Filipino traditions when building or moving to a new house

The ongoing pandemic has forced many Filipinos to move to a new dwelling. Some move to the province for fresher air, while some transition to bigger homes after living in smaller residences. There are also some Filipinos who have bought parcels of land and are now in the process of building their dream homes. 

Building and moving into a new home are both exciting moments in a person’s life. But did you know that we Filipinos have a lot of traditions when it comes to building or moving to a new house? Here are some to keep in mind when the time comes for you to move: 

When building a new house: 

  • Number of stairs. When building a multiple-level home, make sure to check on the number of stairs. Count the number of steps using the chant, oro, plata, mata (gold, silver, death). The superstition is that the topmost step must not end in mata or death, as this would bring bad luck to those using the stairs. Always end the topmost step with either oro or plata but make sure to never end with 13 steps as the number 13 is believed to be the number of the devil. In addition, stairs should always turn to the right. Turning to the right represents staying on the moral path, while turning to the left might cause straying from the marriage. 
  • Date of property ownership. Numbers play a huge part in Filipino traditions. In this case, the date of ownership of a new property must contain the number 0, 5, or 8 as these are the numbers that end in an upward stroke and are therefore lucky. 
  • Scatter salt. Salt is considered good luck in many cultures and as a means to get rid of bad spirits and negative energy. Scatter some salt in every room of the new house to prevent bad juju from entering or visiting the home again. 
  • Place old coins on the doorstep and inside foundation posts. Before the cement in the doorstep hardens and dries, bury a few old coins on it. This practice is meant to attract wealth and prosperity to the family living in the house. You can also make an imprint of the coin on the doorstep of the home to encourage steady flow of wealth. 
  • PadugoPadugo is the practice of pouring or smearing pig or chicken blood on the house’s foundation is meant to ward off bad spirits and protect the house from them. 
  • House directions. When building a house, check which direction your new door will be facing. It is said that a house facing the east brings prosperity to the home, while a house facing the west brings financial difficulties, quarrels, and death to the occupants. 
  • Plant a fruit-bearing tree. Planting a fruit-bearing tree on the front yard or garden is supposed to ensure a sweet life for the homeowners. 

When moving to a new house: 

  • Check the moving day. When moving into a new house, never move on Fridays, Saturdays, and rainy days, as these days are considered to bring bad luck. 
  • Scatter coins for prosperity. When moving into a new home, the tradition of scattering coins to the corner of every room upon arriving is meant to attract wealth and prosperity.
  • Enter with rice and salt. The tradition of bringing in a container full of rice before bringing anything else into the home represents the occupants never running out of food throughout their stay in the new house. The practice also symbolizes bringing good fortune and wealth for the occupants. 
  • Bring a new broom. When moving into a new house, always bring a new broom and never the old one. Doing this is a symbol of letting go of the bad energy from the previous home. 
  • Six and new moon. When transferring to a new home, do so no later than six o’clock in the morning during the new moon. This ensures that fortune enters your new home. 
  • Sleep alone for nine days. When moving in, do not invite friends over for a sleepover. Yet. Instead, sleep alone in your room for nine days. It is believed that the number of people who slept in the first night should be the same for the next nine days, otherwise a death will occur. 

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