BUSINESS owners will need to be patient and less aggressive in their investments to become successful in the Year of the Water Rabbit, a Manila-based feng shui expert said.

2023 is the year of the Yin Water Rabbit. In the Chinese Zodiac sign, the yin water brings an energy that is classy, silent and slow, which means that the animal prefers a peaceful negotiation and not a head-on battle, said feng shui expert Emilie Gonzales, in a virtual interview Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023.

In comparison to 2022, the year of the Yang Water Tiger, the yang water is likened to a storm that is fast, impulsive and aggressive.

“Don’t be rash. I said this year (2023) is a totally different year and when compared to the year of the Tiger (2022) which is very impulsive, you want better and outright results in your investment. For this year, it’s all about harboring and getting the fruits of your labor and let’s always be patient,” said Gonzales, who is an affiliate member of the International Feng Shui Guild.

The Chinese New Year starts on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023 and lasts until Feb. 9, 2024. The years of the Rabbit are 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023 and 2035.

On the outlook for the Philippine economy in 2023, Gonzales said the Water Rabbit brings hope, love and strive. This year also brings a culture of diplomacy through better communication that will prevent a global recession.

While the conflict between Russia and Ukraine will have a positive outcome this year, the war, however, will not immediately stop. There will be a break away from worsening the conflict. The same also goes for the looming tension between China and Taiwan, Gonzales said.

“It won’t stop, but they will have communication or something like a settlement,” she said.

Winners and losers

For the year of the Water Rabbit, businesses associated with the metal element will be the most successful this year, while those connected to the fire element will have a tough year.

Businesses linked to the metal element are those in the sectors of banking, construction, engineering and technology.

Industries associated with the earth element, on the other hand, such as real estate, mining, metallurgy and insurance firms are also expected to perform well this year as well as businesses linked to the water element like tourism, high consumer food industry, communication, gas refueling and beverage.

However, businesses in agriculture, fruits and furniture industries that are related to the wood element will struggle a bit.

Moreover, industries connected to the fire element such as food and restaurant, airlines, petrol chemicals (rubbers and insulators) will have a tough year.

Gonzales, who has been a feng shui practitioner for 20 years and a feng shui specialist for 15 years, also suggested to the working force to get a second job or a side job to augment their income.

“If you have a day job, it is necessary to have online businesses or sidelines to strive this 2023,” she said.

Celebration of family, year of hope

In a separate interview, Dickson Lim, director of the Cebu Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and vice president of the Cebu Lim’s Association, said this year 2023 will bring a complete recovery for the business sector.

The Rabbit is considered the luckiest animal in the Chinese Zodiac, representing peace and longevity, and sometimes it is called the Year of Hope.

“In this year, if there is peace and order, business will just follow. Investment and investors will follow also,” Lim said.

He added that Chinese New Year is about family gatherings welcoming the Lunar New Year.

Lim said the celebration is not exclusive to China, but rather, it is celebrated in the whole world, not only among the Chinese communities.

On that day, the elders will hand out a red envelope called “angpao” to the young members of the family, while partaking in the traditional Chinese delicacies and pastries that symbolize prosperity and luck such as tikoy and many more.

Some families will also prepare the traditional Chinese dragon dances to ward off bad luck and bad spirit, and choose lucky numbers that will bring prosperity for this year.

Lim added that the Cebu City Government has also prepared a program for the Filipino-Chinese community on Saturday, Jan. 21, called the Red Lantern Festival at the Plaza Sugbo across the City Hall, which signifies the importance of the presence of their community in Cebu in their contribution to prosperity and development throughout the years.