IN two weeks we will have another new year, in the form of the Chinese New Year of the Rooster. Believe it or not, greeting the Lunar New Year with alacrity and the revelry of tikoy and Kung Hei Fat Choi – “Congratulations and be prosperous” – has become a five-star event celebrated in the finest hotels and restaurants. There’s simply no more exhilarating way to gather family and friends in red and gold for an enjoyable time with food, fun, funds in red envelopes, and an array of other charming, enchanting, sometimes childish superstitions whether one is a believer or not. The charm is that while you cannot believe that P168 stored inside an “ampao” will bring you luck, you do it just the same, on the faint chance that you could be missing out on something if you didn’t do as the silly believers do. (Besides, what harm could keeping P168 in an envelope bring?)
The atmosphere is charged with the anticipation of happy happenings just around the corner -- no firecrackers, fireworks, or deadly foolishness like gunshots fired on the night of Dec. 31. The positive energy generated by groups of people is a portent of the harmony and order that feng shui advocates.
Following the logic that each year is “influenced” by the character or characteristics of the animal after whom it is named, farmers and livestock and poultry raisers should be able to crow about their achievements in the Year of the Fire Rooster. Good news for friends who continue to promote agriculture, such as Dr. Mila How, whose Universal Harvester hunts for outstanding farmers and fishermen all over the archipelago; Joseph Calata of Calata Corp., who sends scholars abroad to learn about marketing and postharvest techniques; and Henry Limbonliong, passionate proponent of hybrid rice farming. In the public sector, Senator Cynthia Villar is unstinting in promoting the welfare of farmers while building schools for them, and Senator Kiko Pangilinan, who practices what he preaches by growing greens for people to eat more salads.
To eat or not to eat fowl in the Year of the Rooster? Feng shui expert Princesse Fernandez of Yin and Yang Shop of Harmony answered the question during lunch (with one chicken dish) with lifestyle writers: “No harm in doing so.” (No feng shui master worth his compass has ever been so foolish as to forbid feasting on lechon during the Year of the Pig.)