Happy har­vesters

Manila Bulletin - - Views • Features - By JULLIE Y. DAZA

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.)

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