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Ghost Month: Do’s and don’ts by Master Ang

BROAD CAST - Jing Castañeda - Philstar.com
Ghost Month: Doâs and donâts by Master Ang
The bad spirits will always return to where they came from, Master Ang says. So, he advises not letting Ghost Month own your life.
Aidan Roof via Pexels

A tradition originating from the Chinese of Buddhist and Taoist influences, Ghost Month is the seventh month of the lunar calendar when spirits break free from the gates of hell to roam the living world. These “hungry ghosts” are believed to be the ones who had died the violent way. Hence, to those not entirely familiar, Ghost Month might strike as a fearful time that would bring forth everything but good luck.

But from our conversation with renowned Feng Shui expert Master Ang in our recent episode on “Pamilya Talk,” it’s not exactly that. While the tradition discourages launching new ventures or big events in your career, relationships, and domestic life during Ghost Month, Master Ang believes you should not live your life at a standstill.


“Mas maraming nagkakasakit at ‘di magandang nangyayari tuwing Ghost Month. Ang paniniwala namin—binubuksan ang mga pinto ng impiyerno sa panahong ito kaya panandaliang nakakalabas ang mga ghost. Sila’y mga gutom at naghahanap ng pagkain. Habang naghahanap ng pagkain, may tendency na gumawa sila ng mga gulo at bubulungan ka,” he explains.

“‘Di naman ibig sabihin na may magaganap na lagim. Ang intensyon ng mga ghost ay para guluhin ang utak mo para gumawa ka ng mga bagay na ‘di kanais-nais na hindi mo naman talaga ginagawa.”

This year’s Ghost Month commences on August 8 and ends on September 6. The Chinese Ghost Festival, to commemorate and honor the dearly departed, happens on August 22 or the month’s 15th lunar day.

During this year’s Ghost Month, the Chinese believe that the spirits will unfortunately gravitate toward those born on the Year of the Goat (1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015).

Master Ang explains, “Sila yung kaaway ng Ox. Ang Ox at ang Goat, mortal enemies. May tendency na pag Ghost Month, sila ang maapektuhan. Kaya ang Goat, talagang dapat mag-ingat. Parang sinasabing pinaka hindi sila masuwerte ngayong taon.”

Instead of letting anxiety and uneasiness consume you this Ghost Month, however, Master Ang recommends using the spirits to your advantage. Go rack up good karma with these practices that could keep you on the survival path these coming weeks!

General rule: Pray

Nothing is more effective than prayer when warding off bad spirits, says Master Ang. Since hungry ghosts will most likely feed on those who spark negativity and foster wrongdoing, he, of course, recommends being the opposite. “Kontrolin mo ang sarili mo. Kailangang maging mabait ka. Iwasan ang gulo at ang pagiging mainitin ang ulo,” he says. “Higit sa lahat, magdasal ka, maging palasimba ka. Malaki ang naitutulong ng dasal.”

Stay positive

Maintaining a clean heart and an overall hopeful state of mind, of course, should have no expiry date, says Master Ang. “Hindi naman porke pumasok ang Ghost Month, mamamatay na tayo. Ang intensyon ng mga ghost ay manggulo lamang,” he clarifies. “ May mga tao na kahit hindi Ghost Month, ang negative. Ang nakikita ay puro kapangitan. Laging iniisip nIya sa tao, may gagawing masama sa kanya. Kung ikaw ay maging madasalin, alam mo na hindi ka makaka-attract ng negative vibes.”

Be extra watchful

Security can be a big concern this Ghost Month, with Master Ang even admitting that he himself only gets to sleep at night once his kids are all tucked in bed. So, he advises, be extra careful and discerning. “Bawal umuwi nang late. Ang mga bahay natin ay protektahan. Alam mo naman ngayong mahirap ang buhay, maraming nangyayaring ‘di maganda.”

Master Ang: “Maglagay kayo ng asin na naka-pouch sa bag nyo. Sa bahay, ilagay ito sa baso at ilagay sa gilid ng pinto sa may entrance para walang pumasok na negative vibes.”
Pamilya Talk/screenshot


Stay away from bodies of water

The Chinese believe that spirits are also out for rebirth. These ghosts then take advantage of the following month’s luxury by going to bodies of water where the living swim. The goal: To drown them and switch places with them. Master Ang then suggests avoiding even artificial bodies of water like swimming pools. “Baka kasi malunod tayo. Sabi nga sa ‘tin, may mga bagay na ‘di natin maipaliwanag. Alam mo yung sang level lang ng tubig ang kaya mo, pero sa hindi maipaliwanag, lumusob ka sa pinakailalim. Akala mo, kaya mo,” he says. “Hindi natin alam na pinupulikat na pala tayo sa tubig. Kaya ‘pag nag-swimming, ibanat nang konti ang mga paa natin. Mag-konting exercise.” Even in our bathrooms where water is very much running, the Feng Shui expert also warns, “‘Pag pumapasok sa banyo, tignan nyo ang slippers nyo kasi baka tayo’y madulas.”

Avoid the dark!

The lack of light attracts the spirits, Master Ang declares. So, he says, it’s best to keep your surroundings and even your clothing bright. “Sabi nga, pinapapalaya ng impiyerno ang mga ghost isang beses kada taon. Ang pinupuntahan nila ay mga dark places. Bago magsara ang pinto ng impiyerno, yang mga ghost babalik. Ang mga iba, ‘di na bumalik kasi nagustuhan na nila ang mga place na napuntahan nila. Kaya dun na sila nagtago.” When it comes to outfits, Master Ang suggests ditching dark hues, “Kahit yung dark blue, kino-consider naming (bawal) dahil nagmumukhang black. Gusto natin ng bright colors: Red, white, green, ‘wag lang itim.”

Transfer homes the ‘proper’ way

Another taboo is moving into a new home within the Ghost Month. But if you really have to, Master Ang recommends following a simple ritual. “Mag-alay ng pagkain—maghanda ka ng anim na inumin, anim na ulam, at dalawang rice. Mag-insenso ka sa labas ng bahay. Para kang nagpapaalam (sa spirits).” Only on the next day should you be able move into your new place, he suggests.

Stock on salt

The Chinese believe that salt, one of the Five Flavors embedded in their culture, sends bad spirits away while inviting good karma. Thus, Master Ang suggests, to keep rock salt (not the iodized kind) with you at home or even in your travels. “Maglagay kayo ng asin na naka-pouch sa bag nyo, maraming maitutulong yang asin. Sa bahay, ilagay ito sa baso at ilagay sa gilid ng pinto sa may entrance para walang pumasok na negative vibes,” he says. “Kahit di na kayo bibili ng lucky charms.” Although, Master Ang recommends changing it once a month.

“Ang ginagawa ng iba, after one month ay kukunin at gagamiting panluto. ‘Di po pwede ito dahil andun lahat ng klase ng negative vibes na sinipsip. Para syang cotton.”

Know that this is all just temporary

The bad spirits will always return to where they came from, Master Ang concludes. So, he advises not letting Ghost Month own your life. “Hindi ibig sabihin na mahihinto na ang buhay. Tuloy pa rin ito. Hindi ibig sabihin na sumpa ang August. Basta alam mo sa sarili mo na malinis ka at gumagawa ka ng tama. Kung may gusto ka sa buhay, ituloy mo lang. Ang sa akin ay kung makakaiwas lang (sa malas),” he says. While the belief is mostly rooted in tradition, Master Ang says some practices during Ghost Month should not necessarily be—especially when it comes to your health. Be wise, he then imparts. “Walang itong kinalaman sa ating kalusugan, so pwedeng magpa-vaccine kahit Ghost Month. Sana magpa-vaccine na tayo para matapos na ang COVID-19 na ito. Para mabuksan na ang ecomony natin. Para makapagsimula na tayo ulit at makabangon na tayo.”

 

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Please watch Pamilya Talk on Facebook, YouTube, and Kumu (@JingCastaneda – 5:30-7:00pm Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday). Please share your stories or suggest topics at jingcastaneda21@gmail.com. You can also follow and send your comments via my social media accounts: InstagramFacebookYouTubeTwitter, and Kumu.

AUGUST FENG SHUI GHOST MONTH
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