Salawikain Psalms

Using Filipino sayings as incantations.

Carl Lorenz Cervantes
2 min readJul 13, 2022


Photo by Isabella and Zsa Fischer on Unsplash

The Filipino folk magicians believe that if you know the right words, you could command all kinds of magic. They believe that in the beginning was the word, and these words were spells, and if we knew the spells of God, we could create our own reality. These salawikain, or sayings, draw from ancient wisdom. We say them mindlessly, usually to prove a point. But imagine using them intentionally, and with magic. Say them once, with full tiwala, or trust. Say them over and over again, until you believe them to be true. Reconnect with the divine that thrives within, that is rooted in ancestral memory.

Some Salawikain Psalms

For Blessing Food

Aanhin pa ang damo kung patay na ang kabayo? (What use is the grass, when the horse is dead?) — Remember to savor the flavors today. Enjoying your food is a form of worship: it is gratitude for the hard work of those who prepared it, and honoring the life-force that brought you this meal.

For Inner Strength

Ang tunay na bakal, sa apoy nasusubukan. (True steel is tested in fire.) — Trust the divine blacksmith, for they are sharpening you for the great spiritual battle. You shall be used only by the bravest cosmic warrior, to defeat and banish the final enemy.

To Capture Lies and Bind People to their Word

Ang isda’y sa kaniyang labi nahuhuli at ang tao naman ay sa salita’t sabi. (The fish is caught by the lips, just as a person is caught by their words.) — The truth will always be revealed. The pain of truth is only the wailing of withering lies.

There are other powerful sayings, that can also be used for any occasion, as ordinary, everyday spells. Once you understand the meaning behind them, they have the potential to become powerful.



Carl Lorenz Cervantes

Writer, researcher, and teacher.