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The Dangers & Cure of Hungry Ghost Month!


Unusually keyed up and agitated, these were the first words that my mother’s best friend uttered when she visited us a few years back. She then proceeded to tell us about the incident that happened at their house the night before. Apparently, at 12 midnight her son decided to turn the air-con off; only to find it switched on at full blast when he woke up at 2AM. And she repeatedly asserted that no, it’s not just a case of their air-con acting up.

To make things even more disquieting, her maid also claimed to be disturbed by shadows in her bedroom that very same night.

I AM NOT SUPERSTITIOUS. Far from it in fact. And for this reason, aside from the requisite offerings, I never really paid attention to the Chinese belief regarding the Hungry Ghost Month. But since I found the story of my mother’s best friend interesting, I thought that it’d be striking enough to be featured in a TV show that I handle. (I’m actually an Executive Producer for a news and public affairs program in one of the leading networks.)

But it turns out that there could actually be more to the Hungry Ghost Month than just unusual sightings and ghost stories. Below are some of the incidents that for some unknown reason, fell under the accursed month.

In the Philippines:

1. The Payatas tragedy that buried 500 scavengers happened at the start of the ghost month that year. A 50 – foot garbage fell on their houses at the height of torrential rains.
2. On August 3, 1999, heavy torrential rains caused a landslide that killed 58 people and buried over 100 houses at Cherry Hills Subdivision in Antipolo City.
3. On July 16, 1990, an earthquake that registered 7.7 on the Richter scale killed 1,700 people, injured 3,000 individuals and displaced 148,000.
4. On July 2, 1993, a pagoda carrying hundreds of Catholic devotees during the annual pagoda festival in Bocaue, Bulacan sank into the muddy Bocaue River. It was the start of the Hungry Ghost Month of that year.
5. The ABC-5 news team tragic vehicular accident that killed all 3 passengers happened during the Hungry Ghost Month.

Elsewhere in the World:

1. The 9/11 tragedy occurred during the very last day of the Hungry Ghost Month in 2001.
2. Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed’s tragic car crash happened August 30.
3. The collapse of China’s Hunan Bridge coincided with the collapse of the 40 year old interstate highway bridge spanning the Mississipi River in Minnesota, USA.
4. Perhaps the most dreadful moment for Kenya happened in 7 August 1998 when an innocent-looking truck drove up to the then US embassy planted a powerful bomb. More than 200 people were killed in its wake.

THE LIST DOES NOT END THERE. On a smaller scale, a doctor friend who practices in prestigious hospitals in Makati and Quezon City, privately admits that the month of August registers the highest deaths; including the most number of suicides. In addition, she wryly notes that it’s also the time when the hospital staff complains of ghost sightings – not November 1.

But medical and natural calamities aside, businessmen and financial traders also have reason to be wary of the Hungry Ghost Month. An interim report of the country’s economy would reveal that real estate industry and stocks go down during August.

It is said that during the Hungry Ghost Month (which always falls on August; but can also start middle of July, in which case it will end mid August, or if it starts mid August, it will end mid September)the souls of the dead, specially the ones that are in hell, are allowed to roam the earth freely. This signals the only time when they’re allowed to eat since they were deprived of food during the rest of the year.

It’s believed that the spirits visit their relatives during this season and sometimes they wreak havoc to the ones who wronged them while they were still alive.

For this reason, Chinese belief decrees that people refrain from moving houses, signing contracts, getting married, traveling, and sometimes from giving birth (if possible) during the Hungry Ghost Month because it is believe to bring extremely bad luck.

COINCIDENT COINCIDENCES? You have to realize that before all this I didn’t believe in the Hungry Ghost Month or Feng Shui. Not until last year when I was personally beset by problems that fell during – you guessed it right – the Hungry Ghost Month.

One of my Production Assistants stole a substantial amount from the network and because of this, stopped going to work altogether. Of course as her superior, I was held accountable for the money she owed. And just like the Lemony Snicket novels, a series of unfortunate events played out. The biggest of which is having my boss feel threatened by my performance. With my career hanging on the line, each time I dealt with him, I admit that it’s one of the most difficult dilemmas that I’ve ever been in.

Probably tired of my ranting and concerned for my well-being in equal measure, a friend suggested that I consult a Feng Shui expert. Ever the skeptic, I told him that with the amount of money that they charge for a consultation and the amulets that they will sell I might just as well pay for the missing money.

But much to my chagrin, my friend still persisted and volunteered to tell all my concerns and to consult with Joy Lim of Charms and Crystals. Yes, the very same person whom several showbiz personalities such as Kris Aquino and Korina Sanchez repeatedly attribute much of their luck (and colorful jewelry) to.

I have nothing personal against Joy, in fact, I gathered, right from our first meeting, that she’s a very nice person. And true to her name, she exudes a gentle aura of peace that reluctantly bought a smile to my face. Despite my reservations, the next thing I know, Joy and I were walking hand in hand (Yes, if you get to meet her don’t be surprised that she hold hands with you right away! Of course, without malice!); with her suggesting some charms and then bringing me to her store in Robinson’s Galleria.

When we got to the store she handed me a nice looking charm and said it will cure my problem. I politely declined and told her that I don’t believe in Feng Shui. I started to apologize about my friend who bothered her with my problems. However, she was really insistent and told me that she is giving it to me for free. I can see the sincerity in her eyes when she told me: “I want to extend the blessing that I’ve received to you.”

I then reluctantly accepted the charm, wore it, and made a mental note that I will take it off when I get home. But when I got home I was told by my siblings that the bracelet I was wearing is beautiful; so I just decided to keep wearing it.
A week after I was given the charm, my jealous boss resigned from work. And barely recuperating from the relief that incident bought, the Production Assistant who stole money showed up said she was really bothered by her conscience and promise to return the money little by little.

Whew! I became a convert. You see, I believe I became a victim of the Hungry Ghost Month, but Feng Shui through Joy Lim of Charms and Crystals, has helped in changing the negative energies into positive ones.

In fact, according to Joy to avoid the negative energy of the Hungry Ghost Month we must observe the following:

1. Wear something bright. A happy color will help repel negative energies.
2. If you need to stay at a hotel it will be good if you place a bowl of rock salt beside your bed.
3. Try not getting married but if you have already booked a date then wearing a rukriste with Kwan Yin (bride) and a mantra with lotus dzi bead (groom) – these will dispel negative energies.
4. All houses must have a Wei Tuo, a Chong Kwei or a Kwan Kong. Wei Tuo is a very famous Taiwanese Buddhist god who according to legend was the one who fought all the demons when Buddha died. He was also the one who was assigned to be one of the protectors of Kwan Yin. But remember you need to be very careful in choosing your gods, because their face must connote power and godliness. Joy chooses each and every Wei Tuo, Chong Kwei and Kwan Kong that she has in her store.
5. This year I got from Joy a singing Kwan Yin. Let me clarify that this doesn’t really sing. But it has a recorded 3 different Lam Hay prayers. (Lam Hay is like the mecca of Taoist Buddhist in china). Playing the singing Kwan Yin just thirty minutes a day during the duration of the Hungry Ghost Month is said to dispel all negative energies and those prayers will also bestow blessing within the house or office.
6. She also has a number of charms for the Hungry Ghost Month. Some of the must-haves include the ruby (rubilite) with Kwan Yin and the cinnabar charm. Those charms with their bright colors are especially helpful for mothers and for pregnant women. It is also good for women who work in the media or in the field of communication and/or who does a lot of communication.
7. For businessmen, wearing the dragon crystal quartz with the number 8 made of a semi precious stone will help dispel bad business decisions. It is also very good for people who are into sales.
8. For health, the lotus with mantra dzi beads on a string of petrified wood will definitely bring good health despite the Hungry Ghost Month. Unlike all other charms which according to Joy should not be worn in the hospital, this particular charm can be worn inside the hospital.
9. For students, and for those who work late wearing the Kwan Yin and Sword Dzi bead in a petrified wood is very helpful. This is also helpful for people who need to travel a lot because of their work.
10. For love, wearing the ruby with Kwan Yin and and the cinnabar charm for the wife and smoky quartz with a special dzi bead for the husband is also very good. These items will not only help dispel negative energies of the Hungry Ghost Month from the couple; but from the whole family as well.
11. In the olden times, according to Joy and my research, people actually uses sandal wood (not only as an incense but also as a perfume) and pomelo (also to dispel negative energies and spirits). However, we are lucky that Joy has bottled the essence of sandal wood and pomelo and made it to colognes. They will dispel negative energies and spirits.

However, it must be noted that it seems every where you go there is a crystal bracelet that is supposed to bring good luck and protection. Joy keeps quiet about this, but based on research not all crystals are good.– especially if those charms came from people with negative energies/thoughts. You have to be careful where you get your charms. You have to know where their source is. Some people are only in it for business.

As for Joy Lim, she always reminds me that these are gifts from our Creator, but this shouldn’t replace hardwork, positive thinking, and faith in the Supreme Being.

Hungry Ghost Month started last August 20, 2009 and will end on Sept. 18, 2009. The feast day is on Sept. 3, 2009.

For those who wants to get their protection you can call 7422597, 4139112, 7425819.

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