METAL, fire, and water will be the luckiest elements in the Year of the Fire Rooster.

In business terms, that means a good year awaits construction and business process outsourcing (BPO), which are represented by metal; transportation, consumer items, and tourism, represented by water; and technology, energy, oil, and gas as well as medical industries, represented by fire.

Cebu is fortunate to have all these sectors, said Edgar Hao, a feng shui expert who addressed the crowd in Sun Life’s Chinese New Year celebration in the Ayala Center Cebu last Saturday.

But business competition will be tighter this year, he warned.

“There will be stiff competition in all businesses and a winner-take-it-all attitude. Kung mahina ka, iiwanan ka (If you’re slow, you could get left behind),” Hao told reporters in an interview during the event.

“The big will eat the small. Kung wala kang organization, maiiwan ka talaga. Kung hindi ka branded, maiiwanan ka.

(If you lack organization or proper branding, you could get left behind.) Competition will be stiff,” he said.

In cities around the world, Chinese communities marked the holiday with celebrations and visits to temples, where they lit incense sticks and prayed for an auspicious start to the year.

Thousands visited Beijing’s major temples on Saturday, the first day of the Year of the Rooster. As many as 80,000 people were expected at the Lama Temple in Beijing.

Other New Year’s traditions include the eating of dumplings in northern China and the lighting of fireworks.

Large crowds gathered in Hong Kong and Malaysia on Friday night. In Rio de Janeiro, crowds watched a dragon dance and a performance of tai chi in front of a picture of Rio’s famous Christ the Redeemer statue. New York brought in the holiday with fireworks Thursday night over the Hudson River.

This year will be particularly lucky for people born in the year of the dragon, rooster, tiger, and rat, Hao said.

Some of the country’s business tycoons born in these years, according to the Chinese lunar calendar, are Henry Sy of SM, Andrew Tan of Megaworld, Fernando Zobel de Ayala, and John Gokongwei of Cebu Pacific.

For financial experts, however, investing is a requirement, both during good and bad times. “Stay invested.

You cannot control the market, but you can control something. You just stay disciplined,” said Sun Life Asset Management Company, Inc. mutual fund distribution head Richard Liboro. The company advocates for financial literacy and financial wellness among Filipinos through its insurance and investment products. ( WITH AP)