Chom-chomog: Traditional house blessing practice of Pasilians (Intern: Marjonette Dunol)

Men preparing the food for the ritual
Each of us may want to have our house be blessed before we are going to stay in our new house.  It is the essence of asking blessing to our almighty God for us to live harmoniously, happy and prosperous in our new houses.
In the earlier days before Christianity spread throughout the country, Pasilians also have their own practice on how to bless their new houses. Before the family transfer to their new house, they will perform a certain practice which they call the chom-chomog. In this ritual, they ask the blessing of their God, Kabunyan so that He will bless the family for prosperity, happiness, peaceful family and to curse out all the evil things that might be staying in the place.

Early in the morning, the family will butcher a chicken it will be around 3:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. They will call for a manchachawak as soon as the sun will rise. Manchachawak is the person who will lead the ritual. After the family found a manchachawak, they will inform the community that they are going to do a chom-chomog.

The family will butcher a pig for the ritual and also to feed the people. They will also many rice cakes for the rituals. The community will help for the preparation of the ritual. The women help in making the rice cakes and also in cooking rice for the people while the men help in butchering the pig and also in cooking it.

During the ritual, the manchachawak will call the good spirits and also to drive away the bad spirits that are staying in the place through a chant. The manchachawak will ask the people to dance in every corner of the house to drive the spirits away. The people will dance with the manchachawak while stomping their foot. The load thuds of the stomping feet of the dancer will scare the bad spirit that will make them leave the house. After that the people together with the manchachawak will insert rice cakes in every hole in the house. They insert rice cake in all the holes of the house because they believe that all the good lucks inside the house might go away. After the ritual is done, the food will be prepared for the people who participated in the ritual.
Preparing the sticky rice to make rice cake for the ritual

Since Christianism arrived, this ritual is not often performed. Though some are doing it but they are not calling the manchachawak anymore.  Instead, the priest will do the blessing with a prayer. The family will butcher a pig then the people will dance also but they don’t do the inserting of the rice cakes.

After the ritual, the family can now occupy their new house. The community people also help in transferring the things of the family to their new house.
This chom-chomog is just one of the vanishing cultures of the Pasilians. Though some think that these rituals are irrelevant, we must not forget these culture but we must preserve them since these are the medium that connects us to our roots. Remember that the traditions of our forefather are the ones that mold us and makes us a different from any other people.


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