In spite of being a predominantly Roman Catholic country, Filipinos remain a firm believer of Feng Shui, thanks to the history the country shares with the Chinese. Following the Chinese Lunar Calendar, 2016 is the Year of Fire Monkey.
For the believers of Feng Shui, each year signifies a certain character or energy based on the animal sign it represents, and for the Fire Monkey, it is passion.
Keeping your passion on
“The Fire Monkey represents anything with fire, or passion. It’s the year to pursue your dreams," Feng shui expert Hanz Cua shared in an interview with Entrepreneur Philippines.
Cua said that it is more advisable to open a business during the first half of the year, as this is the period predicted to be abundant and fruitful, while the second half is lackluster.
“This is because the Fire Monkey is extremely energetic and living in the extremes. I advise businesses to always prepare a 'plan B,'” Cua said.
Industries related with fire are expected to boom this year, such as food, energy, petroleum, technology, social media, sales and marketing, advertising, and show business. The Fire Monkey is also the ninth animal zodiac, the highest number in numerology signifying growth and expansion for businesses.
Individuals born in the years of the Sheep, Horse, Rat, Dragon, Snake, Ox, Rabbit, and Boar are believed to have great luck once they open their businesses this year.
2016’s lucky color is blue, believed to balance the energy and enhance good fortune.
Charming your way to fortune
In Feng Shui, not only dates and numbers are important but location as well. One of the most common Feng Shui practices is placing lucky charms and figures in strategic places around the home and in the workplace to attract fortune.
This 2016, Cua shares that placing a water fountain, an aquarium, or any figure resembling water in the southeast, southwest, and east section of your home or workplace is believed to attract good fortune.
“I also recommend placing a Tai Sui charm at the southwest part of the house, or in the office to subdue bad fortune,” said Feng Shui expert Marites Allen in a meet-and-greet on Saturday, February 6 at SM Megamall.
To effectively locate the division of the house or workplace, stand in front your door, facing outward then use a compass.
Cua also strongly recommends signing contracts at the east part of the office, as this is where great fortune resides. The station of sales teams is also recommended to be located at the east part of the office, so as to attract or boost sales for the company.
Office heads and bosses are recommended to stay at the southeastern part of the office, and to avoid sitting below beams or in front of office corners.
It's still about the people
But for Chinese astrology and Feng Shui expert Joey Yap, no physical element can better subdue misfortune in businesses than better employee training.
“I’m an entrepreneur myself. I know the nuances of running a business. It’s not about what you wear and what you have at home. It’s what you do,” Yap said in an interview with Entrepreneur Philippines.
Yap, who specializes in metaphysics, firmly believes in the effects of the Chinese Zodiac on individuals and has made a business out of it. He has an academy in Australia which trains people how to read such signs, believed to show an individual’s skills, character, and possible career that he or she can successfully pursue.
Some companies have tapped his expertise to profile and read the animal signs of their employees so that they can improve their performance.
“Learning the animal signs of your employees will help you understand how they work and what they go through, thus communicating better. Some animal signs go through emotional luck cycles, and if you know who these people are then they can perform better for you and increase your sales in the process. In my case, it has improved business from 20% to 30%,” Yap shared.
He agrees on the importance of location in attracting fortune—he himself has changed the location of his school in Australia thrice, in a span of 20 years. But, at the end of the day, Yap emphasizes one thing all business owners may agree upon: “All business empires are run by people. If you treat them well, they will lead you to success.”
Doing your part
Allen echoed Yap's sentiment, noting the detractors she encounters every day in social media who calls here a mere fortune-teller.
“Feng shui is just one-third of the formula. First is heaven’s luck, or the fate you had since you were born. And the other is mankind luck, or the work put in to succeed in life,” Allen said.
The expert added that Feng Shui is just one of our many guides in life, which is why she does not force this belief on anyone. “I don’t do predictions, I share forecasts. It’s still up to you how you will live your life,” Allen said.