Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pinoy's Pamahiin sa Pagbunbuntis (Filipino Beliefs in Pregnancy)

In the Philippines, we call superstitions, "paniniwala" or "pamahiin." Majority of these are handed down from the elderlies.  I remember asking my mom where did all these came about and she told me that back in the ancient time, people really do not have alot of things to do and do not have all the scientific information that we know now, so they came up with beliefs of what they see around them.  I am not superstitious at all but being a Filipino myself, I tend to follow some of the beliefs about pregnancy probably just because I grew up hearing them.  Majority of these are just too funny and does not make sense.  I decided to compile them and will continue compiling the beliefs from the US too haha.   I mean it does not hurt any to follow some of them, doesn't it?

*Kapat tulis ang tiyan ng buntis, ito daw ay may lalaking sanggol.  Pag bilugan, ito daw ay babae.  (If a pregnant woman's abdomen is pointed, her baby will be a boy; if it is round, it will be a girl.  Then why is mine big and round and I am having a boy??)

*Pag ang buntis ay kumain ng kambal na saging, kambal daw ang magiging anak. (If she ate two bananas which are conjoined to each other, like twins, there will be twins in her womb.)

*Bawal daw magpagupit ng buhok ang buntis para di maging kalbo ang bata.  (Pregnant women should not cut their hair so the baby will have hair.)
*Pag buntis, huwag umupo ng nakabukaka para hindi mahirap ang panganganak. (When pregnant, do not sit with your legs far apart, it prolongs labor.)

* ang mga buntis daw, after manganak eh bawal maligo ng isang linggo kasi baka mabinat. (Pregnant women are not supposed to take a bath for a week after giving birth.  NO WAY!)

*Para lumakas ang gatas ng nanay, kumain ng mga pagkain tulad ng tinola, sabaw ng halaan or tahong.  (Have plenty soups such as tinola to increase milk supply.)

* ang mga babies, dapat daw lagyan ng parang ointment na pang-alis kabag. tapos ang pusod dapat laging naka bigkis kahit nalaglag na yung extra umbilical cord.  (There is a special oil or ointment concocted by elderlies that you have to put on a baby's tummy to relieve constipation.  Also, the belly button should always be bandaged even though it has healed.  Does not make sense eh?)

* para iwas usog daw, lagyan ng lipstick o papahiran ng laway ang bata.  (To avoid hexes, put a red dot using lipstick or put saliva on the baby's forehead OR belly button. Now isn't that disgusting?)

* pag may sinok ang bata,  lagyan ng kapirasong sinulid sa may noo ng bata para mawala. (If a kid has a hiccup, put a small piece of thread on the kid's or baby's forehead for the hiccups to go away.  doh?)

* para sa mga buntis o bagong panganak, mag lagay ng isang buong bawang sa may bintana para iwas malas at bati. (For pregnant women or those who just gave birth, place a clove of garlic by the window to avoid bad luck.  I thought garlic is to scare of vampires?)

* Ayon sa mga matatanda, kapag ang isang sanggol ay pinaliguan ng unang tubig-ulan sa buwan ng Mayo, ito ay mas lalaking malusog. "Agua de Mayo"ang tawag sa unang ulan sa buwang ito.  (According to the elderlies, babies grow healthier if given a bath under the rain at the month of March.  It is called "Agua de Mayo.")

*Bawal mamintas kapag buntis.  Bawal din tumingin sa pangit pag buntis.  Baka maging kamukha ng anak mo ang pinipintasan mo.  (You shoud not criticize or even look at an ugly person while pregnant.  Your baby might look like that ugly person.)

* Bawal magbiyahe or lumabas ng bahay ang bata kung hindi pa nabibinyagan.  (The child cannot move house or travel long distances if he's not yet baptized.)

* Dapat daw isabit sa may bintana ang pinutol na pusod ng magkakapatid para sila ay maging malapit sa isa't-isa.  (The umbilical cords of siblings may be tied together and hung by the window so that they will remain close to one another)

* Sa binyag ng bata, idisplay ang sinuot na pambinyag kung saan makikita ng mga imbitado.  Ang bata daw ay lalaking magiliw at magaling makisama.  (Display the christening gown of the child during the reception after baptism. Place it where guests will see it. The child will become friendly and sociable.)

* Pakainin ng pwet ng manok ang bata para mabilis makapagsalita.  (When the child is able to eat solid food, let it munch on cooked chicken's behind so it will be able to master the art of speech faster.)

* Gumamit ng libro para sa unang unan ng bata para lumaking matalino.  (Use a book as the baby's first pillow, so the child will become intelligent. )

*  Sa unang kaarawan ng bata, palaruin ang lahat ng kanyang laruan at kung ano ang kanyang lalaruin, yun ang magiging propresyon at kagustuhan niya sa buhay.  (On the child's first birthday, gather things around him. Whatever he will like to play with will be his life's passion.)

* Sa unang kaarawan ng bata, ang unang gugupit ng kanyang buhok ay ang isang tao na gusto ng magulang na tularan ng bata kapag siya ay lumaki.   Ang ginupit na buhok ay inilalagay din sa isang libro para lumaking matalino ang bata.  (Also on their first birthday, ask somebody who you would like their traits to be imitated by your child to be the first one to cut his hair. Usually this bit of hair
is also inserteed in a book to make the child intelligent.)

* Ang batang sumusupsop ng kanyang daliri sa paa ay nangangahulugan daw na gusto na niya ng kapatid.  (When a child sucks his toes, he's asking for a sibling.)

* Kailangan daw gupitin ang pilik mata ng sanggol para humaba ito.  (Cut the child's eyelashes to make it grow long.)

*Sabi ng matatanda dapat daw magsabi ng "Pwera Usog" pag binabati ang sanggol para maiwasan ang kabag at sakit ng tiyan.  (Say the words, "Pwera Usog" whenever you greet an infant to avoid giving the baby tummy aches)


  1. Let me give you some that I picked up on from the US (mainly our family).

    1) Don't cut baby's hair until they are one, it's bad luck. (ie. it will shorten their life)

    2)If you have heartburn, your baby will have hair (which, funny enough, has sorta been scientifically proven)

    3)If you carry high, it's a girl and if you carry low, it's a boy. (Not in my case, I carried Dani so low...well I'll spare you the details on a public forum).

    4) Put a knife under the bead while the woman is in labor to help "cut" the pain.

    Hmmmmm....I can't think of any more. But I'm sure you can ask around and come up with plenty. In Italy, though, the insisted I drink alcohol(I didn't) because it was "GOOD FOR THE BABY'S HEART!" (Don't know if that is normal in Italy or just normal for the Italians I knew). In Japan, when I was in Labor, all the other Mommies would rub my belly and say, "Gambare!" Which basically means, "You can do it!!" Though you can buy, "childbirth safety" charms from the Buddhist shrines. Pretty neat!

  2. Hey Kelly! We have the same belief as #1 and #3. #4 sounds odd haha. If medicine can prove that champagne can be good for baby's development, I am all for it haha