In the Philippines, when people see a cute baby and they gush over the young child and keep saying nice things about the baby, they also end with: "Pwera usog."
This means they are warding off "evil spirits" or bad things (e.g., colic).
From what some elders told me when I was a kid, when you pay too much attention to a baby, this tips off elementals or earth creatures (I'm not sure what the correct term is) that then put a hex on the baby.
Kulam - when a witch casts a spell on you. Voodoo. Sticking pins on a doll, and a human being actually feels the pain.
Anyway, I'll go read this book and learn more about this aspect of Philippine culture.
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