it’s called tradition, jeff. not witchcraft!

she’s not the type to joke around. if my mom was willing to fly all the way here to do it herself, then she must really mean business. there’s no messing around with this rite of passage marking a baby’s transition into the world of solids.

as far as readiness is concerned, raven was ready a month ago but she had to wait. first, for the “ingredients” to be imported through jeff’s cousin; and second, for the new moon, which fell on the first of october.

so last saturday, we finally did it. “susan’s witchcraft,” as jeff called it. lol. i’m glad he was home early that day so he could film it. otherwise, i would have done it by myself which meant that there would’ve been no documentation involved.

the whole rite might seem weird to most of you. i must admit i myself felt the same way at first but i respect my mom and i respect her desire to continue the tradition that was passed on to her by my paternal grandmother. my mom did it with us and with my two nieces but since she couldn’t be here for raven, she taught me how to do it instead.

i have to say this is something that isn’t really practiced as much anymore. i asked around and even jeff’s grandma never really did it with her kids so i had to rely solely on my mom for guidance. she wrote down the instructions, as well as the oration, and i just kind of reviewed everything prior to.

i shared it with jeff too. the poofter laughed his ass off. i ratted him out to my mom but i’m still waiting for the verbal beating to follow. similar to the one he got when he personally asked my parents for permission for us to get married. (“to be frank lang, jeff, to be frank lang…” hahahaha.) but, nah, my mom loves him now.

as a lover of words, there’s something about the oration that i find meaningful. of the four lines that i had to say, my favorite would have to be the one involving the octopus ash which loosely translated to:

may you be like an octopus that can cling and hold on when you’re about to fall.

the lines might have been a bit awkward to recite. not only am i very slow in reading my own dialect (compared to reading in english where i just breeze through it), but there were also several old, rarely-used words thrown in the bunch. it definitely felt like reading an ancient spell, alright! but it was all good. i’m glad i did it.

kudos to my baby for being such a trooper! =)

*raven at 5 months old

12 thoughts on “it’s called tradition, jeff. not witchcraft!

  1. aaawwwee! Raven is so cute! we sort of have a tradition like this too. All my siblings and I had ‘patis on a giniling na rice’ as our first meal. Gerber and Cerelac came after that. Hahaha

    1. Hey, that’s the first time i heard that! 😄 i reckon there’s a lot of supestitious “first foods” out there that i just don’t know about. Thank you for sharing that. Also, i have to admit I’m glad I’m not the only one doing the tradition thingie. Makes me sound less crazy. Lol.

      Im curious. Do you know the rationale behind the patis and giniling na rice?

  2. Haven’t heard of this one from my mom.. guess she is not that ancient as she wants to believe… first meal can change the pee and poo so look out for the rashes down there..

    1. the rashes already started about a week ago. i always put nappy balm as much as i can every nappy change but i noticed a bit of rash still. it’s not that bad but it’s there. so i switched to sudocrem now and it seems to be working.might take a bit of time for the skin to completely heal but it’s getting there. =)

  3. I am so pleased to have stumbled upon your blog and to get a peak into a traditional ritual. Not weird at all, but interesting and a way of marking an important milestone in your baby’s development.

    The video is adorable.

    I love that you ratted your husband out to your mom…:)


    1. Hi peta! Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and for being open-minded about my culture and our traditions. I have to admit that a part of me was kind of hesitant to share the video for fear that some people might find it ridiculous or whatever. It’s refreshing to have people like you who appreciate these sort of things and remain respectful through it. The world definitely needs more people like you. .😊

      Have a wonderful day!

  4. These traditions among Visayans are rarely passed on to the next generation. It is nice that you had it documented. Years from now let’s hope you do the same for your grandkids!

    1. i most probably would. i kept the notes my mom wrote out for me. i really want to raise my kid with filipino values and traditions, although i have to admit it would be quite challenging considering that she would be exposed to external influences too.

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