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Attracting good fortune in the Year of the Water Snake

By: - Columnist
/ 03:55 AM February 10, 2013

Kung Hei Fat Choi! 2013 is the year of the Gui Si Water Snake, which, based on the Lunar Calendar, begins today. It’s also that time of the year that I metamorphose and channel my Chinese ancestry, practicing my feng shui expertise on family and friends.

My feng shui is focused on boosting our life aspirations, such as wealth, health, career and so forth. I start by identifying the locations of the major afflictions in feng shui for the coming year. Energies change directions and locations annually, the change coinciding with Li Chun. Certain directions are considered inauspicious because they exert evil influences, generally referred to as Sha Qi.


SPECTACULAR cake by master cake baker Penk Ching

The major yearly afflictions we must be aware of are the Grand Duke Jupiter (Tai Sui), the five Yellow (Wu Wang), the three Killings (San Sha/Sarm Saat) and the Sui Po. The other hostile energies to note are the Sickness No. 2 Star, the Quarrelsome No. 3 Star and the Violent No. 7 Star. Of course, all that sounds Greek to us—well, okay, Chinese—so it is best to leave all the curing and enhancing to the real experts, like my fave lucky lady Marites Allen, owner of World of Feng Shui Philippines.



Feng shui updates

At my annual Chinese New Year party, Marites gave feng shui updates for each animal sign of the Chinese zodiac. She also raffled off Frigga fashion wear, her recently launched clothing line, auspiciously designed with Cebu-based, creative director Dexter Alazas to bring good feng shui to wearers. If your animal sign is not too lucky this year, head straight to any WOFS shop to get protected and armed with lucky amulets to boost the chi energies. (See or follow her on Twitter and Facebook.)

GRACIOUS friends Pops Fernandez, Alice Eduardo, Grace Ang, Small Laude, Ben Chan, Felix Ang

In between forecasts, I got to give away tons of prizes, clad in a fab outfit made by Dubai-based designer Albert Andrada. One of my generous sponsors was taipan Ben Chan, who gave away cute Bench hair products and the new Furne One scent. The Camay soap group from P&G also sent their newest products.

Special cookies were also on the prize list, thanks to Carlo and Digzy Umali. The fun couple hails from the family that makes Gardenia bread, so their baked goods are always excellent. Digzy and her sister Den Casipit recently opened Salon Privat, a luxury service beauty salon at The Infinity Tower, 25th Street at The Fort (tel. 8281888). Their head stylist and creative partner is Danny Katalbas, a perennial winner at hair and makeup shows.

ASSUMPTION lucky friends Popsie Gamboa, Vina Francisco, Minnie Campos, Patricia Ongsiako, Jojo Ongsiako, Crickette Tantoco, Tessa Alindogan

Watsons sent bath and body lotions for added loot. They will soon start their second wave for their Switch and Save campaign, adding Iya Villania and Mikael Daez to their list of ambassadors.

Wrist candy

WATSONS FAMILY.Marketing supervisor Helen Capunong, Own Brands and Exclusives head May Abarquez, Mikael Daez, Patty Laurel, Sea Princess, Iya Villania, Own Brands and Exclusives senior marketing manager Karen Fabres, marketing director Vicky Encarnacion, Own Brands senior brandmanager Jared de Guzman

My guests always fight to win the Swatch watches, and this year, Gift Gate grand dame Virgie Ramos, who is also my feng shui secret friend, awarded the “The Legend of the White Snake,” a Swatch especially created for the Chinese New Year. This Swatch is a high-spirited, new Gent Swatch featuring a multicolored snake weaving its way across a white, silicone strap. Other winners of Swatch watches were Tessa Alindogan, Nix Alanon, Marissa Lopa, Divine Lee and Victor Basa. Thanks also to the other prizes donated by Unilever and other sponsors that make my parties so much fun!


The grand raffle prize of the party was a new Samsung Galaxy S III Mini. This smartphone was recently launched at URBN Bar and Kitchen at the Fort. At the launch, guests were asked to ponder the question, “Does size matter?”

RED CROSSMakati Council directors Christine Ferrera, Joy
Zapanta-del Rosario, John Tiong (chair), Sea Princess, Marivic Rufino (vice chair) Albert Virata de los Santos, Ed Escano

The launch was hosted by Sam YG, with radio DJs Jason, Logan and Tin Gamboa taking the affirmative side of the debate. Aaron Atayde, Dani Castano and Karen Bordador had the misfortune to defend the negative side. Guests had so much fun, as tweeting  their responses also gave them a chance to win a Samsung Galaxy S III Mini.

Of course, the discussion concluded with the politically correct opinion that size was unimportant, and what really mattered was whether the job gets done. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S III Mini may be small, but it packs a powerful punch and delivers the same functions as big brother, the Samsung Galaxy S III. Paulo del Rosario, head of Samsung’s Smartphone group, capped off the launch by talking about the brand’s new partnership with Globe.

SALONPRIVATOPENING. Danny Katalbas, Bianca Valerio,
DANI Castano, SamYG, Karen Bordador, Robby Carmona, Sea Princess, Digzy Umali, Den Casipit

If you are lucky enough to be born in the Year of the Snake, you are probably smart, flexible and intelligent. This year also brings good fortune to most of the other animal signs, except for a few who may need some feng shui cures like the Rabbit, Sheep, Monkey and Rooster.

Another feng shui expert, Dr. Andy Tan, is a great resource for advice this year. He says Rabbits will have a big “leap of faith” and strong financial gains. Sheep will have a successful career year, with awards and promotions, although care must be taken as too much busy-ness might result in burn out.

BUSINESS icons Ben Chan and Marixi Prieto with the lucky dragon

The Monkey has lucky stars helping bring in more profits and more success. They will have time for business expansion and even for travel. Roosters will have time to recover financially, emotionally and physically, with friends and relatives assisting them.  Lucky stars are present in their direction.

The champion signs for the year, those with abundant blessing from heaven, are Rat, Ox and Tiger, while the others like the Dragon, Horse, Snake and Dog will also have financial success but may be less productive. The Rat will have romance, stability and success.

Being a blessing to others

RELEASING BIRDS FOR LUCK. Rajo Laurel, Rosan Cruz, Popsie Gamboa, Tessa Alindogan, Marites Allen, Barbara Bennett

A cure-all for more blessings is to be a blessing to others. Nothing attracts good luck like doing charity work and helping others in need.

TESSA Prieto-Valdes and Coco Domingo, Product Marketing
head, Mobile Phones, Samsung Electronics Philippines (Sepco)

Possibly the easiest way to start helping out is to join a fun run, which always has a great cause or beneficiary. Today, for instance, The Philippine Red Cross gears up for the Million Volunteer Run 2.

The MVR 2 is aimed at creating a culture of volunteerism in the country that will empower our people and our nation against all humanitarian challenges, especially in times of disasters. Red Cross chair Richard J. Gordon has been the key figure behind the Red Cross and is the driver behind MVR as well. It’s the kind of project guaranteed to bring good feng shui to all.

Follow @tessavaldes on Twitter or e-mail her at

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TAGS: Chinese ancestry, Chinese New Year Party, Feng Shui, Kung Hei Fat Choi!, Water Snake, Year of the Water Snake
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