‘Friday the 13th’ trends as Pinoys encounter quake, train disruptions on Friday morning

October 13, 2023 - 12:34 PM
Two skulls on book in red light (Image by Freepik)

Friday the 13th” is trending on the X (formerly Twitter) platform as some Filipinos were greeted with a magnitude 5.0 earthquake on Friday morning.

The phrase quickly landed number one on the social media platform’s Philippine trends as state seismologists recorded a tremor of tectonic origin at southwest of Calaca, Batangas at 8:24 a.m. on October 13.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said that aftershocks are expected.

Apart from Batangas, the strong quake was felt in some parts of Metro Manila and in other nearby provinces.

Rafael Cuevas, a disaster agency official in Calaca City at Batangas, said that they felt a “strong shake” that was “less than ten seconds.”

The incident happened as some Filipinos were preparing for their work day.

The earthquake also prompted the Light Rail Transit-Line 2 (Purple Line) to temporarily stop its services.

On the other hand, a technical problem was detected at the Light Rail Transit-Line 1 (Yellow Line) during the Friday morning rush hour.

Thousands of commuters rely on the respective railways to move to and from their offices and residences since it offers a faster way of traveling in the traffic-filled streets of the metro.

The morning earthquake and respective LRT stoppages caused people to connect it with the “Friday the 13th” phenomenon, which the superstitious believe is “unlucky.”

“Delayed transpo dahil sa sirang train sa LRT and now earthquake. What a great day to start. Friday the 13th nga talaga,” a Pinoy wrote on the X platform.

“Hoy, bigay na bigay naman ang Friday the 13th. Puro delay mga tren???????????????? MRT at LRT-1??????????? LATE NA AKO,” another commuter exclaimed with loudly crying emojis.

“Lakas ng lindol ah. Friday the 13th? Haha jk [joke]. Stay safe, everyone!” another Filipino posted.

“Bruh, earthquake on Friday the 13th, haha,” another user wrote.

Quakes are a regular occurrence in the Philippines, which sits along the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of intense seismic, as well as volcanic, activity that stretches from Japan through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin.

ALSO READ: PSA: You can report earthquake intensities to Phivolcs. Here’s how‘Lumindol?’ Pinoys flock to Twitter to verify earthquake felt in Metro Manila, other areas

‘Unlucky’ day? 

The “Friday the 13th” superstition dates back to the olden days.

There is no single origin story of how the belief came to be, but a number of notorious events have been associated with the date.

For instance, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and the mass execution of members of the Knights Templar in 1307 were among the tragedies believed to have occurred on Friday the 13th.

Other narratives that helped feed the apprehension of the superstitious include the writings of 14th-century English scribe Geoffrey Chaucer, who described Friday as the day when bad luck tended to fall on, and the legend that the traitorous Judas Iscariot was the 13th guest on Jesus’ table during his last supper.

In 1993, a study published by the British Medical Journal found that an uncannily high number of traffic accidents took place on a Friday the 13th, compared to when Friday falls on the sixth.

A blockbuster horror series about a masked serial killer that strikes every Friday the 13th has also helped fuel the notoriety.

READ: There is no single origin story on why Friday the 13th is ‘unlucky’