by Glemir Sordilla
As a pungent smell from a tiny insect engulfed our small living room, we already know what we will hear. A groan from my grandmother can be heard following with her statement, that we have heard countless times, “Ara na ang baho ka changaw. May aswang gid ni” (Here goes the scent of the bug. There sure is a supernatural being.)
Most Filipino households are deeply rooted in bizarre and unusual superstitious beliefs. I have heard and still experiencing it. From not whistling in the dark to avoiding cutting one’s nails at night, these beliefs can be downright odd and almost funny.
Long ago, when people started unfathomably dying the cause can be just the simple “the gods are angry.” Excuses that are made to ease anxieties and questions. A possible reason, that in times of stress we resort to superstitious behavior specifically when we don’t have control over a situation.
While I did write an article about the spreading of fake news during this challenging time, it is pretty alarming how contagious superstitions are. With clickbait type of headline partnered with threats from supernatural beings that you learned to fear, let’s just say Covid-19 is not the only disease that is spreading.
Pandemic has already produced preconceptions and the absence of trust. It is now an excuse to blame and discriminate a community.
Despite Filipinos being notoriously faithful to their superstitious habits, we still follow actions that are advised by health experts during this pandemic. This can be said when the Philippines ranked second in terms of wearing masks with around 91% of Filipinos using it whenever they leave their houses according to the UK thinktank You Gov.
Superstitious beliefs are still being practiced and it will continue being a part of many Filipino homes. It almost feels like a reflex that is embedded in our heads although without asking its reason or purpose can admittedly cloud our judgment and makes us settle in not using our critical thinking. During this time, I can’t emphasize enough how listening to experts and taking in their advice while also checking if it’s factual is still the safest practice to do.