Macau to Filipino travelers: No amulets

23 December 2013

The Philippine Consul General in Macau cautioned Filipinos about carrying amulets (locally known as agimat or anting-anting) and lucky charms made of bullets when travelling to the Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China.

The warning was issued amid the reported increase in cases of Filipino nationals apprehended in Macau SAR’s ports of entry because they had bullet amulets in their check-in and carry-on luggage.

The Consulate reminded Philippine nationals that carrying such amulets is against the law in Macau and offenders can be subject to detention, deportation or blacklisting.

"Filipinos should leave behind amulets made of bullets in the Philippines when they plan to travel to Macau where these things are considered 'dangerous weapons," the Consulate General said in an advisory. "People who possess such things will encounter problems particularly at airports and ferry terminals."

The Philippines is a predominantly Catholic nation but belief in amulets is pervasive.

In Philippine occult tradition, the most frequent types of agimat are used for removing hexes and exorcism of evil spirits. An agimat also called a gayuma serves as a love charm which makes the owner more attractive to the opposite sex.