Saturday, May 10, 2008

Pamahiins

Mga Pamahiin (superstitious beliefs). It's become a part of the Filipino culture. Many believe in pamahiins and have made them a part of their life. I've come across many people with different beliefs, some who have shared them with me and even have tried to influence them on me.

I was reminded of this when I was talking with my husband's cousin last week. It was a Friday and she was saying that she was about to cut the fingernails of her infant son, when she remembered that you should not cut fingernails on Tuesdays and Fridays. She turned to me and asked me if I believed in them. I frankly said "no" and told her that I've heard about the pamahiin before but did not believe in them. I had first analyzed this - why tuesdays and fridays??? The only logical or maybe illogical answer was that these days are the days we pray the Sorrowful mysteries. What's the connection with fingernails? Who knows? But these superstitions like many others have their origins in the imaginations of people.

"Walang mawawala kung maniwala ka." ("You won't lose anything if you believe in them.") I've heard this many times too. And again, the answer came to me: "yes, you will lose something - your belief and faith in God. Because you believe in superstitions that have their origins in man, then you lose your faith in God, who made man and who is more powerful than any man-made superstition.

There are many more pamahiins that I could name and that we followed when I was a child. Like do not step over someone because they won't grow; do not sing when you're in front of the dinner table (not sure why); do not cut your fingernails at night and many more. I've left many of these behind and do not follow them, unless it disrespects someone who really follows them. But in my heart, I know what's right and if there is doubt, I will ask the Lord who is the source of Truth.

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