If you have been to a wake or a funeral in The Philippines, you may not go straight home after so you don’t bring the ghost with you. 

Around the world there are all kinds of different customs to funerals and wakes, everything from what you wear, eat and behave. And in The Philippines, there is a specific custom to not draw the spirits or ghosts with you home. 

File:Philippines Funeral Procession.jpg
Funeral: Philippines Funeral Procession. // Photo: moyerphotos

There is a superstition that you are not supposed to go straight home after a wake or a funeral. Pagbag is a tagalog term that means ‘to shake off dust or dirt’, and it is believed that you should not welcome ghosts and spirits into your home. It should not be confused with the term that is also used to talk about leftover food, scavenged and collected outside of supermarkets and restaurants.  

So instead of going directly home after a wake or a funeral, you are supposed to wander around after to help shake off the ghost and spirit so as not to bring them home. After an event like that, you supposedly carry too much bad energy you must get rid of. 

Perhaps today not everyone believes that they would drag a ghost with them on their way home, but still do it because of tradition. People usually go to places like a cafe, a park, a shopping mall or something before heading home, just in case. 

There are several superstitions surrounding the Filipino wake, ranging from the belief that you shouldn’t bring home food from the wake as a guest or to look into a mirror when you are in the presence of the dead.  


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