Amp up your business game plan in the Year of the Monkey

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Amp up your business game plan in the Year of the Monkey

By Nickky Faustine P. de Guzman

Some companies are rags to riches stories, while others bloom and boom only to go bust. There are many theories why this is so, though some will give a certain amount of credit to feng shui.

“A businessman, whether in a big or small enterprise, can always gain wisdom from applying feng shui practices,” Hanz Cua told BusinessWorld. At 33, he is the youngest feng shui master in the country.


Feng Shui, which literally means wind-water, is the art of harmonizing qi (energy flow) with the surrounding environment. Mr. Cua said feng shui has a formula which he has to study and analyze every year.

“Knowing how to augment the positive qi management could yield growth in your finances and improve the operations in a company,” he said.

On Feb. 8, Chinese communities all over the world, including those in the Philippines, will celebrate Chinese New Year, officially welcoming the Year of the Fire Monkey. What surprises does the Chinese New Year hold, especially for our booming economy?

“Fire is a symbol for passion, desire, and determination. While the monkey on the other hand, is the ninth animal in the zodiac. Nine is the highest number. Monkeys are jokers and witty, so it’s good to put your best foot forward but always have a plan B,” said Mr. Cua, who attended the School of Chinese Metaphysics in Singapore, among others, to earn his mastery in feng shui.

Since fire is the dominant symbol for 2016, Mr. Cua said businesses related to it, including food, gas stations, and electronics, would be in for a good year. On the other hand, business ventures linked to water, including water-refilling stations, will not do as well as others.

But there are ways to attract a good energy flow into one’s work place and home, even if, according to the geomancers, this is not a good year for you. One can, for example, wear metal (gold and silver) ornaments and place neko cats — the cat figurine that waves its arms up and down — in one’s workplace to attract good luck.

If you’re thinking of opening a business, whether micro, small, or medium, now is the best time to do so. Master Cua said business expansions and opportunities will thrive from January until June, but luck will wane in the middle of the year, then will regain traction in the “ber” months.

The general outlook for business is “extremely competitive and the climate of business is demanding,” said another feng shui expert, Marites Allen, whose clients include Ben Chan of Bench and Washington SyCip of SGV.

She said the economy looks promising in the third and fourth quarters of the year. “The people will pursue power, wealth, and financial security.”

Both experts agreed that the stock market would be “more aggressive and favorable,” especially in the second half of the year.

While businesses seem to be heading toward a good year, those people born in the year of the Tiger (1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, and 2010) may have to rethink business plans and expansions because they are prone to career losses this year. According to the experts, this is because tigers are the enemies of monkeys.

A Filipino Chinese selling different kinds of tikoy ( sticky rice cake). Chinese New Year is not complete without tikoy. Chinoys, Philippine born Filipinos of Chinese descent as well as Chinese citizens get ready for the Chinese new year as they visit a charms store in Binondo, China district of Manila, Philippines February 3, 2013

Despite the Chinese influence in Filipino culture, and the fact that the Philippines is home to one of the largest Chinese communities in the world outside of China itself, many people are still apprehensive about following feng shui tips.

When asked if the qi would still flow as abundantly if one doesn’t believe in the power of this ancient Chinese tradition, Master Cua said: “There’s no room for half-baked beliefs. It is not mandatory. If you’re anxious about it, then don’t follow it at all.”

While the keys to a successful business are determination, perseverance, and hard work, Mr. Cua said, “Feng shui is a science. It has formulas that will guide your life. It’s up to you to make sense of it. After all, you are your own architect — you build your own life.”

Still, placing a glass of water on the North side of your workplace or home to ward off negative vibes isn’t that tall of an order. Besides, you won’t lose anything if you follow it.

Here are feng shui business tips from Master Hanz Cua

Where is your entrance? The entrance or main door should always be easy on the eyes. The entryway should be spacious and clean to usher in good energy.

De-clutter. This is perhaps the golden rule in feng shui business. A muddle of files, books, office products and supplies give a bad impression to patrons and future clients. According to Master Cua, it only attracts “stagnant energy,” which can affect the sales and negotiations.

Show me the money. The cash register should always face the entrance, but it should not be directly in front of the door.

Appropriate Lighting. Proper lighting isn’t for aesthetics alone — it serves as an energizer that attracts and raises the qi energy. Always light up a dim room.

Wealth is on the left. The wealth area of your store or office is found in the far left corner. To energize the area, place a cash box or a money plant with gold or red ribbons on this side. You may also do business transactions in this area.


Chinese New Year Traditions

THE CHINESE New Year is associated with a variety of traditions, myths and superstitions. The Peninsula Manila Hotel — which will be marking Chinese New Year with a dragon dance and special auspicious meals at its various restaurants — came up with a list of some of these traditions to guide those who are less familiar with this celebration.

No Cleaning. The household has to be thoroughly cleaned before the New Year’s day because it is believed that cleaning sweeps away bad luck from the last year. However, all cleaning equipment should be put away before the New Year’s Eve so that good luck is not swept away. Even though sweeping is allowed after the first day of a New Year, the garbage and dust shouldn’t be carried through the front door, as it may result in death or estrangement of a family member.

No Ghost Stories. According to Chinese beliefs, what happens on the New Year’s Eve sets a precedent for the rest of the year. Foul language and unlucky words are a taboo on the first day of the New Year. Since ghost stories essentially involve mentions of death, children as well as elders are not allowed to tell stories related to spirits, zombies or the undead.

No Washing Hair. Though you are encouraged to get a hair-cut on the first day, you’re not supposed to wash your hair to ensure that good luck is not washed away.

No Books. Book stores remain closed on the New Year’s Eve in areas with strong Chinese traditions as buying books is not allowed. The reason stems from the fact that “book” is a homonym for “lose” in Cantonese. However, apparently, there is no restriction on reading.

No Shoes. Shoe shopping is restricted on the first day because “shoes” is a homonym for “rough” in Cantonese.

No Crying. Crying is also a strict no-no on New Year’s Eve which is why children are spared from spanking or punishments on the first day.

No Sitting in the Bedroom. It is unlucky to meet anyone in their bedroom on the New Year’s Eve, which is the reason why everyone, including infants, the elderly and even those who are sick, are made to dress up and sit in the living room.

No Sharp Objects. Handling sharp objects is considered a bad omen on the first day of the New Year, as they may cut off good fortune. It is recommended to put away knives and scissors the previous day.

Red is Good. Bright red clothes, decorations and ornaments are highly recommended for the Chinese New Year. Children receive money in red paper envelopes from parents who wish them a healthy and happy New Year. Red paper-cuts and couplets with popular themes of good fortune or happiness, are used to decorate the household.

Songbirds are Good. The first person you meet on New Year’s eve holds great significance on how lucky you would be throughout the year. It is considered lucky to see or hear songbirds, red-colored birds or swallows on New Year’s Eve.