I found some information here but there isn’t much.
In our culture, Lihi/Paglilihi refers to pregnancy issues especially pertaining to the unusual and inexplicable = cravings for rare or weird combinations of foods, weird behavior, morning sickness, mood swings, a sudden liking or dislike for a person whom the expectant mother couldn’t care less about before the pregnancy… There may be some scientific basis for some issues, but it sometimes boggles my mind how people could thing of such outrageous things when it comes to pregnancy (like taking a bath during pregnancy is bad for the health or bad luck or something. Ewww! Who came up with that?)
The cool part is, paglilihi makes others, especially the husbands kinder to the expectant mom, and most of the time, makes for a great excuse to get what she wants! Wink, wink to the other moms out there! If the expectant mom is in a sh*tty mood, people are more forgiving and would merely attribute the volatile emotions to paglilihi, just like PMS. I’ve never “pms-ed” and I obviously do not have any preferences or cravings and hubby knows I don’t believe in such things so I can’t make any excuses. It would be nice if he would fawn over me once in a while, so I just might play the paglilihi card sometime (hubby beware!).
Superstitious people usually think that whatever the mother eats or sees or favors or thinks about a lot while she is pregnant could affect the baby’s behavior, or more especially, the baby’s physical characteristics. My mom said that when she was carrying me, she loved Korean barbecue (bulgogi) and ate a lot of it that’s why I look kind of Korean. Hmm… how about taking into consideration that my dad and his siblings look sort of Korean, only with darker complexions?
People usually ask me what my lihi is as they rub my tummy. Then they’d look at me incredulously whenever I say none, as if I’m the weird one. They don’t think for a second that their hands still on my belly doing something only an ultrasound probe is supposed to do is way weirder.
I do joke about how the Little Creature #1 is so hyperactive because I drank a lot of coffee and Coke while I was carrying him. If he had a darker complexion, then people’s belief on my paglilihi on coffee and Coke will be further corroborated.
If there’s something weird going on with the child’s nose, then it must have been because the mom ate a lot of pork (you know, piggy nose) or must have taken an inexplicable fancy to a pug’s face. I would think that people had been taught enough in school to at least have some sort of an inkling that somehow, genes play a role in the child’s looks.
I guess it is not just in our culture but around the world as well, too, to blame hypertrichosis to the paglilihi on canines or even werewolves. Sadly, even children’s deformities or abnormalities, which could, in actuality be blamed on maybe smoking, drugs or attempts at abortion or some chemical or something, are attributed to paglilihi. I do not know what the abnormality is called but I saw a child in the news before who had big, globulous eyes and people said that he/she was pinaglihi on the siokoy or merman or some fish. Things like these are enough to scare any expectant mother.
I also get advice from people who think they’re my OB-GYN to stop watching thrillers or sci-fi or horror films because the baby might take on the features of the creatures. If the Little Creature #2 ends up looking like a funny little reptile/bird, then whew, that takes the blame off from our genes then. People will think it was because I’ve been watching way too much Jurassic Park with Little Creature #1 and Dada’s been filling our house with way too many miniature dinosaurs.
I’ve never been the superstitious type, but well, if I ever had one for the Little Creature #2, my paglilihi would have been on Doctor Who / David Tennant. Great. I should expect a foxy, wibbly wobbly little Gallifreyan then.
January 3 2014 Addendum: Also, people believe that if the expectant mommy is all blooming and glowing and growing more beautiful as the pregnancy progresses, then she must be carrying a girl. If her looks have taken a downturn, that means she’s carrying a boy. A relative famous for her tactlessness and arrogance (she’s always right, so you can’t argue with her), told me during my first pregnancy that I was most likely carrying a boy because I was growing ugly. Gee, thanks, dear. You’re one to talk. Look in the mirror sometime and tell me how it is possible that you’ve been pregnant with a boy for all your 60+ years.