OXEN CLOBBERS THE FIRE DOG
I know it may sound strange, but i've never really warmed up to the Chinese New Year (the more technically correct term is "Lunar New Year") celebrations here in Manila, especially in the Chinatown area. Let me count the ways:
- traffic slows down to an absolute crawl, and parking is just terrible
- dragon dancers going to your establishment for luck...well, i think they hardly wash that dragon costume, since
it smells from ten years of accumulated sweat and B.O.
- everyone on the streets wearing red, again for luck or prosperity (or is it both?)
- the noisy fireworks and variety shows/programs. . .yes, even the Ms. Chinatown pageant
For crying out loud, it's not even a public holiday!
About the only thing i like is the chance to eat tikoy (glutinous rice cake). Quite amusingly, this delectable snack
is now available in ube, pandan, strawberry, mango and even melon flavors. . .a far cry from years past, wherein the choices were only brown sugar and plain (white sugar) flavors. And i just saw a poster a few days ago, proclaiming one leading brand's new "lite" low-fat tikoy.
Hmm, perhaps i should tell my good friend D. (his family owns Dream Land Bakery, which is perhaps not as well-known as some of its competitors, but their tikoy is one of the best in town) that next year, they should come out with cookies & cream tikoy. Or perhaps tikoy with fresh coconut slivers? Tikoy with sago bits? The possibilities are endless! :D
Anyways, the Year of the Fire Dog is now upon us, and the newspapers and TV shows are abound with self-styled Feng Shui experts and geomancers proclaiming the lucky and not-so-lucky signs for the year. Lots of people i know really believe these "experts", but i personally am quite the skeptic. In fact, i would go so far as to say some of these "experts" are charlatans.
I consider myself to be totally unsuperstitious, and make it a point NOT to wear red on New Year's Day, just to make a point.
I fall under the Year of the Ox, and with nothing else better to do today while waiting for the Australian Open men's singles final to come on TV, i scanned the newspaper to see what's in store for me.
First, people born under the Ox sign are generally:
- dependable, calm and methodical (well, not me)
- tireless worker (totally untrue!)
- can be entrusted with positions of authority and responsibility (ahem!)
- can sometimes exhibit bad temper (right on!! i can visualize the long line of people who will attest to this)
Now, for the forecasts for Ox people (or Oxen, if you will). "2006 will be a busy and memorable year for the Ox. Luck will be half-good and half-bad," so intoned the Phil. Star. Specifically:
- although big problems will surface, they will not be as formidable as they appear (ahh, okay)
- income will be steady, but there will be tendencies for large purchases and expenses (seems like they peeked at my credit card bill while i was sleeping)
- socially active year with lots of entertaining (perhaps this is the sign i'm waiting for to ask charming J. to take me to Embassy?!)
- favorable for travel (hooray!)
- "for the unattached Oxen, there are good prospects for settling down with a partner" (this should warm the hearts of my parents, as well as those people who nag me about my civil status)
Now, on a chirpier note, the newspaper says that since Oxen are regarded as "hardworking" people, an ideal gift to give them would be a SPA GIFT CERTIFICATE.
Hey, i'm starting to like this stuff. Bring on the GCs, everyone!