There are plenty of superstitions regarding death of a family member or a relative. Most of it are ridiculously insane and out of this world. Nonetheless, people still faithfully believe, honor and obey these peculiar superstitions regarding death.
Most of Filipino superstitious beliefs were based or derived from the Chinese. Here are some of them.
1.) Gambling, such as ma-jong and card games, are allowed during burial. It’s a way to keep people stay longer and a way to earn minimal amount from “tong” to support other expenses during burial such as coffee, juices, breads and candies to mention a few being serve to sympathizers/mourners.
2.) However, members of the dead person are not allowed to participate in gambling. They will never win because it’s a sign of disrespect to the dead relative.
3.) Close relatives of the dead person should wear black or white. Other close and distant relatives can wear a ribbon to signify mourning. Failure to do so is a sign of disrespect and dishonor to the dead person.
4.) In a similar manner, wearing bright colored dresses (e.g. red and orange) during burial and funeral is a manifestation that you are rejoicing on the death of a particular person.
5.) If the caused of death of a family member was due to injustice/s (such as assassination or any related cases), chick or chicks are put on top of the coffin so as to conscience the assassin or killer to surrender.
6.) All financial supports received by the bereaved family should be used and spent for the benefit of the dead person (e.g. construction of tomb, etc…). Never use it to establish a business because it will never prosper. It might even bring tragedy to the family.
7.) Legumes such as mongo, beans and others are prohibited to serve during a burial period. They believe that in so doing, family members of the dead person will acquire wattles (bulutong) all over their faces and bodies.
8.) Among the Ilocanos, sweeping the rubbish and cleaning the house is strictly prohibited. Whatever the reason/s why it is not allowed is unknown to me.
9.) During the interment, all small kids related to the dead person (e.g. daughter, granddaughter, nephew, nice, children and siblings), must be passed back and forth above the coffin to repulse tragedy in the family.
10.) For travelers and commuters, it is customary to throw some coins when you encounter along the way a funeral of a dead person to repulse any untoward incidents during your journey.
11.) When a friend, a relative or a mourner/sympathizer comes, and greeted you condolence, never ever reply thank you. A remark of condolence is not worth a “thank you”.
12.) For Ilocanos, a pale of water should be pour in the front yard to repulse tragedy and to help the dead person’s spirit cleanse all his sins to be worthy of acceptance in heaven.
13.) There are several burial methods. For Filipinos, the longest period of burials is 9 days; hence the celebration of “Pa-Siam” which literally means the “9th day death”.
14.) As mentioned in the Bible, Jesus Christ ascended to heaven after 40 days upon his death. In the same manner and tradition, all Filipino Christians celebrate the 40th day of a family member’s death by inviting relatives and friends for a prayer and celebration because they believe it is the day the spirit of their dead relative and friend enters heaven.
15.) Christians have the most prolonged and most expensive burials and funerals. Unlike the Christians, Muslims can bury the dead bodies of relatives (without coffin) after a few hours of their death.