MANILA -- What are the things that we should avoid during the "Ghost Month"?
The Chinese traditionally consider August as the "Ghost Month," during which they give offerings to the souls of the departed who have not yet moved on to the other realm.
In an interview on radio DZMM, Dr. Anthony Fugoso, a dentist and feng shui practitioner, explained that the Chinese Ghost Month is similar to the Filipino's All Souls Day and All Saints Day.
"Binibigyan ng tribute ang mga yumao. 'Yung mga yumaong hindi nabigyan ng proper burial, o kaya walang preparation para makatawid sa kabilang realm," Fugoso said.
This is also the time when souls are allowed to come back to "eat" or "drink."
"Traditionally, pinapayagan silang lumabas sa kanilang lugar na pinanggalingan, 'yung realm nila. At 'yung mga ghost na 'yan, kaya hungry ghost, hindi sila preparadong pumasok sa lugar nila. 'Yung nag-o-offer nga tayo para meron silang makain," Fugoso added.
According to Fugoso, the Chinese usually burn paper money, paper cars and paper houses in front of their houses, or in an offering table, as offering to the ghosts.
In Southeast Asia, offering to the souls is commonly practiced in Malaysia and Singapore.
The "Ghost Month" is also usually associated with bad luck, and historically, a lot of calamities and tragedies happen in August.
"Umiiwas kami sa Ghost Month. Kapag may humihingi ng advice, sinasabi naming bawal magpakasal kapag Ghost Month. Mas marami ngang trahedya kapag August," Fugoso said.
He added that most of the advice they give are based on common knowledge and common sense, especially since most typhoons hit the country around August.
"Mabagyo talaga ang Agosto, maraming weather-related problems, kaya nakakonekta 'yan sa pag-interpret sa Ghost Month," Fugoso said.
Fuguso also noted that Manila hostage-taking incident, which happened in 2010, happened on "Ghost Day," or the 15th day of the seventh lunar month. In 2010, the full moon fell on August 23, the same day when the tragedy occurred.
This year, Ghost Day will fall on August 10.
Fugoso explained that not all days of August will bring bad luck, but there are only very few lucky days this month that feng shui practitioners would just advise people to avoid doing anything serious during the whole month.
"Based sa Chinese almanac calendar, isa o dalawa o tatlong araw lang ang araw na magandang ikasal. Pero kokonti lang 'yun, at hindi natin kabisado ang kalendaryo. Ang maninam, umiwas ka na lang," he said.
Fugoso also gave some tips for people who want to avoid tragedy this month.
1. People are advised to be extra careful, especially at night when ghosts roam around freely.
2. He also advised people against going on long trips, like sea or air travel.
3. Those who want to get married this month are advised to postpone their wedding.
4. Those who will undergo a major medical operation or surgery are also advised to postpone their procedure until the end of August.
5. People who moved to a new house are also advised not to have their house blessed this month.
"Huwag mag-be-blessing ng bahay, bawal lumipat, kasi baka akalain nung espirito welcome sila," Fugoso said.
Mountaineers are also advised not to go mountain climbing this month, as the rainy season makes it more risky.
According to Fugoso, insects can be manifestations of spirits, and he advised people against killing insects this month. "Bawal pumatay ng insekto lalo na ngayong Agosto. Baka manipestasyon ng kaluluwa na dinadalaw ka lang," he warned.
If all these tips are too difficult to remember, Fugoso said people just need to use their common sense to avoid tragedy.
He also advised people to continue having faith in God.
"Kung may feng shui ka sa buhay, 50% magi-increase ang good luck mo, pero kung mas nanalig ka sa Panginoon, 110%, mas maganda 'yun," Fugoso said.