25 Basic Do and Don’t During Hungry Ghost Month

Hungry Ghost Month is one of the most inauspicious month of the lunar calendar in Chinese, Filipino-Chinese all over the world.

This usually takes place in the 7th month of the Chinese lunar calendar. The highlight of the inauspicious month is ” The Hungry Ghost Festival,’ which occurs on the 15th day of the 7th lunar month.


Chinese Hungry Ghost month

The Ghost month begins on August 19 and ends on September 16, 2020. There are several superstitious belief which were associated during the entire month of celebration.

25 Basic Do and Don’t During Ghost Month

25.) Visit to Chinese/ Taoist/ Buddhist temple. This is to seek protection during the entire ghost month. Some Buddhists/ Taoists will also visit the remains of their dead relative enshrined in columbary units or in temples to ask for guidance and blessing. This is also the time to receive amulets or bracelets blessed by Taoist monks or Buddhist priests in a special ceremony according to one’s Chinese zodiac sign.

24.) Refrain from opening new business during the duration of ghost month.

23.) Starting construction,opening bank accounts,signing contracts, major surgical operations,starting construction, celebrations, purchasing new furniture, buying dolls, puppets and moving out are usually postpone until after the ghost month.

22.) Travel into far flung places and wilderness is avoided – People are advise to avoid going to lakes, beaches, waterfall, rivers, mountain hiking or far places. This is not to offend the wandering ghost or unseen spirits which may dwell on these places.

21.) Wearing of bright colors like red, pink, fushia,magenta or dark colors like navy blue, gray and brown. Avoid these colors for they are considered inauspicious during this month. This is also generally practice by those who have relatives or close friends who died away within two- year time period. Some people also do not visit barbershop or salon to fix their hair, cutting of hair even nails during this month.

20.) Avoid Hanging Clothes Overnight – Wandering spirits may inadvertently enter one’s home.

19.) Avoid putting wind chimes around your home or property – The sound of metals clanking during the hungry ghost month may signal to spirits that your house is open to visitors. This can also attracts negative chi into your home or establishment.

18.) Avoid open umbrella inside home or buildings– unseen ethereal being may take refuge under them during this time. Bright colored umbrellas such as red, brown, grey or black must be avoided. Try to wipe your umbrellas dry for just a little while and close as soon as you can before entering one’s home or building. One may also leave one’s umbrella in the patio area.

17.) Do not leave the front door open – Do not leave front door open for a long period of time.This can invite negative chi or ethereal spirits into your home or building. Keep the negative energy out by keeping your doors closed. Some people will not enter the main door and will only use the side door or doors at the back to enter one’s home or establishment.

16.) Women and Men are discourage to wear high heel shoes– When a person feet are elevated from the ground, the person vulnerable to being possessed by spirits through the heels. Try to wear footwear without heels as much as possible.

15.) Avoid going outside after sunset -People are advise to stay indoor after sunset or avoid staying outdoors until dawn is observe in many Asian countries. Some will not go out by 12:00 midnight. This will avoid contact with any wandering spirit or offending unseen ghost in the dark. Some of which may cast misfortune or misery to anyone who might be offending them.

14.) Avoid killing insects inside home or building – This is specific to moths, butterflies, grasshoppers,crickets,dragon fly which are found within one’s home. These are considered as messenger by one’s ancestor or recently decease relatives who may opt to visit.

13.) Avoid sweeping floors and washing clothes during night time for the entire duration of the ghost month. This is like an open invitation to all the wandering ghosts that they can stay in your home or building by providing environment.

12.) Consulting the Dead and Deities– This is the best time to consult the dead “Pwa-pwe” by throwing the “Jiaobei“/ Moon Blocks/ Poe to the floor, (a pair of half-circle red wood or black wood, to ask the deceased if they are done with their feast).


Jiaobei or Moon Blocks/ Poe 

11.) If the Pwa-Pwe comes out as “No” / “Maybe”, come back for a few more minutes and try again. If it comes out as “Yes”, burn first the gold joss paper of the gods then followed by the silver joss paper of the deceased.

Moon blocks are also used to verify a range of issues, such as proper ritual protocol, spiritual presence of the gods or if they have eaten the offerings presented to them.

10.) Different offering date for the recently decease relatives and those who died  three years or more. 

Proper schedule and offering is strictly observe for those who have relatives who died within the two year period. People normally offer favorite food, burn personal belonging,burn joss paper money or joss paper crafts should be done on September 1, 2020 ( July 14th lunar calendar), a day before the Hungry Ghost Festival. The burnt objects and offerings are normally use and eaten by dead relatives in the afterlife.

Those who have decease relatives three years or more can prepare offering during the day of the Hungry Ghost Day on September 2, 2020 (July 15th lunar calendar). The spirit of the dead will be visiting their families, feasting and looking for victims during this period. While the ghosts are roaming, people are expected to offer sacrifices to their deceased ancestors and relatives during these dates.

9.) Offering to Ho Hia Ti must be done by September 2, 2020 on the date of the Hungry Ghost. Avoid saying the Chinese term for ghost “gue” or ” guizi” but usually refer to them as good buddies or good brothers.  The term is equivalent is “ho heng tai” in Cantonese ,” hao  xiong di” in Mandarin or “ho hia ti” in Hokkien.

8.) Avoid offering food and dishes must not be hot, otherwise the wandering ghost can not eat properly.

7.) Do Not Leave Chopsticks standing upright in your bowl. It is considered taboo in many East Asian countries. The position resembles joss sticks for the dead. Hungry ghosts may mistake your food as offerings and take over your body to consume it. The only time one will put the chopstick upright is during the offering of food.

6.) Offering of round fruits in odd numbers (3 of a kind, 5 of a kind, etc.). Examples are apples, pear, oranges, pomelo. Avoid offering fruits like lansones, figs, guavas must be avoided. ( Those fruits which seeds passes in the gut of birds or bats and can germinate). Noodles can also be offered; however, it must be either bihon, pancit canton, misua or sotanghon only. Avoid offering birthday noodles since it is reserve for celebration.


incense sticks- Photo courtesy of pixabay user: Ms.trixie-429304

5.) Color Coding for Incenses and Candles- Maroon/ Red colored incense is offered for those decease relatives who died at least three years or more. Yellow/ Brown colored incense for those with decease ancestors who died less than two years.

Candles ( white for first year, yellow for second year and red/ pink/ magenta for those with dead relatives who died three years or more.) It is normally waived for those decease relatives who died ages 100 or more- They can offer maroon/ red candles or maroon incense.

4.) Burning Hell Banknotes / Ghost Paper Money or Joss Paper.

Hell Banknotes/ Ghost Paper Money/ Joss Paper are burn after consulting the moon block. The joss paper are burn on a special color coded silver and gold can containers on the sidewalk in front of your house or store. One must wait until past lunchtime between 1:00 or 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon when the day is at its hottest. There is no limit to how many joss paper money offering to your ancestors or guardians of hell.It is believe that the joss money is use by dead relative in the afterlife, while the kim joss money is use to bribe the guardians of the underworld.

Silver colored (Gun) joss can containers are for the dead relatives, While the gold colored ( Kim) joss can containers are reserve for the deities or guardian of the hell.

3.) Offering an odd number of a kind of food to the lost spirit or wandering ghost inside their garage in front of their gate. Try to offer even number of incense/joss sticks for the deceased (two sticks per ancestor). Use three maroon incense/joss sticks for each of the Gods.

Try to light stick one incense per food. Use a joss paper called, “Kwa-Kim”, a special joss paper that is wrapped in newspaper, it can be bought at all Chinese specialty stores. A small table for To Ti Kong/ Tudi Gong (Earth God/ Lord of the Place) on the right side (facing the gate) beside the offering table for must also be displayed.

Try to clean up the offering at the ancestor’s altar after burning all the joss paper and enjoy the food that has been offered. This will bring the luck to the people offering the food.

2.) Do not consume the offering until after the joss sticks lights are out and joss papers are completely burn. This will give time for the ghost to eat.

1.) On the Night of “The Hungry Ghost Day” people in China and Chinese communities around the world write the names of their deceased relatives on paper lanterns (usually shaped like a lotus flower) with a candle inside. The lanterns are floated down the river in the belief that lost ghosts will follow them and find their way home. Few people practice this in the country. Some will also light firecrackers to scare away evil spirits.

These are just a few of the do and don’t which were practice by Tsinoys/ Chinoys/ Filipino-Chinese during the Hungry Ghost Month.

Sources, References and Bibliography:

Personal interviews with Mr. Lebon Ong, Mrs. Felicidad Chua, Master Go Eng Lo and Mrs. Lily Ang

Williams, Paul (2005). Buddhism: Buddhism in South and Southeast Asia. ISBN 9780415332330.

Teiser, Stephen F. (1988), The Ghost Festival in Medieval China, Princeton: Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-0-691-02677-0.

Lin, Ed ; Hardcover, 336 pages, Published July 29th 2014 by Soho Crime, ISBN: 1616953268

Buswell, Robert E (2004). Encyclopedia of Buddhism. Macmillan Reference USA. p. 21. ISBN 978-0028659107.


8 Basic Facts and Details on the New 20 Pesos Coin

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas  or BSP had unveils new set of New Generation coin for 2020.

The new set of coins will be available starting first quarter of 2020, Some of the features had improved because of some confusion brought by the new coins in circulation. Some of them were almost the same size with the old coins.


Basic Facts and Details

1.) The P20 coin takes the place of P10 as the highest denomination in the central bank’s New Generation Currency coin series.

2.) It retains most of the elements from the banknote version, with the face of Commonwealth-era President Manuel L. Quezon on the coin’s front side.

3.) The P20 coin also features the design of the Nilad, (Scyphiphora hydrophyllacea) a mangrove tree in which the name of Manila is believed to have come from. This is in accordance with the designs of the coin series that displays native flora on the reverse side.

4.) The reverse side features the logo of the BSP and the Malacañan Palace, the country’s seat of power.

5.) The new coin also has microprint and an identifiable edge that make it difficult for counterfeiters to replicate.


6.) It would cost Php 10 for BSP to mint for the new Php 20 coin compared to just Php 2.00 for the banknote.

7.) It would take between 10 to 15 years before the Php 20 coin be worn out compared to banknotes, which takes between 3 to 6 months for the banknote to get worn out.

8.) It also cited a research study conducted by the University of the Philippines which revealed that P20 is the “most-used denomination for payments across the country,” according to BSP authority.

Filipinas Stamp Collectors’ Club Meeting and Salu-Salo

Filipinas Stamp Collectors’ Club had their last meeting and get together for 2019. I have 3 mail bidders which send their bid only during the day of the meeting.


I have to travel to the post office to check the items for auction. It was quite surprising to see some new faces and club members.



There were about 500 items for bid, ranging from stamps, stamp magazines, specimen stamps, coins, banknotes, papel sellado, postcards among others.

What is exciting on this stamp club meeting was the on the spot raffle and salu-salo. It is good that someone gave electric flat iron, mugs, lock and locker tumbler and multi-purpose swiss knife.


item 40 -United States Philippine Islands 1921 postal card with 1906 2 centavos stamp

The author was quite lucky to have bid this item, This was listed under #40 and starting bid was just Php 80.00 or roughly around US$ 1.58. The postal card was written around August 25th 1921 and send to Mr. Hashi Kawa of #617 Camba street, San Nicolas, Manila by Assistant Secretary Hermo Cruz of Bureau of Labor.

The office was under the Department of Commerce and Communications ( Bureau of Labor) which was situated along 662 Rizal Avenue in Manila.

It is rare to see a correspondent postal card with English and Spanish words printed.  Another unique way to affixed the stamp within this postal card it was inverted.

The author is quite lucky to have gotten this postal card correspondence without much bidders interested.  A lot of them might have paid attention to the other items.

Php 5 pesos banknote ( circa 1987) with overprint San Lorenzo Ruiz canonization Serial number JC555555 ( item 253)

The Php 5.00 paper bill issued during President Corazon Aquino sometime in 1987 with overprint of San Lorenzo Ruiz canonization and with solid serial numbers initial bid was just Php 700 but a male banknote collector outbid everyone and reach an outstanding Php 3,600 !

The quality of the banknote is almost MINT condition and it is collected not because of the condition but the serial numbers and overprint. The banknote collector might be a newbie in the collecting world, since solid serial numbers would only reach around Php 1,000 outpost.


1 peso 1974 error coin off center with blank and clip planchet ( item 273)

The 3 pieces 1 peso Rizal coin had minting error. The starting bid was Php 700 and the lot item reach final last bid of Php 1,800 ! In the normal quality and security procedure in the MINT. These coins were normally re-minted or re-cast. Somehow, one of the person behind the mint might have got hold of these coins and collected them for over 30 years before selling them in local bourse or coin market.


one centavo coins ( item 274)

The item above were three pieces 1 centavo coins ( Marcos regime) with obvious error in the minting process with black clip planchet. The item starting bid was Php 700 and a coin collector was quickly to bid the item.



chicken empanada


peachy-peachy from Arny Dading

 After the bourse / auction the members got to taste several late afternoon snacks which consisted of peachy- peachy from Arny Dading, Kikiam ni Aling Upeng, Sushi rolls from Suki Market and Chicken empanada.


sushi rolls from suki market


Gat Andres Bonifacio shrine near Manila Cityhall


Christmas tree at the Andres Bonifacio Shrine and Manila Cityhall clock tower

Everyone enjoyed the hearty afternoon snack, We decided to visit the Andres Bonifacio and Manila Cityhall to see the beautiful evening Christmas lights and went to nearby Manila Cathedral for the start of the anticipated misa de gallo.

RetroCon at Fisher Mall

Retro Convention (RetroCon) held a 3 day trade fair, exhibit and program from November 15 to 17, 2019 at the Fisher Mall in Quezon City.


crowd and table bourse

Unlike in the previous RetroCon at the Lucky Chinatown Mall, There were more table bourse sellers and participants at the convention. There were life size superman, Voltes-V ,wonder woman among others.


retrocon neon signage

RetroCon at Fisher Mall

There were on the spot raffle, contest, live entertainment, retro music, m and lots of items to see at the site.


greek universe


Voltes V


live program

Unlike other pop culture or trade exhibits in other parts of the metropolis, There is no entrance fees at the convention.


vinyl records and cassette tapes for sale


Krazy Kyle Gianan- Pinoy Picker’s booth


Krazy Kyle Gianan




toys and magazines for sale


anime dolls and toys


tin trucks


Mac Kolektibolz


coins, banknotes, old photos, cameras, telephones and posters


old Php 1.00 coin ( Pilipino series 1972 to 1974) for Php 35 each and coins (Php 10.00) each.


tomica toy cars


different kinds of toys and dolls for sale


Jerry’s life size statues on display

It was a wonderful experience roaming around the convention and chatting along with the table bourse sellers and organizers of the event.

Rare Hauls at Filipinas Stamp Collectors’ Club Meeting

Filipinas Stamp Collectors’ Club meets every third sunday of the month at the main lobby of the Manila Central Post Office within Philippine Postal Corporation compound.


Manila Central Post Office with OFW bank ( formerly called Postal Saving Bank )

The club usually host a small bourse or auction. Prices may vary, Most of the items starts with Php 10.00 starting bid, While some have posted prices. The general public together with the members have a chance to browse through the list of items most of which are philatelic items like packets of stamps, first day covers, commemorative issues, stamp from around the world are auction off.


commercial shoot at the entrance of the post office

Got a chance to visit the meeting after the eyeball of Bottle Collectors of the Philippines  (Mga Lumang Bote)FB group held at the Calvo Memorabilia and Bottle Museum in Escolta.


Filipinas Stamp Collectors Club Bourse

Some items may also includes banknotes, ephemeras, photos, postcards, books, toys, bottles, phone cards sometimes a host of other curio stuffs like dolls, die cast cars, medals, coin holders.


University of the Philippines certificate of matriculation

University of the Philippines ( College of Law)  certificate of matriculation is just Php 50.00. This could be e around the late 1950’s. The item starting bid was just Php 50.00 with Mr. Harandi won the bid.


De La Salle University first day cover block of four ( circa June 16, 1961)

De La Salle University first day cover issued in 1961 ( block of four stamps) starting bid was just Php 50 and did not went up. The item bid won by Mr. Reuben Bala Jr.

BPI 150th anniversary FDC

Bank of the Philippine Islands first day cover 150th anniversary


Philippine Orchids imperforate sheet circa 1960

Philippine Orchids imperforate sheet start bid at Php 50 but went up to Php 250

Between 450 to 520 items were auctioned off to the general audience. Despite the gloomy weather, more than 40 participants came at the meeting. There was a rare chance of watching over a commercial shooting.

The shooting started during the morning and according to the guards, the commercial team schedule is until past night time.

Most of the items consigned at the bourse are from old and serious collectors, some of which have accumulated tons of stamps and other stuff over the years or decades. There were a couple of participants who came all the way from San Pedro and San Pablo Laguna province, I also saw Mr. Reuben Bala Jr. and Mr. Dionisio Taeza who hails from Cavite province.


Php 10 emergency banknote from Mindanao issued from 1944 to early 1946

We also managed to meet Mr. Boy Francisco, who sold some excess emergency banknotes from Mindanao and commonwealth era paper bills.

The club’s next meeting will be held on October 20 Third Sunday of the month from 1:00 pm to past 4:00 pm.