At a recent eight-course luncheon at Jasmine Chinese Restaurant of New World Makati Hotel, Ateneo management engineering/economics and UCLA MBA-educated Patrick Lim Fernandez shared his forecasts for the Chinese New Year of the Rabbit, which starts on the Western Gregorian calendar’s Jan. 22, 2023. On this date, the hotel at 12 noon hosts festive, colorful performances of the ancient dragon and lion dances by the Philippine Ling Nam Athletic Federation. Fernandez gave Philippine STAR an interview.
PHILIPPINE STAR: How will this Lunar New Year of the Rabbit be for the Philippines and the world?
PATRICK LIM FERNANDEZ: This is the Yin Water Rabbit and we just ended the Yang Water Tiger. This new year will be more peaceful and harmonious. There will be reinvigoration, a kind of reintegration, renewed energy and more hopeful (times). The rabbit is milder, more clever, more creative. For the Philippines, it is fairly positive, even for the world in general. The Philippines, in the southeast, has to watch out for conflict energy, watch out for conflicts and tensions; we should go for more dialogue and diplomacy.
One thing to guard against this year is people losing focus. Don’t try to do everything all at once.
How is this Rabbit Year shaping up for romance? is this a good year to marry or go into a love relationship for singles?
This Rabbit Year has a peach blossom star—more romantic—so this is a good year to get married and to open our hearts and minds to relationships. This new year is also good for filial love for our family, friends, colleagues, and business partners. In ancient China and other Asian societies influenced by Chinese culture like Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, and others, the peach blossom symbolizes undying love. There are three common flowers or blossoms in China—the cherry blossom grows in bunches, the plum blossom grows one by one, and the peach blossom always grows in pairs. This is very romantic and poetic.
What are the luckiest animal zodiac signs this new year?
In terms of relationships, the Tiger, Horse, and Dog are lucky because of the peach blossom star. Those who will enjoy good career and money fortunes this new year are the Rat, Rabbit, Dragon, and Goat.
(WRITER’S NOTE: Among leaders and celebrities with good luck this year by this measure are Vice President Sara Duterte Carpio [Horse]; Senate President pro tempore Loren Legarda, conferred the award of “Commendatore” to the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic last Jan. 18 [Rat]; Senator Sonny Angara [Rat]; Senator Sherwin Gatchalian [Tiger]; House Senior Deputy Majority Leader Sandro Marcos [Dog]; former Senator Ping Lacson [Rat], Manny Pacquiao [Horse]; former Defense Secretary Gibo Teodoro [Dragon]; Manny V. Pangilinan [Dog]; Teresita Sy Coson [Tiger]; Sabin Aboitiz [Dragon]; Lance Gokongwei [Horse]; Ricky Razon [Rat]; Anne Curtis [Rat]; Marian Rivera [Rat]; Kathryn Bernardo [Rat]; Heart Evangelista [Rat]; Sarah Geronimo [Dragon]; Kim Chiu [Horse]; Vice Ganda [Dragon]; Piolo Pascual [Dragon]; Alex Gonzaga [Rabbit]).
What about health?
People born in years of the Pig, Tiger, Ox, and Dog need to watch out for health.
How is the Chinese zodiac different from the Western horoscope?
The Chinese have been very smart about feng shui since ancient times, with the earliest written records found dating back to 4,000 B.C. or about the same time as the Egyptian pyramids. In the Western zodiac, there are only 12 signs. In the Chinese zodiac, there are 12 animal signs, plus there are the elements (like “Horse” and element of “Fire” for “Fire Horse”). We study not just birth year, animal sign and element combinations but also the date, the month and the time of birth—therefore there are 47 billion possible combinations and only eight billion people on earth! Every birth sign is tailored to every person. This ancient system of astrology already shows the Chinese people’s love for numbers.
What are the weirdest questions asked by people seeking feng shui advice? Are the people consulting you mostly ethnic Chinese?
Not just ethnic Chinese, there are lots of Filipinos who seek feng shui consultations. Among the questions which you might say are “weirdest” include money topics, like “Will I become a millionaire?” or “Will I win the lotto?” Some ask, “Am I going to die this year?”
Feng Shui readings are like the weather forecasts, which can guide us on how we can make choices, react, and protect ourselves.
Is it accurate to just rely on feng shui to determine one’s fate?
In Chinese culture, there are five pillars of success in life. The first is destiny, which only our Creator knows. Second is luck or a person’s birth sign. Third is the feng shui of one’s home or office. Fourth is charity like donating or volunteering. Fifth is education, always learning.
Feng Shui readings are like the weather forecasts, which can guide us on how we can make choices, react and protect ourselves. For example, if the forecast says it will be a rainy day tomorrow, you can plan accordingly by either postponing your trip to another day, cancelling the trip, or preparing for the bad weather by carrying an umbrella.
What are the general forecasts for the 12 animal signs?
Rat: Good year to make new friends, lots of luck, good money luck, maximize income source, create more income source and save. Negatives: Beware of rumors or backstabbings, don’t pay attention to them. In romance, there may be temptations or gray moral areas; just do the right thing.
Ox: Do a lot of planning to attain goals or milestones, set timetables. There may be fluctuating emotions, just keep calm. Pay attention to family elders, their health, their emotional and mental well-being.
Tiger: It is your year this year, you will have enhanced relationships, but there may be bouts of anxiety. Pay attention to your health and you might lose things this year.
Rabbit: Congrats, it’s your year. You will be in the spotlight, and highlight your talents. This year is good for you to buy assets, acquire wealth, study and learn something new. Be careful of disputes, have an even temper.
Dragon: You will have good yang energy, lots of luck from the men in your life. You will have good professional advancement. Warning: You’re passionate but not as passionate as some.
Snake: Have your passport updated, because this new year is your time for travel, especially across waters. Travel also means you will have expanded perspectives. This year is good for relationships. Guard against bad moods, so warn people around you that you will get into bad moods.
Horse: You will have lots of luck from females. You will do well to cater to the female market. Guard against being overly ambitious this new year, don’t bite too much. Be careful with your words.
Goat: In the Chinese zodiac, there are two “barkadas” or good friends of the Rabbit, which are the Goat and Pig, and the best friend of the Rabbit is the Dog. For the Goat, this new year is good time for expansion; you will have the strongest creativity star this year and it’s best to involve other people. Guard against being easily irritated, don’t be stressed out.
Monkey: Last year was a little challenging, this year is good for leadership and to volunteer, finding mentors and learning from them. Warning: Avoid spending too much like in online shopping or using the credit card.
Rooster: This animal sign clashes with the Rabbit, so it is advisable to attend or host happy occasions, to donate to charities. This new year, try to avoid going to wakes, funerals and hospitals. Guard against big financial losses.
Dog: This animal sign is the best friend of the Rabbit. You have the Emperor star, so this new year is good for authority, career. It also has a problem-solving star, so be a problem solver and help others. Guard against setting unrealistic expectations.
Pig: Surround yourself with foods, celebrations, attending and hosting celebrations. Guard against losing focus and resolve. See things through so they’re not half-done. Guard against false information; verify news and don’t spread fake news.
Any final advice to people in welcoming this Lunar New Year of the Rabbit?
Strive for constant balance in your relationships, career, health, and money. Don’t focus only on one at the expense of the others.