And since money is so useful and scarce, it's only inevitable that Filipinos have a superstition or two about it. Whether you think those superstitions are reasonable, ridiculous or a mix of both, it's worth knowing about them to understand what makes the typical Pinoy tick. For example:
1. When you give someone a wallet as a gift, include a bill or two inside. This assures the receiver that their wallet will never run out of money. (Granted, if the person doesn't spend the bill/s you gifted them with in the first place, of course they won't run out of money!)
2. Never pay money on the first hour of the day, or the first day of the month. Otherwise, you will never prosper financially, and creditors will come after you for the rest of your life.
3. When you receive your first sale of the day, pat your wares with the bills your customer paid. If you buy from a small store, and you notice the vendors patting their goods with the money you paid, it means you're the first customer of the day. It also means that the vendors hope to have more sales within the next 24 hours.
4. Give discounts to your first customer of the day. First customers are a lucky bunch, aren't they? If a business owner is sensible enough to give them discounts, sales will be good for the rest of the day.
5. If you dream of lottery numbers and bets, you will win the lottery. Or your wishful thinking for a one-in-a-million outcome is so strong, it's permeated into your dream subconscious.
6. If you always pick up coins and cash from the side of the road, you will never run out of money. This… actually makes sense.
7. Place sweets somewhere inside your home/office to attract black ants. According to this Chinese-based Filipino tradition, black ants symbolize good luck and fortune. (The superstition doesn't say anything about what happens when your sweets attract other insects and vermin, though.)
8. Do not put money on the table, literally. Otherwise, you will lose that money. (Well, if you leave your valuables unattended in a crowded place…)
9. Grow plants with rounded leaves for good luck. Since round leaves are shaped like coins, plants that have them bring in money. On the other hand, plants that grow downward like vines should be cut and killed, because they can also drag your family/business down into despair.
10. When you move into a new house, throw coins at the entrance. This way, the residents of the house will live prosperously for the rest of their days.
11. Arrange your bills from highest to lowest. This way, the moment you open your wallet, the first thing you see is a thousand-peso bill, and that's a good sign. (Then again, this is also useful if you want to pull out certain denominations instantly.)
12. If your palm itches, money is about to come your way soon. Older Filipinos in particular believe this.
13. Never put your purse or bag on the ground. Otherwise, you will never be wealthy. (Also, quick-fingered thieves can take advantage of you letting down your guard.)
14. If you want to pay your debts, don't do it at night. Similar to the superstition of not sweeping floors at night, this can cause you to give away good luck along with your money.
15. When you pay, use your right hand. When you receive payment, use your left. Deviating from these rules can upset the scales of fortune, and tip them against you.
16. When you open an egg, and it has two yolks, you'll be rich. If one yolk is good, then two are better, right?
17. If you see a shooting star, wrap money inside a handkerchief ASAP. And if you use that money to gamble, you will win.
18. If you accidentally wear your clothes inside out, money will come. This is probably connected to the idea that wearing clothes inside out drives away evil spirits. On the other hand, if you want to impress a date with your sense of fashion, this isn't the best way to go about it.
19. Always put bills in your bag. If you don't spend these bills under any circumstances, you will stay rich for the rest of your life.
20. Keep at least one green bill inside your wallet for good luck. Does that mean U.S. dollars always bring good luck?
So far, this list covers pretty much everything we know about Filipino superstitions regarding money. To add any other superstitions you know, or to let us in on your thoughts, comments and other reactions, put them out in the section below!