FILIPINOS have many beliefs and traditions for every occasion, such as making use of round objects during the New Year celebration to bring good luck.
Alma Mancao, 45, of P. del Rosario Extension in Cebu City, walked all the way to Colon Street just to buy 13 different pieces of round fruits for her table on New Year?s Eve. She said it has always been their practice at home to prepare round fruits and place them in a basket.
?It?s okay if you only have one piece per fruit as long as you have 13 kinds,? Mancao said, adding that 13 is a lucky number for the Chinese people and the round shape signifies wealth.
Mancao recalled that her mother also used to prepare round dishes and would also have her dress up in polka-dotted clothes.
For her fruit basket, Mancao had selected orange, apple, pineapple, watermelon, kiwi, grapes, guava, lemon, papaya, chickos, kiat-kiat, lanzones, and pear.
?I really believe in this tradition especially the fruits, because there was one time that I was not able to prepare any fruits for New Year, and the whole year was bad for me with many bad things happening to my family,? Mancao said.
Peter Araga, 25, of Pardo, Cebu City, was asked by his mother to buy the fruits for her on Colon Street where many vendors various round fruits.
Araga said he does not really believe that the practice brings them good luck, but he respects his mother?s tradition.
?She has many practices and she really believes in them, and I just support her and respect all her beliefs,? Araga said in Cebuano while choosing fruits.
Mancao also said that Chinese people usually celebrate a separate New Year as they follow the lunar calendar with the new year for 2010 falling on Feb. 14, which is incidentally Valentine?s Day.
Aside from preparing round foods and items, tossing coins is also believed to bring good luck especially with finances.
Firecrackers are also believed to drive away evil spirits. People who do not want to use firecrackers because of the risks can use car horns or kettles instead.
It is also believed that eating 12 grapes at midnight would bring you more luck and good health the whole year round.
The whole family should also be inside their homes and celebrate the coming of a new year together, which, according to Mancao helps strengthen family bonds. Nowadays though, many families like to go out and celebrate somewhere like in hotels where they can watch the fireworks.