Filipino Folk Beliefs on Death and Funeral (Based on the Movie "Deds na si Lolo")

I just recently watched the independent produced filipino movie Deds na si Lolo. It is a family oriented movie capturing the life and drama of an ordinary Filipino family amidst the funeral of the deceased father. The bereaved family in the movie has their own issues and conflicts, but what made me so much entertained with the movie is the rich culture it depicts regarding death and funerals.

Throughout the movie, I have learned 12 folk beliefs of Filipino regarding death and funeral. We may not be aware of this, but these myths are according to ancient Filipino people. Let's learn about these folk beliefs based on the movie "Deds na si Lolo"

1. Members of the family are prohibited to help carry the coffin of the deceased.

You should just let other people do it like your neighbor or the funeral service. Any member of the family must refrain from helping in carrying the coffin or else they will become ill and die.

2. Cut the rosary on the hand of the dead.

Because we are so much devoted of our religion, we always send out rosary on the dead. You should cut that rosary to stop the consecutive death in the family.

3. Put money on the hand of the dead and take it back before you bury it.

It is believed that if you put money on the hand of the deceased, that money would be lucky. So for the whole duration of the funeral, you must put money on the hand of the dead and take it back before the interment.

4. Don't wear red on the funeral.

According to the ancestors, dead people are afraid of color red, so it is a big NO to wear something red in attending the funeral.

5. Cover kids with red blanket.

Since dead people are afraid of red, you must cover your children with color red when sleeping so they won't be haunted by the soul of the dead.

6. Do not take a bath in the vicinity of the funerals.

If you could not stand it and you really need to take a bath, then go to your neighbor's house and take a bath there.

7. Do not usher your visitors who attended the funeral outside the house.

We filipinos are so hospitable that we used to usher our visitors when they about to go home. If there's a funeral, you should not do that. So I guess you need to take aside the hospitable aspect on this case.

8. Don't sweep the house when there is a funeral.

For the whole duration of the funeral, it is a big NO NO to sweep. If you want to clean, just pick it up. NO sweeping allowed.

9. Put chick on the coffin.

This one is only applicable for those who died in a crime. You must put a chick on the coffin and put some rice grains on it. It is believed that everytime the chick pick a grain of rice, the suspect will feel guilty.

10. Break a pot after the coffin is removed from the area for interment and clean immediately.

I don't know what is the purpose of breaking a pot but I guess it is just like breaking the curse of death.

11. If you met a funeral march on the street, throw some coins or money.

Throwing coins on the funeral march that you met along the way will make you rich.

12. Let kids cross over the coffin before burying the dead.

The child member of the family must cross over the coffin of the dead before burying it so the soul won't haunt the kid.

Whether it is true or just pure myth, these folk beliefs are already a part of Filipino culture. It is on these folk beliefs lies the rich culture of our tradition.