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Year of the Wood Dragon: Year of opportunities, transformations

The festive spirit is sweeping across as the Chinese New Year approaches, and the energy of celebration is palpable. To ensure we ride the wave of luck and welcome prosperity into our lives, I recently sat down with my dear friend, the esteemed feng shui expert, Patrick Lim Fernandez of the Yin & Yang Shop of Harmony in the New World Makati Hotel.

Patrick generously shared his insights to help us pave the way for a more prosperous year in various aspects of our lives.

Ready for the Wood Dragon's favor?

In the upcoming Year of the Wood Dragon, Patrick highlights that dragon babies, born this year, are set to enjoy the virtues of majesty, power, influence, and benevolence.

For those born under this sign, Patrick encourages a deep exploration of their talents and skills, emphasizing the importance of using these gifts to make a positive impact on others.

"Know what your strengths are, your areas of influence, and try to really maximize and share your talents and capabilities with the world," advises Patrick, underlining the power of giving back, including volunteering time.

Let's delve into some key insights Patrick shared to navigate the unique energies of the Wood Dragon year.

  • This year brings the influence of young wood energy, signaling a period of growth and recovery. However, finding common ground for compromise might be challenging, as people stand firm in their positions.
  • Certain industries are poised for success, particularly those encompassing consulting, knowledge industries, and nature-related fields. Patrick points out that monetizing expertise through various platforms will be favorable. Sectors like education, environmental initiatives, furniture, clothing, accounting, legal businesses, and even journalism (my own field!) are expected to thrive. Entertainment, though not as lucky, can still be leveraged to advocate for meaningful causes.
  • For those in politics, luck in leadership positions varies among zodiac signs. Collaboration is key—know your strengths, identify your weaknesses, and collaborate with the right people to maximize success.

Things to do leading up to the Chinese New Year

Cleansing and decluttering your spaces, including a fresh haircut, is recommended. Emotionally, clear your headspace, reconcile with loved ones, and settle financial debts for a clean slate.

On the night itself, decorate with fresh flowers, fill rice bins for prosperity, and place ang paos containing denominations of 168 or 188 pesos on the bin. Ever heard of lucky underwear? According to Patrick, just don new ones for the Chinese New Year, and you're all set!

Patrick shed light on one difference between Filipino and Chinese traditions, as in the well-known tradition for us Filipinos on every new year's eve spread is the arrangement of 12 fruits in our dinner table. But did you know that in Chinese tradition, they only recommend five?

"It's more economical, and the five fruits that would be the most auspicious would be the pomelo, oranges, pineapples, apples, and dragonfruit," Patrick explained, adding that as you display these in a platter, try to keep their numbers even.

For the most delicious and auspicious Chinese New Year's eve dinners, Patrick shared with us dishes we must not exclude, which are fishes (and it must be served whole), shrimp, roasted meat, "and of course, our favorite nian gao or tikoy."

And on the day itself, be mindful about avoiding sweeping and using sharp objects like scissors to preserve the good fortune of the Lunar New Year. Patrick emphasizes the essence of giving ang paos lies in the act itself, not the amount.

For a touch of tradition, New World Makati Hotel’s Executive Chef Brandon Ng has the Suckling Pig and Steamed Live Garoupa (with head and tail), which are synonymous with Chinese celebrations. Chef Ng shares, both should be “served as a whole to symbolize completeness and abundance.”

Guidance for your zodiac animal

In the realm of wealth and financial prosperity, Patrick identifies the ox, tiger, and goat as the fortunate signs for the year. To stay aligned with fortune's flow, he recommends adorning oneself with the Wealth Bucket charm and the Silver Choi San. These charms act as symbolic conduits, inviting abundance into our lives.

For those carving their path in the professional arena, Patrick unveiled the most auspicious Chinese zodiac animals—ox, rabbit, monkey, snake, and pig. To harness the energy of these signs, he prescribes the Garlic of Opportunity and the Walnut of Knowledge, also known as Wisemen Walnut. These charms serve to enhance career prospects and open doors to opportunities.

(Left to right) The Wealth Bucket, Silver Choi Shan and the Happy Couple charms.

Aspiring leaders, take note! Patrick's advice for those in politics or leadership positions is to delve into the nuances of birth months and days. For zodiac animals such as rats, tigers, dragons, roosters, or dogs, examining birth details signifies the trajectory of luck for the year. If you're interested in digging deeper into this aspect of your fortune, getting a personal reading is the best course.

For a harmonious journey in both personal and professional relationships, Patrick identifies snakes, horses, and roosters as the fortunate ones. Introducing lucky items, such as the Happy Couple charm and Magpie charm, strategically placed in the East—the most auspicious area in your office—can further enhance relationship luck.

Patrick cautions individuals born in the year of the rat, dragon, goat, and monkey, as they may encounter the "conflict star" in their charts. Vigilance is advised to avoid potential disagreements.

(Left to right) The Magpie, Longevity Coins and the Wisemen Walnut charms.

Meanwhile, those born in the year of the rabbit, the dragon, and the horse, are advised to pay better attention to their health. And to rats and snakes, be mindful of activities that can injure you! A nugget of advice Patrick shared to keep us on the safe side is that we can do activities that incorporate bloodletting, such as blood tests or blood donations. The shop’s Longevity Coins is the specific charm for those seeking to preserve their health.

To add a touch of luck in the Year of the Wooden Dragon, Patrick introduces three key colors. Bright colors are universally apt for celebrations, green aligns with the year's element and animal, and the third color requires a personal analysis of individual charts–another reason to make the visit at Yin & Yang Shop of Harmony!

Greet the Chinese New Year in style

As the Chinese New Year draws closer, the spirit of fortune and festivity can be felt all over the New World Hotel. After my enlightening chat with Patrick at the Yin & Yang Shop of Harmony, I also got the chance to talk to the illustrious Jasmine restaurant's very own Executive Chef Brandon Ng.

New World Makati Hotel’s team (from right) Chef Brandon Ng, Director of PR and Communications Francine Arias and (far left) Marketing Manager Lu Jean Ong.

Chef Brandon gave us a closer look at the special dishes curated specifically for its Chinese New Year menu. These delectable delicacies include the Red Auspicious Sweet Sour Prawns with cantaloupe, which symbolizes "a year filled with happiness;" a Steamed Live Garoupa, served whole just as our friend Patrick recommends for the favor of abundance; Braised Whole Abalone, representing good fortune with dried oysters that according to the chef adds "a touch of luck to dishes planned for special occasions like birthdays and of course, the Chinese New Year."

Perhaps one of the most eye-catching in this medley of exquisite fares is the Suckling Pig, which Chef Brandon told us represents "completeness and serves as an auspicious sign during festivities."

And of course, the nian gao or tikoy, the staple sticky glutinous rice cake that "promises a 'higher' or better year."

The delectable selection of Chinese and Asian cuisine at the Jasmine restaurant is what made them the "go-to spot" for many Filipino-Chinese families, according to Chef Brandon. The executive chef attributed their success to serving only the best, making them a favorite for the celebration of different milestones.

"Our attention to detail, impeccable service, and dedication to keeping a balance of appealing to an ever-evolving market while keeping true to our signature culinary style has allowed us to capture the Fil-Chi and international Chinese markets over the years," he added.

New World Makati Hotel’s Chinese Executive Chef Brandon Ng prepared two enticing set menus befitting the Chinese New Year’s celebration at Jasmine restaurant. On display are the handcrafted nian gao (tikoy), a tradition to serve at the restaurant during this season.

Indeed, the New World Makati Hotel is one of the best places to be at, if you're looking for an unforgettable way to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

Beyond the stellar menu of the Jasmine restaurant and the captivating energies at the Yin & Yang Shop of Harmony, more treats await all over the hotel, adding a charming flavor to the indulgent experience the New World Hotel is renowned for.

With guidance and enlightenment in our minds, hope and cheer in our hearts, and the stars in our favor, the celebration of the Chinese New Year can only get more special with a memorable stay.

From your Tita Jing, Gong Xi Fa Cai, everyone!

Watch Pamilya Talk on Facebook and YouTube (@JingCastaneda – 12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m. Monday & Wednesday). You can also follow my social media accounts: Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Tiktok and Twitter. Please share your stories or suggest topics at editorial@jingcastaneda.ph.

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Credit belongs to : www.philstar.com

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