Year 2013

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By Ver F. Pacete

As I See It

Thursday, January 3, 2013


LET us welcome 2013 with a beautiful thought. Helen Keller said that the best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, but just felt in the heart. Let us fill up 2013 with good days. Let us compensate them with good lives based on good deeds. The smallest good deed is better than the grandest good intention.

We start the year with our New Year’s resolution. It is some kind of reflection through introspection. What was negative in 2012 should not be brought into 2013. We always start the year by asking God’s blessings. Nothing can be achieved without God in our heart.

Filipinos are always optimistic. They have 12 round fruits on the table to symbolize abundance in the next 12 months. A ritual of putting coins in cans and making a round of the house, while producing clanging sounds is an invitation for wealth to come in. Family members make a toast for prosperity and unity.

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Church bells ring to symbolize the fading away of the old year and the welcoming of the New Year. Our table is loaded with fancy food for the midnight meal (media noche). Farmers observe what animals will make sound off first when the clock strikes 12. If carabaos and cows will moo, the new year will be productive; when horses neigh, people will be healthy and strong; when dogs bark, there will be famine; when ducks quack, expect more rain and flood. January 1, 2013 fell on a Tuesday, the day of the fairies. We have to be extra careful to avoid accidents.

The Almanaque Panayanhon would always alert us to pay attention to the first 12 days of January. My Lolo Pedro would always tell me, “Noy, record each day. If there is rain on the first day, January will be a rainy month. If there is good weather on the second day, February would be a sunny month. If there is rain and sunshine on the third day, then March would have sun and rain.” I do not swallow this hook, line and sinker but at least we know that our grandparents have the weather bureau before PAGASA.

Our ancestors in Western Visayas have names for every month based on the kind of weather depicted on a particular month: January (Ulalong), February (Dagangkahoy), March (Daganbulan), April (Kiling), May (Himabuyan), June (Kabay), July (Hidapdapan), August (Lubadlubad), September (Kangurulsol), October (Bagyobagyo), November (Panglotdiutay) and December (Panglotdaku).

It was not only the Mayans and the Egyptians who had their early calendars. Our ancestors had also their own way of interpreting what was going to happen in the next 365 days.

If the Chinese have their feng shui in constructing their houses or putting up their business establishments, our ancestors also believed in the movement and formation of the Bakunawa, the legendary snake with a crown. The head of the Bakunawa is always the reference point. It could be in the East (Sidlangan), West (Katungdan), North (Amihan), or South (Bagatnan). These directions could be the bases for wealth, good health, harmonious relationship, death, friendship, famine, fertility, fear and other consequences in life.

Some of us study zodiac signs based on astronomy and astrology. If you believe in this, our life is dependent on ‘zodiakos kyklos’ or the circle of animals. The Chinese have also inspired us to make use of their Chinese calendar. Their feast days follow the lunar calendar. The New Year coincides with the new moon and may occur anytime between January 21 and February 19. The Chinese New Year falls under the sign of a snake. That’s how I see it. We will have an exciting year ahead.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on January 03, 2013.

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