your debt will never be paid, and it will pile and pile until it reaches a sum you cannot pay.

25. If you find a horseshoe, it is a sign of good luck.

26. Do not sing while cooking for you will marry a person much older than you.

27. If your finger is pricked with a needle, or if you choked, this means that you are being talked of.

28. Do not sew or mend your clothes while on the body, lest you may have a child without arms.

29. The child among many others, first baptized will always lead or excel others in everything.

30. When you dream of a person, invert the pillow and clothes you are wearing and change your manner of lying, the person you have dreamt will dream of you in the same subject.

31. The umbilical cords of brothers and sisters should be kept together so that they will never be separated throughout life.

[p. 4]

32. If a person is killed by his enemy, put the corpse upside down so that the murderer cannot go far and thus be caught.

33. If somebody dies in your house, do not take a bath for you will always feel cold and chilly.

34. When the nails of the baby [are] first cut, by a clean and neat person who knows really the art of cutting so that the child may be like him.

35. If, during the marriage ceremony, the veil of the bride falls, the husband dies soon or vice-versa.

36. If during the marriage ceremony, the wedding ring falls, the marriage will have bad luck.

37. If a person (children below age of growth) passes over you while you are lying down, you will not grow anymore unless the same person returns and passes over again.

38. If there is a corpse at home, do not scratch your head for you will have many lice.

39. If you happen to bite your lips, someone is angry.

40. If you lose a thing, you can find double that value or vice-versa.

41. The spirit of the dead will visit the family on the third day.

42. If you dream that all you teeth fall, you or a relative will die.

43. If during the wedding feast, some utensils are broken, the couple will have many children.

[p. 5]

44. If it rains during the wedding feast, the couple will get rich.

45. If the lover gives a pin, a safety pin or anything pointed as a gift to her sweetheart, the engagement will not get or last long, it will be broken.

46. If friends give to each other as a present something that can be worn on the feet like slippers, stockings, etc., the friendship will not last long.

47. If the lips and gums of a person are black, it shows that he is selfish.

48. If a tooth falls, throw it in a corner and give it to the rat saying: “Rat, rat! Here is your old tooth and give me my new ones.” In this way, you will have beautiful teeth and small as those of the rats.

II. Concerning Animals.

1. If you see a spider walking in the house, you’ll have a visitor.

2. If such a spider has an egg, a visitor is coming from a distant place with baggage.

3. If a cat is washing her face in the window, there will be a visitor.

4. If the lizard makes a noise, there will be a visitor.

5. If the owl enters a house, it will bring death to the members of the family.

[p. 6]

6. If a white butterfly visits the house or flies about a person, money will come; but if black, it brings death.

7. If a cock crows at an unusual hour, it is a sign of bad luck.

8. If a dog barks at night, it is a sign that a spirit is coming or nearing.

9. In gambling or in games, if one of the partakers sees a snake, he will win; but if a land lizard, he will lose.

10. If you break the egg of the house lizard, it is a sign that you will break your utensils.

11. If there is a sleeping snake in the house, it is a sign of good luck.

12. If there is a gecko in the house, it is a sign that there is no centipede.

13. Many small ants in the house is a sign that the occupants will always have some money.

14. If the cocks and hens shelter themselves to rest at an unusual time, there will be flood.

15. If a house lizard falls on a lady, she may remain an old maid.

16. In order that the animals may not wander far and go away, cut the whiskers or tail, burn it and bury in the base of the post of the house.

[p. 7]

III. Concerning Plants.

1. If you are stung with lipa, do the following: Go to the lipa tree, and dance around it. While dancing, throw some rice and then sing: “O! Beautiful lipa, you are my friend. I shall give to you the itching, and to me, the beauty.”

2. If you are stung with lipa, do not tell it to anybody because the itching will be taken out after so many days as there are persons who heard it.

3. If you want your plants to grow easily, plant them at [the] new moon. As the moon gets bigger, the plants will also grow bigger.

4. In planting red watermelon, use red clothes as the fruit will be red.

5. In planting corn, the planter should wear as thin clothes as possible, preferably none so that the corn cob will be full of corn grains with very thin or few husks.

6. In planting corn and banana, do not laugh so that the fruits will be full, nice and robust.

7. Plant camote during [the] full moon so that the tubers will be many.

8. In planting coconut (maka-puno), the planter must fill his mouth and the hole where the seedling is to be planted with soft boiled rice (nilugao) so that the tree will bear this special kind of coconuts (maka-puno).

[p. 8]

IV. Miscellaneous.

1. When you are cooking and the fire is bright and lively, there will be a visitor.

2. If you dream of money, you will have itches.

3. If you wear your clothes upside down, you will receive a present.

4. If you dream of a number, gamble in “hueteng” using this number, you will win.

5. It is bad to pay a debt at night, on Mondays, or on the first day of August, [it] will bring bad luck.

6. If you sweep at night, the money goes out of the house.

7. If you sweep when there is a cadaver, there will be bad luck.

8. If you wet the money, it will go away.

9. If you play with the money, it will go away also.

10. If a man dies and a lady follows, both of them will live together in heaven.

11. If a container of oil, ink, and salt falls in such a manner that the oil and salt mix, it is a sign of bad luck; if petroleum, good luck.

12. If you throw money to the places where the newly married couple will pass, they will become rich.

13. [If] The parents or godparents of the child baptized throw money after the baptism, the child will be rich.

[p. 9]

14. When the church bells ring at the Ascension of Christ, the children should jump so that they will grow big.

15. On Good Friday, do not take a bath, ride on horseback, nor pound rice because it will bring you bad luck.

16. Do not take a bath when the moon becomes smaller because you will be mad.

17. At New Year, be happy, be industrious, be good and you will be such throughout the year.

18. If the door and the window of a house are exactly opposite to each other, there will be no money left in the house.

19. Eat on a beautiful plate and your wife or husband will be beautiful.

20. Cut your hair at [the] new moon, so that it will grow long.

21. Do not comb the hair of the baby because his teeth will grow far apart.

22. Do not go away while somebody is eating lest you may meet some danger on your way. If you go while somebody is eating, turn around the plate on which you are eating so that the person eating will be satisfied and the person leaving may not meet any danger.

23. Wife and husband must sleep on the pillow of the same level, otherwise one will overpower the other.

[p. 10]

24. Do not comb your hair at night, lest your mother dies.

25. If the umbilical cord of a child is placed in a big container, the child will be rich or greedy, and if it is choked in water, he will not feel cold.


March 1, 1925

Notes and references:
Transcribed from “Superstitious Beliefs in Santo Tomas,” by Aurora A. Hernandez, 1925, online at the Henry Otley-Beyer Collection of the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.
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