New year luck runs out for fruit vendors

ACCORDING to Chinese beliefs, 13 round fruits for New Year bring good luck.

But for some fruit vendors in Carbon Public Market, the luck hasn’t been on their side in recent years.

Every last week of December, Conching Dinopol sells apples, pears, watermelon, oranges, pineapples, and grapes. She sources the fruits from a merchant along C. Padilla in Cebu City and displays them on a wooden cart in Carbon Public Market.

Beside her are fruit stands that sell almost the same kind of fruits. This she has been doing for the past 18 years in the same location.

On regular days, the 34-year-old entrepreneur, originally from the town of Aloguinsan, is a barbeque vendor in Carbon.

While waiting for some customers around 1 p.m. yesterday, Dinopol arranged the fruits side by side, and others on top of another.

“Di naman daghan magpalit of prutas karon. Lahi ra gyud sauna (Not very many buy fruits these days. It’s very different from the past years),” Dinopol said. She stressed that her earnings in recent years were not as much as when she started, unlike five to 10 years ago.

“Basin di na sila motuo sa swerte sa prutas (Maybe they no longer believe it brings luck),” she jested.

In Chinese tradition, 13 is considered a lucky number. Having 13 round fruits signify coins and having them during the New Year is believed to bring luck and prosperity.

Dinopol herself consistently displays 13 round fruits at home as she welcomes the new year. Asked if it brought her good luck all throughout these years, she only responded with a smile.

Starting today, prices of round fruits are expected to increase. Yesterday, an apple cost P10 each, while today vendors may sell two apples at P25, said 60-year-old fruit vendor Gerry Delposo.

While fruit vendors say they were not very happy with their sales yesterday, they expect better sales today as more families are expected to buy round fruits a day before they welcome the new year.
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