Chinese New Year!

One of the most, if not the most, important celebrations or holiday for the Chinese is the Chinese New Year (also called Chinese Lunar New Year or Lunar New Year). In fact, in some Chinese countries it can be celebrated as long as 15 days. In China, Chinese New Year is more commonly known as ‘Chūn Jié’ or Spring Festival, because it’s really the start of spring in China. In fact, for us here in the Philippines, before the climate change has started messing with our weather, you’ll notice that it starts to get warm once we’ve celebrated Chinese New Year.

There are different ways of celebrating Chinese New Year, not only for overseas Chinese, but also for Chinese in China who may have varying regional customs and traditions. However, it is not uncommon for people to splurge and buy presents, various Feng Shui decorations, new things that can be put inside the house, delicious food and new clothes. I suppose it’s very much like how Christians celebrates Christmas.

If Filipinos visits their grandparents or their Ninongs and Ninangs on Christmas day, the Chinese tradition is for children to visit their grandparents and other elders to greet them a healthy and happy new year. Traditionally, they in turn received Ang Pao(s) or red envelopes with money in it. It is said that one shouldn’t spend the money inside the red envelope within a year.

Chinese Buddhism, Taoism and even Feng Shui believers will strive to pay the money that they owe before Chinese New Year, this is to ensure that they’ll have a better year. But if you loan somebody money, it is also advised to forget about it to bring more blessings.

Chinese New Year falls on different date each year because one follows the cycle of the moon. However, some Feng Shui experts says while the date may change every year, some of them believes that the stars the really ushers in the ‘New Year’ is always on the Feb. 4. I personally don’t agree with this. This is just to make things easy to remember as to what is your birth sign and is usually suggested by ‘Feng Shui experts’ who are too lazy to take time out to study the stars.

According to legend, the celebration of a Chinese New Year started when a mythical beast called 年 (Nián), which is also the term for year in Chinese would always come once a year to devour livestocks and crops, and sometimes Nian would even attack people, especially children. One day, a couple accidentally left food outside their house and when Nian attacked they were spared. Soon the practice of leaving food outside their house or altar became a practice, and the people saw that this is a good practice to escape Nian’s attack. Thus the start of the practice of Chinese New Year.

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My Online Food Diary: February 1, 2011 (Giving In to a Tikoy Temptation)

This is my second post regarding the food I eat. But since it’s the season of ‘Kung Hei Fat Choi’, its also the time of the year when Tikoy or Chinese Sweet Rice Cakes are in every corner of the house.

Believe me its not easy being around Tikoys because they call out to you and beg you to eat them even if you know that it’s high in sugar and simple carbohydrates. But, as expected,  I still gave in to eating tikoy. The

Tikoy Temptation is just too much for me to refuse.

Anyway, this is what I had today.

For BREAKFAST:

2 Pcs. Gardenia Whole Wheat Loaf

1 Can Century Corned Tuna

1 Mug of Black Coffee

 

LUNCH:

2 MBS of Beef

2 MBS Chicken

3 Servings of Mixed Vegetables

 

SNACK:

2 Handful of Grapes (A fruit that really taste good but might be the best one to eat because of its high glycemic index or high sugar content.)

6 slices of Tikoy cooked coated in egg.

 

DINNER:

8 MBS Tuna Fillet

¼ Serving of Vegetable.

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2011 Feng Shui and Chinese Buddhist Rituals to Usher in the 2011 Chinese New Year!

Kung Hei Fat Choi!

This is the season when you hear everybody, not just Chinese, greeting each other ‘Kung Hei Fat Choi’, which is not Happy New Year in Chinese. What it really means is ‘Wishing You Prosperity’.

Speaking of prosperity, every year, there are different rituals that one should do during Chinese New Year to attract prosperity and a good life. Some of them you do every year, but some changes depending on the year’s ruling sign.

Allow me to share the ‘must-do’ 2011 Feng Shui and Chinese Buddhism rituals to usher in the 2011 Lunar Year that has the ruling sign of the Metal Rabbit.

1. First and foremost, get a haircut before Feb. 3, 2011. This symbolizes that you are getting rid of all the unwanted energies of the previous year and ushers in a new energy for the coming lunar year.

2. Do a Spring-cleaning. Clean your house, your room, and your office. This is to create a new atmosphere of positive energy.

3. Just a day before Chinese New Year (Feb, 3, 2011) take away all your Feng Shui charms that is in the house. Clean them and put them on the altar or on a table in front of the altar.

4. On Chinese New Year’s day tie them (Feng Shui Charms) with a new red ribbon and place them on the new Flying Star section.

Image lifted from Google Image.

5. Make sure all the lights in your house are turned on on the eve of Chinese New Year. If possible keep them on until Feb. 3, 2011 evening. Turn them off just when you’re about to sleep on Feb. 3, 2011. If this is not possible please make sure to keep them on until about 3am of Feb. 3, 2011.

6. Make sure all the doors and windows of your house are open. UNLESS, THE DOOR OR WINDOW HAPPENS TO FACE EAST.

7. If possible go to a Chinese Buddhist temple, or a Taoist temple and light incense between 11pm of Feb. 2, 2011 to 1am of Feb. 3, 2011. If this is not possible the next best time is between 7am and 9am of Feb. 3, 2011.

8. However, if it’s not possible for you to go out, every member of your family should light three red incense on your altar. For Catholics, you can light a candle. Just make sure you don’t burn anything.

9.  ALL PEOPLE BORN UNDER THE SIGN OF THE ROOSTER MUST STAY INSIDE THE HOUSE ON THE EVE OF CHINESE NEW YEAR. BUT PLEASE DO GO TO A TEMPLE OR A CHURCH BETWEEN 7AM AND 9AM THE FOLLOWING DAY.

10. On Feb 2, 2011 prepare the following:

Get 1 liter of water, put it on a basin or jar and put three different flowers in it. Make sure that the flower has no thorns. Put the jar or basin in front of your altar. If you don’t have an altar please put it on Northeast corner of your house. Sprinkle your house with this flower essence water between 7am and 9am of Feb. 3, 2011.

Get a tikoy, three pieces each of nine different fruits, onion leaks with roots (if possible), Chinese Cabbage or Pechay with roots (if possible), 1 RED bowl of rice grains, 1 RED bowl of salt, 1 Red bowl of sugar, 1 RED bowl of cooking oil, three bottles of beer or three shot glasses of liquor, 3 whole garlic with roots (if possible), 28 pieces of sweet candy (please make sure its not mentholated or has mint or eucalyptus flavor). Put these items on your dining table and leave it there for three days. You can take it out on Feb. 5, 2011 and eat them.

11. On Feb. 3, 2011 the whole family should all try to wear red and enjoy a meal together before 9am.

12. The eldest or the head of the house should give out Ang Pao or Red Envelopes with money to all the people in the house. It need not be a big amount.

13.  On the fifth day of the Chinese New Year, which is on Feb. 7, 2011, it will be great if you can offer incense and fruits to a deity and ask for wealth blessing. Because this is the first wealth day of the year.

14. On Feb. 11, 2011, which is the ninth day of the Chinese New Year, we celebrate the Jade Emperor’s Day (more about the Jade Emperor on future posts). Chinese Buddhist or Taoist people should go to the temple and light some incense and offer fruits. Rooster and Rabbit born people whose Feng Shui forecasts for this year is not very positive should go to the temple and asks for the Jade Emperor’s blessings and protection. For Catholics, you can go to church and pray to an image of Christ the King.

The Jade Emperor

Christ-the-King

15. On the fifteenth day of the Chinese New Year, which is on Feb. 17, 2011, is also termed as Chap Goh Meh. A lot of Taoist priest will be doing their Tai Sui Blessing on this day. It will also be nice to donate blood on this day to help clean out your negative or bad karma. People born under the sign of the rooster and rabbit will also greatly benefit if donate blood or attend a Tai Sui blessing.

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My Online Food Diary: January 31, 2011 (1st Entry)

Note: This was supposed to be posted yesterday. However, due to a technical problem from WordPress I’m only able to post it now.

My trainer was honest enough to tell me right from the start that while exercise helps a lot in building endurance and resistance, proper diet is still one of the biggest factor in any weight loss program. Everybody who wants to lose weight should realize that the operative words here are PROPER DIET and not DIET.

We need to be able to monitor what we eat. And the first thing that my trainer asked me to do is to make a food blog, which he checks every now and then.

Please take my word for it. Keeping a food blog or food diary works. It helps in making us more conscious and aware of what we eat.

Now, I’ve decided that do that food blog online, and this is my first entry. I don’t think it’s the most ideal diet though.

BREAKFAST:

3 Pcs. Of Gardenia Whole Wheat Bread

1 Can of Century Corned Tuna sautéed in Red Onions

1 Mug of Coffee without any form of Sweetener or Creamer.

LUNCH:

8 Pcs of Small Beef Siomai

2 Servings of Pomelo

DINNER:

3 Servings of Vegetables.

4-5 MBS (Matchbox Size) Lean Pork

I know that my meal is not the most ideal one. Hope to do better tomorrow.

 

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207.8Lbs

I really thought that I won’t lose any weight this week. In fact, I thought I’ll gain weight because I haven’t had any exercise this week except last Monday. But I think getting sick is one way to lose weight, not the healthiest way to shed the pounds or fat but it does make you lose weight. I guess that’s the only explanation why today when I stepped on the weighing scale it read 207.8lbs as oppose to the 209.6lbs last Saturday.

That’s another 1.8lbs off from reaching Project 168.

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Khloe Kardashian Reveals Her Biggest Lifetime Struggle: Weight Loss

The Kardashian’s are always in the news and I know that a lot of people do admire them a lot. So much so that the Kardashian’s can actually make money while enjoying a party. For example, Kim Kardashian is said to get more than US$300,000.00 to attend a party. Her presence attracts a lot of people both during and after the party that they say three hundred thousand dollars is said to be a small fee. All she has to do is to attend and have fun and she can leave after an hour. The other Kardahsian’s are said to get as much also.

There are times that we who are from the ‘outside’ looking in feels that Hollywood celebrities are ‘not as human as we are’. But, in a recent video blog of Khloe Kardashian in the website khloekardashian.celebuzz.com she revealed that she is just like one of us. She revealed that she continues to struggle with her weight and feels like it’s going to be a lifelong struggle for her. While she admits that ‘it’s not the biggest thing in life’ it does get her down and that it will be her ‘biggest lifetime struggle’.

Khloe Kardashian

When I first went to the gym, my trainer told me right away that it’s very important for me to face the truth and realize that I’ll do lose weight if I go on a proper diet and exercise, but I should also realize that maintaining an ideal weight and figure is a lifelong struggle for most people. Attaining my ideal weight is a defining moment but whether one can maintain that weight is even a deeper defining moment. He said losing weight will open me to realities of the things that I can achieve, but maintaining that weight will define as to what kind of person I am.

I’m still in the process of trying to achieve Project 168 but as early as now I’ve realized that there are things that I can do that I thought I’d never be able to do. But also as early as now I’ve come to face the reality that weight loss is life long struggle.

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Diabetes: A Scary Truth

It was sometime mid-November 2009 when I first started experiencing dryness of the mouth, palpitations, slight dizziness, erratic blood pressure, and frequent urinating. When I say frequent urinating, I mean really frequent as in every fifteen or thirty minutes. I tried to ignore it at first, but some of my clients started to notice it. They said it was never my attitude to stand-up during meetings, and they now notice me doing it not just once but several times. I told them about what I’ve been experiencing and since they’re from a pharma company they’re quite familiar with the different symptoms of various diseases. That’s when I first came face-to-face with the possibility that I might have DIABETES.

The thought of having diabetes scared me to death, and two doctors that work with us told me that what I have is a classic symptom of diabetes and they both told me to get myself tested right away.

I did and as it turned out I don’t have diabetes, at least, not yet. What I have is a temporary symptom because an endocrine problem. But I’m not totally off the hook because my sugar level is pretty high. This was sometime mid-December of 2009 already.

It was then that I decided that I would refrain from eating or drinking any sweets or ‘sugar’. To this day, since I made that decision I haven’t had a single drop of juice (other than fresh coconut juice w/o sugar), soft drinks (not even the sugar-free variant which is almost as bad as the one that’s loaded with sugar), ice cream, and candy. And whereas before I would always have cake for dessert, I’m still happy to say, that I only gave in to eating cakes thrice, and all times it was because it was a Sweet Bella cake that was served.

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Getting Back on Track for Project 168!

I’ve been sick since Monday, first, I thought it was dengue but thank God that its not. However, my diet has been really bad since then. I’ve lost my appetite and have just been eating bananas since yesterday.

My trainer said that it’s bad. He said I need protein and carbohydrates to get well.

Oh well…I need to get well to get back on track for the weight aspect of Project 168. I know that getting sick is not the best way to lose weight. Wish me luck and hopefully I’ll be able to go back to the gym as well…SOON!

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Oprah’s Half-Sister Story: A Proof that Life si Good Should We Decide to Make it Good.

Filipinos in the Philippines were besieged by different disturbing news this week. First, there was the car-napping group that kills their victim, and then there was the EDSA Bus Bombing news that as of this writing already killed 5 people, and on that same day there was also the Moscow Airport Bombing. These are sad, disturbing news and at first I thought I shouldn’t even write about it so as not to immerse myself and my readers in such a negative story.

However, the story about Oprah’s half-sister is a testament that how we react to something is proof that it’s us who makes a story good or bad. While we cannot totally forget about the brutality of the stories I just mentioned, in the long run its us who decides whether we will chose to learn from it and make it to something positive or not.

I say this because the story about Oprah’s half-sister reminds me of a story of a friend who recently found out that she has a half-brother and half-sister. As expected she and her other siblings’ first reaction was to get angry, this is only natural. However, after 8 years they, except for one sibling, remain angry about what they say is a cruel joke on them. They even went as far as accusing the half-siblings of wanting to take part in the wealth that their father has left them, this is despite of the fact that they didn’t try to get a single centavo from their father and even returned the properties that was rightfully theirs by law. The half-siblings are now very successful entrepreneurs and look forward to having a good relationship with my friend’s family. They said they’re taking it one step at a time and is hopeful which is boost by the fact that they’re now in good terms with the brother of my friend.

You see, both families were put in the same boat and both decided to react differently. I’m happy for Oprah and Patricia, her half-sister, because they choose to make it a good news. But more than that I admire Patricia’s integrity by refusing a one million dollar deal from a tabloid because all she wants is a relationship with her family.

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2011 Feng Shui Forecast (3): The Flying Star Aspect and Its Feng Shui Cure

For those who are not yet familiar with it, Flying Star is base on the Lo Shu Feng Shui.

The Lo Shu is compose of a square with 9 small square with corresponding numbers which are numbers 1-9. The numbers are always arranged in such a way that when you add them whether vertically or horizontally it will always add up to the sum of 15. It is very much the same with Sudoku. Only the Lo Shu was discovered and formulated more than 7,000 years ago.

It is believed that the Lo Shu was revealed by a Mystical Dragon Tortoise to a revered Monk. This became one of the basis or theoretical guide of Feng Shui. Each number is has a designated star that corresponds to a certain luck or affliction which is called flying star.

Sample Image of a Flying Star Lo Shu.

It’s important for us to be familiar with this so that we’ll know whether we benefit from a specific auspicious star or are afflicted with a negative star.

Let me present to you the 2011 Metal Rabbit Annual Flying Chart:

1. The Number One (1) which is also know as the White Star/Victory Star/Mentor Star flies to the Northeast.

This star bring good career luck and helps you overcome obstacles. This also brings in the opportunity and mentor luck. If your room/office/work area is in the northeast, it will be good for you to enhance this luck by putting a picture of a successful person that you admire, or by putting an image of the Great Happy Buddha.

The Happy Buddha is actually Maitreya Buddha who happens to be the Future Buddha.

2. The Number Two (2) Star plagues the South

I say plagues the South because the Number Two Star brings in a lot of health problems, that’s why its also called the Illness Star. People whose bedroom, or office, or work area is in the South section had to be careful. This star is specially bad for the bedroom. To counter this star it will help to put Wu Lou/Holy Gourd beside your bed. While its not as bad in the office it will still help if you can also place a smaller Wu Lou or Holy Gourd on your table. You have to know also that while your office or work table is not in the South section but while working you face South, it will be very good if you can also place a Wu Lou or wear the Sau word, or a Peach Fruit pendant.

Image of an Holy Gourd. Picture taken is taken Thai Amulets-Dhamma Paths Site.

Sample image of a Peach Fruit pendant.

3. The Number Three (3) Star which is also known as the Quarrelsome Star lands on the North.

What does it mean? It means that if your bedroom happens to be on the North part of the house, you’ll find yourself getting into more arguments and/or people who are backbiting/back fighting you. To counter this it will be nice for you have a Fireball in your bedroom and also it will help a lot if you wear a Fireball pendant. In the office it will be good to have a Fireball on your table.

Ksitigarbha Fireball subdues the number 3 flying star. You can get a pendant of this feng shui charm but be very careful don't be duped into buying the very expensive one because there are pendants in Ongpin, Manila that is 1/4 the price of the one that's sold in malls.

4. The Number Four (4) Stars flies to the Southwest section.

If your bedroom is in the Southwest section of the house, you’ll definitely have a blooming love life. This is because the Number Four Star is also known as the Romance Star. However, this may also bring in a third party into the relationship if you’re a couple whose bedroom is in the Southwest section of the house. For single people, to enhance this luck, get a pair of Mandarin Ducks, preferably in pink and place it in your room. For married couple to prevent a third party in your relationship get a wood fan and place it at the foot of the bed. Normally, the best remedy for this is to have an image of Rooster, however, since the Rooster creates a bad feng shui this year, it’s not advisable to use its image for the lunar year 2011. In the office this would mean that your relationship with your officemates will be more harmonious. To enhance this in the office it will be nice for you to pink crystal point on your table.

5. The Number Five (5) Stars flies into the East.

This is the most fear star of all, because this brings in the Five Yellow Star! For those who are not familiar with this star please refer to my previous article entitled ‘Understanding Tai Sui/Grand Duke Jupiter, Five Yellow Star and San Sha/3 Killings’. Briefly put this star brings severe misfortune. So if your bedroom, office, work area happens to be in the East my first recommendation is for you to vacate this area, don’t make any renovations, and avoid playing loud music, or having parties in this area. If vacating the area/room is not possible make sure you place a Five-Element Pagoda. If you can get one that has a mantra on it the better. For people whose bedroom, office, work area or even if you are working facing the East it will be nice to wear a 5-Element Pagoda pendant or carry the Five-Element Pagoda keychain. As mentioned in my previous blogs I prefer the pendant over the keychain.

6. The Number Six (6) Star also known as the Big Auspicious or Heaven Star flies to the SouthEast.

The stars brings in a lot of windfall luck or unexpected luck, on top of that it brings in the star of authority luck which manifest by making the person who benefits in this luck by being more powerful and enjoys respect. For houses whose main door faces the SouthEast will also greatly benefit from this star. To enhance this luck place the image of the Eight (8) Immortal Gods in the SouthEast section of your house, and office or work area if they are in the SouthEast section of the building. It is not advisable to put the image of the Eight Immortal Gods in your bedroom. However, in replacement of the 8 Immortal Gods one can instead place the 8 Auspicious Objects or Ruyi, both as an item place in the bedroom or worn as a pendant.

7. The Number Seven (7) Star known as the Robbery Star afflicts the Center.

All the Center bedroom, offices, work area, or houses that are in the center of a subdivision are afflicted with the number 7 or robbery star which brings loss, violence, and bloodshed. People who are in these rooms or house may be vulnerable to being robbed off from idea, opportunity, or maybe cheated which may result to financial loss. At its worst, the star may even bring physical danger. It is very important to counter this star by placing a double – horned rhinoceros or rhinoceros with elephant in the afflicted areas. People who stays in these rooms or houses can also wear a double-horned rhinoceros pendant.

8. The Number Eight (8) Star also known as the Prosperity or Wealth Star lands in the Northwest.

If your room or office is in the northwest, expect a lot of wealth or prosperity luck specially if you enhance this star properly. It will be nice to put 9 Crystals Balls in this area or an auspicious water fall. However, you have to make sure that this area doesn’t house the kitchen, wash area, or toilet because it will draw away all the auspiciousness that the star brings and makes it really bad for you.

9. Lastly the Number Nine (9) Star, which is also known Sovereign Prosperity Star or Multiplying Star flies into the West section.

This star brings recognition and permanent wealth to the people whose rooms, office, or workplace are in the West section. If the main door of your house is also in the West it will bring recognition and permanent wealth luck. Permanent wealth luck means this is the time for you to look for a job or change career, or put up your own business. It is not something that you get overnight, but it is something that may help generate regular income or bigger income.

It is also called as the Multiplying Star because it has the ability to multiply what the energy of the section it occupies. This means if you have good inner energy it will also multiply that energy.

To enhance this luck it will be nice to display images of the Wealth deities. You can also wear the mystic knot to enhance this luck if you are occupying a room in this section of the house or office.

 

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