Optimistic forecasts

WHETHER they are established business owners or just like practicing the art of feng shui, most are optimistic that the year of the water snake will be a good year for business.

For feng shui expert Aldric Dalumpines, the arrival in droves of tourists in Cebu to witness the Sinulog Festival was just the start of good things for the province.

“Water snake connotes great money and money-making opportunities, generally, with water being a symbol of money in feng shui. Thus it will rain and flood literally with water and money,” Dalumpines said.

For Chinese business owners in Cebu, the year of the Water Snake could be a turnaround year for most businesses.

Johnie Lim, president and chief executive officer of Body and Sole Franchise Corp., said 2013 is a good year for business because a snake is a very strong creature.

“A snake can symbolize easy movement whether vertical or horizontal. We believe that this is a year of transformation, where any past mistakes can be used to make our dreams come true by starting all over,” said Johnie.

His family maintains two calendars at home: a Philippine calendar and a traditional Chinese calendar so they can plan for the entire year.

The water snake’s qualities like being cunning, aware, graceful, tenacious, and resilient, will make businesses continue to prosper this year, said former Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) president Eric Ng Mendoza.


He believes industries in Cebu will continue to grow, particularly construction and knowledge/business process outsourcing.

However, Dalumpines warns that the snake’s qualities are not all positive. Snakes are often symbols of traitors.

“Back to back with it is the negative or yin trait of the snake that every success brings envy, betrayal to the victor,” Dalumpines said. In business, one has to watch out for traitors and shortchanging. He also said relationships could be affected because of greed.

This is something Johnie agrees with, saying there will also those who will try to rob others of opportunities and ideas.

Since Cebu is in the southwest, Dalumpines said its location “throws havoc by way of illness” to mothers or matriarchs of companies.

“Thus proper geomancy remedies must be undertaken to avert production disruptions at home and at work, by consulting a geomancer or real feng shui expert accordingly, not just wannabes,” he said.

Growth areas

Asked what industries he believes will do well this year, Dalumpines identified tourism especially water-related entertainment like resorts, hotels, bars, telecoms, load business, internet business and business process outsourcing. He also said lending, banking, micro finance, money transfers, money changing and pawnshops “will reach new peaks.”

With 2013 being an election year, Dalumpines foresees the sectors in food and beverage, construction and real estate to do well. But export companies and overseas workers will have to contend with a strong peso.

For entrepreneurs to take advantage of the bright prospects this year, Mendoza said they should adopt the best practices like good governance, accountability and transparency in their respective businesses.

But whatever positive vibes the year will bring, MCCI president Philip Tan said faith coupled with hard work would make one successful.

“Blindly believing in prosperity in every new year by doing nothing will not make any difference. Hard work coupled with innovation and kindness is a key to peace and continuous blessings in everything we do,” he said.

One who is excited for what the new year has to offer is Richard Lim, president of Johndorf Ventures Corp. Lim believes vast opportunities are in store for his company this year. He said the P1.5 billion worth of housing projects in the Visayas and Mindanao speaks well of how bullish they are.

Families of Chinese descent still observe the many traditions their ancestors had. On the eve of the Chinese New Year, Johnie said they all wear red.

They use red curtains or tablecloths, as it means good energy and luck to the house occupants. They prepare steamed fish for abundance; noodles, which symbolize long life; tikoy, which symbolizes sweetness and family togetherness; and round fruits like mandarin oranges and pineapple as symbols of good luck.

His family also visits Chinese temples to seek guidance, especially when they are planning to build a house, buy a car or expand the business.They also practice the traditional giving of red “ang pao” (Chinese red money envelope) to children and relatives, symbolizing wishes for prosperity and financial well-being.

Dalumpines advised: “As you mind your business this year, do feng shui with a picture of your beneficiaries in mind. Don’t just do it yourself for yourself - that is selfishness.” He reminded entrepreneurs to earn profits the honorable way.