The Lucky Charms of the Philippines

Philipines – Tabi Tabi Po – Good Luck Charms from Around the World

Many nations are rich in superstitions and beliefs.  A lot of the lore that arises in cultures seeks to explain and control misfortune and ill health.  The Philippines is one of these countries who enjoys a rich tapestry of beliefs.

Philippines – Tabi Tabi Po

The culture of The Philippines has been influenced by its colonial past.  However, the beliefs of the Animist, from the pre-colonial Philippines has a strong influence on superstitions and charms.  Animists look to nature and feel that each element has a soul of its own.  This makes it essential to show respect to these elements as you walk through the country.

History of the lucky charm Tabi Tabu Po 

Animists is an ancient belief that objects, plants, all animals – most things of the planet – possesses a distinct spiritual essence.  Therefore, all the elements, from plants to rocks, from rivers to human constructions, have a soul of sorts that should be respected.  The Filipino’s are also thought to be influenced by beliefs in Hindu-Buddhist practices.

Why the Tabi Tabu Po charm is bringing luck

By saying Tabi Tabi Po as you walk through outdoor places and past significant features, you are saying excuse me to the creatures that folklore says inhabits the world.  For instance, the folklore suggests that old men live in anthills.  If you do not say Tabi Tabi Po, you will be stricken by a malady that can only be cured by an albularyo, a folk healer.

How to use the Tabi Tabi Po charm

The point of Tabi Tabi Po is to avoid the disturbance of the essence that lives within nature, especially anthills and Balete trees.  By saying the phrase, you are saying “excuse me” and showing respect.  You will, therefore, avoid bad luck.

How the Tabi Tabi Po charm is made

The charm that inhabits these words are passed down from generation to generation in the stories told to children.

How to make the Tabi Tabi Po charm at home

Learn some of the stories of Filipino folklore relating to a variety of elements.  Pass these stories to your children and belief in respect for nature will be passed too.

Interesting and fun facts about the Tabi Tabi Po charm

Saying Tabi Tabi Po is not the only strange, supernatural beliefs within Filipino culture. The place is scattered with mischievous elves that can be blamed for your bad luck.  Also, after visiting a wake, you are discouraged from going straight home.  Instead, you should pagpag – or shake off the dirt.  Failure to pagpag risks taking some of the spirit home with you.

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