Angels are popular spiritual creatures in Philippine religions, folklores, and tales. The tale is believed even by many modern Filipinos. The tale says angels live among us, taking active parts in our daily lives. The most popular tale on angels is that they are guardian spirits of long departed family members and relatives.
Philippine Myth has it that good people can turn into angels when they die. If a person has been good all his earthly life and dies, the tale says the choice is between being a saint or an angel. If a person chooses to be a saint, a supernatural event will happen back here on earth confirming this decision. This person’s portrait or statue may suddenly manifest supernatural qualities that will attract people and later decide on making this person a saint. Or there may be tales on spiritual apparitions.
But if one chooses to be an angel, this tale says, a new member will be added to the myriad of angels soaring and crisscrossing from heaven to earth, and vice versa. These angels, according to this tale, many of whom were former people, are often times our guardian angels. So if a good family member decides to be an angel after dying, the person becomes a “detailed” guardian angel for the family. So, the tale adds, if a mysterious rescue from danger happens to someone, a relative guardian angel is responsible.
According to this same tale, dead babies easily make it as a guardian angel in the after life. Being innocent of any wrong doing, babies, on dying, instantly grow feathered wings and a halo on the head. According to this tale, some babies just have their heads growing a cute pair of wings and flying off to report for duty. From this army of infant guardian angels comes “kerubin” and “kupido,” the tales’ local versions of cherubim and Cupid—the latter being the so-called guardian angel of hearts.
Infant angels are also guardian angels, so this tale goes. They’re assigned to children and youths. So when news or stories of kids and young people being mysteriously rescued from danger go around, they often end with a guardian angel tale. These guardian angels also baby-sit and play with infants, says this tale on angels.
A Philippine tale on angels tells of good people opting to be guardian angels when they die. The tale is still strongly believed by most Filipinos. It tells us much of how Filipinos generally look at heaven as an extension of an extended family.