Lately, I’ve had a lot of encounters with Filipino superstitions about pregnancy because, yes, I’m pregnant… again!
Having been born and raised in the province, these superstitious beliefs (pamahiin) are not new to me at all. In fact, there are pamahiin for almost everything: marriage, building a house, pregnancy, funeral, etc. It’s become part of the Pinoy culture. I myself practice most of these beliefs mainly because I believe there is nothing to lose if I do (and because my mom would scold me if I don’t. Lol!)
Being 23 weeks pregnant, here are some of the Filipino pregnancy superstitions I’m currently dealing with:
1. Want twins? Eat twin bananas!
The elderly believes that if a pregnant woman eats twin bananas, it will increase her chances of having twins! Ain’t that convenient? However, thanks to modern medicine, we know better. You know, that thing with the egg cell splitting or the ovary releasing multiple eggs… fun stuff!
Paglilihi is a Filipino word which describes the symptoms of early pregnancy where the pregnant woman has either too much liking or hate for a certain food, thing, animal, or even person.
How it works: The skin color and characteristics of your baby is based on the food you were craving for, animal you were petting with, or a person you enjoyed looking at when you were pregnant. So, the elderly believes that you should not eat dark-colored food, look at unattractive people, or watch scary movies because the baby will look like them.
Uhmm, Mommy, sounds familiar?
3. Eat at your own risk
It is said that if you share food with a pregnant lady, you will become sleepy, dizzy, or even sick. Well, if I were pregnant 100 years ago, I will make up this superstition too para walang manghihingi and I don’t have to share. Hahaha!
4. Pasok kayo, may buntis!
Visitors are not allowed to stay on the doorway of a pregnant woman’s house because it may result to difficult delivery or long labor. Looking back at my first pregnancy, was there someone who stood by our doorway and caused my 40-hour labor?! Ggrrr… JK! Lol!
5. No pictures, please
Pregnant women are not allowed to be photographed because she might experience prolonged labor. Ayan kasi, Krystal! All you do is take pictures and selfies, CS ka tuloy!
6. You can live without your necklace
Don’t wear a necklace or anything around your neck while you’re pregnant to prevent the umbilical cord from coiling around your baby’s neck. Bawi ka na lang sa pak na pak na earrings, besh!
7. Gender prediction
If you experience skin darkening on your armpits, nape, groin, and face, you will have a boy. In case you break out with pimples, you will have a boy. If you suddenly grow hair on places where there shouldn’t be, you will have a boy. Basically, kapag pangit ka habang buntis ka, you will have a boy! Otherwise, if you look pretty and fresh during your pregnancy, you will have a girl.
8. Beware of Aswang
According to ancient folklore, a pregnant woman attracts Aswang because the scent of the unborn child is irresistable to smell and to eat.
To fend off Aswang, a pregnant woman should keep garlic in her pocket. Also, to prevent them from getting into the house, some place garlands of garlic on the doors and windows. The smell of garlic, they say, is unbearable to the Aswang.
Scary naman this! Kaya I put garlic sa windows, just in case.
9. Super Blue Blood Moon
Recently, there has been an awesome phenomenon where three lunar events happened simultaneously in one night – the supermoon, blue moon, and blood moon.
Naturally, there’s a Filipino superstition relevant to this. They say that a pregnant woman should not go out when there is a full moon; however, others say that the pregnant lady should go outside when there is an eclipse. There is also a variation saying that if the pregnant lady is outside when the eclipse began, she should not go inside until it is over so that the baby is fully developed when it’s time for delivery. So, medyo naconfuse ang kagandahan ko, besh!
I ended up going outside to watch the super blue blood moon and I stayed until it was over. It wasn’t a problem as astronomical events have always fascinated me.
10. Transfer of paglilihi
It is believed that when a pregnant woman steps over her husband (hinakbangan mo si mister), the paglilihi symptoms will be transferred to him (i.e. morning sickness, food cravings, fatigue, etc.)
I did this multiple times but it’s not effective! Di pa rin ako nakaligtas sa morning sickness.
Did I miss some? Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading! Until next post.