Happy 2019! After a rainy and gloomy start to the New Year, the sun finally came out for the first few days of January. Based on the Feng Shui forecast, the upcoming Year of the Earth Boar will be more prosperous for all animal signs because the auspicious number 8 is in the center of the Annual Flying Star chart. 

The Chinese New Year starts on February 5, but preparations to activate the central positive energy should commence already. The country’s foremost Feng Shui expert Marites Allen shared some wonderful tips at the recent 14thFeng Shui Convention at Conrad Manila Hotel. Co-hosted by Philippine King of Talk Dr. Boy Abunda, the informative and highly entertaining extravaganza gave a detailed forecast for each animal sign. 

Marites started with a general overview of 2019, noting that the lucky signs of this year are Rabbit, Rat, Dog and Boar. The Dragon and Snake should wear the floral mantra medallion with evil eye and anti-robbery medallion to prevent risk of losing money, opportunity or to prevent accidents. 

For homes facing southeast, protect this sector by displaying Fu Dogs or the Blue Rhino and Elephant. The southeast sector may face possible robbery, injury and accident coupled with emotional stress. 

Good prospects for power, unexpected wealth, career and recognition await the Rabbit-born, who will benefit by carrying the windfall amulet. East-facing homes will reap the full potential of this lucky star. Display the Lotus flower or the 8 auspicious symbols for overall support. 

Feng Shui expert Marites Allen and her Year of the Earth Boar Books and Feng Shui Almanac with Tessa Valdes

The Northwest sector of homes has indications of some future expansion and growth luck. Activate this sector with six-tier water fountains or infinity symbol. Everyone in the family could experience great success and wealth luck by wearing lucky nine charms or any wealth symbol to ensure a continuous flow of good fortune especially to Dog- and Boar-born people.  

Occupants in the Northeast area of the home will be challenged with health issues. Minimize these negative energies by displaying the protective medicine mantra or health longevity plaque. Tiger and Ox-born people and those animal signs afflicted this year should wear the auspicious Ruyi and the astrology medallion which will encourage more strength, courage and wisdom.  

The North sector occupied by Rat-born will benefit from good luck in academic, positive career, romance and travel opportunities. Display a pair of mandarin ducks, double happiness symbols to enjoy relationship luck. The Rotating Globe can also speed up travel luck. At the end of the extravaganza, Marites invited all her guests to shop and buy cures and amulets to prepare for 2019. 

For my annual Chinese New Year party, I bought lots of prizes from Frigga by Marites Allen. I also asked avant-garde stylist Junjun Ablaza to recreate the oriental décor he designed for the celebration of his mother Mellie’s 78thbirthday at their sprawling hacienda in Alfonso, Cavite. Arguably Manila society’s unrivalled party hostess of this era, Mellie chose a lavish Chinese theme for her celebration of life. 

A grand banquet befitting a queen was given to Mellie, the honorary consul of Guatemala, and this party was also a tribute to China with Chinese dances and performances by her talented grandchildren. For her party, she wore two gowns by Steve de Leon who created a Mandarin empress costume with a matching headpiece. 

To complete Mellie’s imperial theme, Jun Jun transformed their large pavilion into Salon de Mellie, a dim-lighted, oriental banquet hall complete with life-size, antique Buddha statues lining the walls, and big golden lanterns decorated with pink blooms hanging from the ceiling evoking sensuousness and luxury reminiscent of oriental chambers from a bygone era.  

As in every Ablaza event, the big day started with a thanksgiving mass at the hacienda’s chapel followed by cocktails at the tented court where Mellie, who was tres chic in her beige gown with dragon details and antique ivory jewelry, greeted her guests. A sumptuous lunch followed inside the grand pavilion where guests indulged ona delectable, Chinese-French fusion cuisine prepared by no less than Chef Jessie Sincioco, a favorite culinary expert of the Ablazas for their celebrations. 

The New Year also brings out the color of the year. Pantone has announced this to be Coral, while in the Feng Shui world, the four colors that compose the luck-inducing palette of 2019 are red, orange, pink and white. 

These are the colors of Hello Kitty. Sanrio’s beloved character ended the past year with a fashion show and two-week exhibit at Greenbelt 5, in cooperation with local fashion designer Rajo Laurel. 

Presenting 20 individual pieces, Rajo created concepts designed to infuse the classic Hello Kitty image with a touch of modern Filipino flair. With the influence of traditional Filipino symbols, he reinterpreted the charming character using several methods, namely, digital printing, silk screening, laser cutting, and embroidering into pieces of easy flow pleated silhouettes and powerful structured shapes to bring his vision to life. 

This Hello Kitty collection was enthusiastically received by long-time Sanrio enthusiasts, and appealed to a new generation of fans just getting to know the delightful character. Guests at the show included Sanrio Asia’s Yuko Tsuji, who flew in from Japan, Mandy Dela Rama Santos, creative director of Hello Kitty Philippines, and many more. For more about Hello Kitty Philippines, visit the official account of Sanrio Philippines on Instagram at @hellokittylovesphilippines for updates on the whereabouts of our Kitty friend, or visit SM Aura and SM North EDSA department stores for more Kitty finds. 

More pics on Instagram @seaprincess888. 

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