New Year 2008: Forecasting 101

As someone with a career in forecasting (the scientific kind), one thing that gets my attention every time the New Year rolls in is the avalanche of psychics of all kinds that are plastered all over the television this time of the year.


I assure you, watching them is like an episode of the Twilight Zone meets Ripley’s Believe It or Not.


Cases in point:

* By the way, although I am married to a half-Chinese, my family is not Chinese but as typical Filipinos, we have been influenced by the Chinese culture since they have been here long before the Spaniards came thus we try to follow some Chinese beliefs like feng shui.


<!–[if !supportLists]–>1. <!–[endif]–>Last Saturday, a Feng Shui expert (let’s call her Ms. West) advised that a water fountain in the southwest and money tree in south east brings luck. Oh well, since this was relatively easy to follow, on Sunday morning we moved our small fountain from the pocket garden of our house which is facing the northeast to our lanai which is facing the southwest. Yey, one lucky practice down! 1278+ more to go. our house

<!–[if !supportLists]–>2. <!–[endif]–>Well what do you know, on Sunday night another feng shui expert (let’s call her Ms. East) said that the fountain should be in the eastern part of the house. What the heck, do we move our fountain again? Then I remembered, we have this one covered since our main fountain is already in the southeast part of our house. Yey again!

(Side story: Our house is L-shaped and a feng shui expert advised us to put something in the nook (empty space in front of the short leg of the house) to balance the house since a house should have symmetry or balance. Anyway, the choices were either we put a pool, gazebo or a fountain. We decided to put a fountain since it was the cheapest and most sensible alternative.)

I wonder if they were consulting opposite calendars (or whatever they based their forecasting on.) I mean, can’t they agree on one direction so they would not confuse us? (I know, it’s our fault that we still listen to them but we can’t help it.)

<!–[if !supportLists]–>3. <!–[endif]–>Ms. West also said that it would be lucky to roll 7 mandarins (small oranges) from the our lucky fruitsdoor going inside the house and eat them the day after. Of course, Ms. East contradicted her by saying that it is unlucky to play with food. This I agree with. There are still several beliefs involving fruits as lucky charms and honestly, the only person who surely becomes lucky are the fruit vendors.


<!–[if !supportLists]–>4. <!–[endif]–>Ms. West also advised to throw coins and rice up into the air for luck but make sure to wash the coins first to wash away the bad luck. How I wish that all bad lucks could be easily washed away with a simple rinse of our lucky tap water.

<!–[if !supportLists]–>5. <!–[endif]–>Everyone’s favorite psychic, Madam Auring (with her bright yellow hair and red highlights), guested in Showbiz Central. To those who are not familiar with the show, they have a portion called “Don’t Lie to Me” where the celebrity guest strapped into a lie detector would answer the questions of host, John Lapuz, and if they are lying according to the lie detector, John would do his funny, nay, hilarious dance.

Personally, that’s the only portion of Showbiz Central that I try to catch just to see what kind of dance John would do.

In fairness to her, she got more truths than lies. Let’s wait and see if those truths would come true.

<!–[if !supportLists]–>6. <!–[endif]–>Chinese psychics who base their forecast on the Chinese Calendar. Technically it’s not yet the new year in the Chinese Calendar yet they dispense advises based on the Chinese practices. It’s makes me wanna scratch my head and go, “Eh?”


However, how contradicting they may all seem, all of these psychics would end their advise with, “If all else fails (lucky practices), nothing replaces hard-work and prayers.” I mean, even I KNOW that.