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Saturday, February 6, 2021

Padugo: Filipino Blood-Spilling Ritual

One of the most popular superstitions or rituals in the Philippines is the “Padugo” or blood-spilling. It was long believed that for a particular establishment or structure, like a house, school, skyscrapers or, bridges to be sturdy and drive the evil spirits away, offerings need to be made.

Padugo, Filipino Urban Legend, Filipino Superstition

Has it been a tradition or part of the Filipino culture toperform such practice? How is it done?Barbaric as it sounds but, is it still practiced? Kumaw is one term used by some natives in the north. It was believed that children tend to go missing every time there is a significant construction happening in their area, especially in high noon.

It was rumored that to satisfy the unseen spirits; blood needs to be spilled in the very foundation, for it to last longer and be sturdier as well or, a tragedy will happen.

Chicken, goat, pigs blood are said to be the usual sacrifices poured in every foundation, as part of the “buhos” of the structure. But for some, human blood is more effective than animals’.

Related events have been recorded. On November 17, 1981, scaffolding collapsed during the Manila Film Center construction, which caused 169 deaths. It was rumored that some dead bodies were no longer retrieved and buried under the establishment’s cement.

Some individuals who have visited the building said that they had experienced spine-chilling activities such as sobs of those longing souls and cries of suffering men believed to be from those buried alive.

Padugo, Filipino Urban Legend, Filipino Superstition
Image: Faq.Ph

During the construction of San Juanico Bridge, the longest bridge in the country, connecting the provinces of Samar and Leyte which was said to be given as a gift by the former President Ferdinand Marcos to his wife Imelda. They reported it that children were gone missing from the provinces of Samar and Leyte, which only stopped after the construction of the bridge.

In Chinese, blood spilled in construction gives terrible luck; for Filipinos, it is otherwise. Thus, it makes the structure of establishments’ studier and drives away evil spirits.

Padugo, Filipino Urban Legend, Filipino Superstition
Image:  AdoboHamburger

Padugo, Filipino Urban Legend, Filipino Superstition
Image:  cbholganza
At this time, no proof has been recorded that this practice has been happening, mainly related to the children who have gone missing. It may just be from one of those stories elders made to scare children and not play during high noon. Lastly, no construction firms can attest to such practice as well. If mixing blood in cement will make the structure stands longer, thenthere seems to be no harm observing it for as long as no human blood isinvolved.
By  Kris De Vera Estrella, IFY Books

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