"HULA" The Art of Philippine Divination

Sacred day of Friday in Quiapo Church. People from all walks of life comes for the Holy Mass and shops around where merchants abound a lot more on this day.

People have always been anxious about the unknown future. We all have a moment in our lives where we ask ourselves: what lies ahead? What kind of person will I be in the next 5 or 10 years? Should I have met the person I am going to marry by then? Will I have a family of my own? Am I going to be rich and successful? A lot of these questions might have entered our minds. That is why, even today, Fortune Telling is something that a lot of people depend on.

Fortune Tellers reading their customers past and future, while others wait for their next customer to arrive. This is the usual scene during Fridays in Quiapo. People from different places come visit to pray and worship the Black Nazarene.

It is said that records of Fortune Telling existed since 4000 BC. It is definitely as old as human history since curiosity about the future is eternally interesting to people. It is also one of the oldest businesses that ever existed.

The Fortune Teller interprets these Tarot Cards which the customer selected. Tarot Cards was used for Divination since the late 18th Century in the form of Tarotology or Cartomancy.

In Ancient Times, the rulers of different monarchies or empires depend a lot on Fortune Telling. They were radicals about the powers of wizards, sorcerers and oracles. Their decisions towards their everyday routine, major or minor projects and even about sending soldiers to war would be determined by the conclusions of these people. Divination or Fortune Telling has different methods developed over the past millenniums. Few methods that were frequently used were Astrology, where they read the future through the placement of the stars, Crystallomancy which is through a crystal ball and Cartomancy using Tarot cards.

Aling Susan, 61, a Fortune Teller explaining what each Tarot card means. Tarot cards were originally used for fun games and entertainment, the use of it has developed over the years.

According to myth, a King named Edward was terrified of the future. He considered the bad things that might happen to him. Then, one of his servants suggested seeking help from a fortune teller. So he sent every fortune teller to his castle. Almost all of them said the same thing: In two years, there’ll be a great war in which you’ll die and your kingdom will be ruled by your enemies. So he decided to travel to a different country and left his entire kingdom to his son Prince Eric. His son was brave and didn’t believe a thing about what the Fortune Tellers predicted. Nonetheless he prepared for a great battle with a strong army. Prince Eric fought and won the war. He decided to send a message to his Father to tell him that they won, but the messenger said that the King has passed away from an unsuccessful surgery.

A Fortune teller carefully reading the palm of her customer. In Palmistry, they look at the dominant hand, this is the hand we usually use or the one we use in writing.

“Fears are not to be neglected or accepted. For if you don’t face and kill your fears, they will kill you faster” by Marina Ihab. This quote is true, but in these modern times people only say to: Conquer Your Fears.

A Fortune Teller reading the Tarot cards to her customer. Tarot cards or Cartomancy is one of the most used type of divination.

Sorcerers, Wizards, and Oracles have existed in the past and continue to have its presence felt all thorough out the time and until the modern days. Rasputin of Russia has been a consultant by the Tzar Nicholas and his family and has made a very significant influence upon them and other elite Royal Families during his time. Nostradamus’ predictions have made lime lights in the modern society as it is said, that he once expressed about the incident of the Twin Towers of New York, on the fateful day of 9/11. The fall of Saddam Hussein was also attributed to one of his predictions.

A Fortune Teller shuffling the Tarot cards to go on to the next part of the reading. This is being done after every part of the reading is over.

The rise of the first black American President was also predicted by a Fortune Teller. Donald Trump’s election was also said to have been predicted.

The Fortune Teller offering a powder to her customer. She believes that it will help remove the bad luck in her customer's home.

While these people exist, we have no way of confirming or disproving their claims to these predictions. The only thing that we can do is to wait for an untoward event or phenomenon to really happen.

Fortune Teller pointing out the lines and the details of the palm. Various lines, bumps or intersection on our palms have different meanings and interpretations. All the details will be carefully looked at by the Fortune Teller.
Aling Maring, 71, poses for a photo after our reading session. She fixes her cards for the next customer. Aling Maring has been doing Fortune Telling or Divination for over 40 years and says she will keep on doing so as long as she is able.


Photos by: Bettina Kim Ballano

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.