Sunday, December 5, 2010


Vito's yaya, Ate Marita, is what some people would call a manghihilot. Once I had one of my infamous migraines, the kind that lasts for three days. Within minutes, Ate Marita massaged my stomach hard (and I yelped, "My tummy doesn't hurt!) then she applied pressure on my temples, then she practically pulled out my hair and then... my migraine disappeared. Weird! But effective.

So when I come home from work and see that she's applied some of her strange practices on Vito, I kinda let it slide.
Exhibit A: Vito is sucking on a boiled octopus tentacle. He really liked it, by the way. I was just nervous because his parents (that's me and Vince) both have asthma and allergic rhinitis so I was scared Vito might be allergic to the octopus. What it does: This supposedly protects the child from pilay should he fall or have an accident, which is often the case with active kids. This also makes good luck make kapit well.

Exhibit B: Vito has a dried kalabasa something pinned to him. That something is that round thing on the vegetable that the stalk is connected to. This supposedly will protect him from fever and pain when his teeth come out.

Exhibit C: Vito has a loose thread from his diaper stuck to his forehead. This supposedly gets rid of hiccups. In our experience, the hiccups went away when they wanted to go away, as hiccups are wont to do!

I think there's no harm but some people, especially my Born-Again friends, have said this is witchcraft. I got frightened by that and so have told Ate Marita to cease and desist. She was really hurt when I said that because she will never do anything to hurt Vito. And I believe her! But some superstitions and superstitious practices may stem from wiccan tradition so, to be safe, I have stopped this.

But I'm not with Vito 24/7 (more like 20/7) so, because I can't be around all the time, I just cover my son in prayer. How about you? What superstitious things do you practice on your child?


  1. oh no! octupus! i haven't even tasted octupus! frances, VITO is sooooooooooooooooooooooooo gwapo! when i have a baby, I hope she's a girl and vito will court her... hahaha!

  2. Just have to say your Vito is really gwapo! :)

    That octopus is something new to me! :) with my firstborn, we also had a yaya that believes in many superstitions and some I let pass as long as the baby doesn't ingest anything. During bathtime, she sprinkles water first and pray over him before she gives my baby a bath. She also bought him a bracelet-amulet for anti-"usog" and protection.
    It's up to the parents to screen what you would allow them to "do" and explain nicely if you don't share their belief. God bless :)

  3. I've never heard of any of those! For the hiccups I've seen a yaya (not mine) put a wet cotton on the forehead. I find them a bit weird and illogical but I am one to believe in astrology, feng shui and the like. She doesn't seem to be hurting him so if you feel comfortable about her then I say let her. Who knows, it just might work.

  4. my aunt also put kalabasa on my son clothes when he is still baby but the octopus thing is new to me :)

    Vito is really GWAPO! I am in love with his eyes

  5. i used to not believe these sort of stuff before but then i grew up with babies having that thread on their foreheads to get rid of hiccups...

    i guess as long as it doesn't harm the baby, it's not bad. i mean our culture is based on different beliefs even way before Christianity was introduced here so i guess i can say this is part of being a filipino.

    im not yet married & haven't had a baby but my bf is a firm believer of this...uhhh....belief..(haha!for a lack of better term). He does everything in his power to not make me do things as i want like taking a bath when i have periods & everything so i think i will see our babies (i hope that's soon enough) having those red & black bracelet & people making "pahid" motions in the babies forehead with their saliva (this is what im really against with!) to ward of 'usog'...

    but then i knew that these people will just care for my baby if ever so i guess i can let it be since they grew up to be healthy people doing all of those..

    i don't believe in 'usog' before but there was a time where i have a really bad stomach-ache & bf said that 'na-usog' nya ko kasi he was so nanggigigil when he saw me & people said that na malakas sya mang-usog. it was really painful to the point that i wanna cry na.. but he just wet his finger with saliva then put it on my forehead & believe me when i say that it disappeared in mere seconds!

    what the heck?!
    i was flabbergasted!

    i have been looking for any scientific explanation for that but i guess that will just remain to be unseen.
    *shrugs shoulder*

  6. wow i've encountered all sorts of weird voodoo stuff with elders from the province but i've never encountered anything with octopus or dried kalabasa yet. quite interesting actually.

    when tala is masyadong "magulatin", someone from the province does a "patawas" where candle wax is dropped on a pail of water and that should say what sort of element is bothering tala. Afterwhich, they pin a tiny sack filled with a small piece of wheat or rice (or something like that) on her clothes to keep the bad spirits away.

    i still don't know how i feel about these things to be honest. i'm kind of in the middle really.

  7. I think pamahiins like this are a bunch of baloney.

    The saliva thing is so unhygienic that I just REFUSE to believe that it's a harmless superstition.

    I mean, we sterilize our baby's bottles, obsess about clean hands, etc... then we'll just let some person (god forbid that he/she is a stranger) put saliva on our kid? Gross.

    But I respect people who believe in those superstitions. So as long as they don't force it on me and my kid, we're good.

    I remember telling a bunch of sales ladies at the mall "Wag nyong lalawayan anak ko kung ayaw nyong lawayan ko rin kayo" :)

    haha the thought of putting my saliva on some stranger amuses me :))


This is all pretty new to me so please feel free to share your mommy wisdom!