There's a superstition that you shouldn't go straight home after leaving a wake. Whether it's cultural or religious, I'm not sure.
Some believe that spirits follow you after attending a wake. To get rid of them, you pagpag or "shake off". Just stopover somewhere: the gas station, grocery, wherever. It's said that spirits get lost and wander off. You just don't want them in your home. Another belief is that misfortune is contagious. That's why some people make it a point to pagpag as to avoid death in the family.
Funny, really. Imagine that! Spirits trailing your car along EDSA. Or spookier, maybe they're in the car with you--depends on your imagination.
I know that it's a superstition but really, if it's true, our house is probably overflowing with spirits already. If misfortune is contagious, everyone at home would probably be dead by now... including our beloved creepy crawlers. How unfortunate!
Think about the coffee shops and fast food places, too, where people go to after wakes. These are probably filled with lost and shaken spirits. If only we could see them.
I personally don't believe in pagpag but ironically, I'd rather be safe than sorry.