MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III will be lucky in the coming Year of the Water Dragon, especially in the love department, a Hong Kong-based feng shui master said Wednesday.
Joseph Chau Kam Shing, who has been practicing feng shui for over 30 years and has had clients from different parts of the globe, said Aquino is likely to get hitched this year "if he is willing to get married."
"This year, he will have a love life if he is willing to get married... The First Lady is coming out," Chau said in a press conference at the Mandarin Oriental Manila.
Chau made the statement after he predicted that the Year of the Water Dragon, which starts on January 23, will be "a good year for the gentlemen."
Aquino, 51, is the Philippines' first bachelor president.
"I'd like to put emphasis on young gentlemen, those who are aged 40 and below. They will be very lucky this year," he said.
Chau said, however, that Aquino needs to "do certain things" to make sure that he and the rest of his government remain lucky this year. Citing feng shui principles, he said the President should place a "very big" gong in front of his office and a small fountain behind it to ward off negative energy.
He added that the Malacañang fountain in the middle of the Palace grounds should be turned off the whole year.
"He should not turn on the fountain in Malacañang to avoid conflict. He is seated at the northwest part of his office and facing southeast. The northwest section of the room is the robber star and the southeast is the disaster star. The country will lose money if he has the wrong strategy," Chau explained.
"The center, meanwhile, is the travel star. It means movement, and may be symbolic of a military problem," he added. "I pray for good luck. (Malacañang) should be alert."
Chau claimed that he told former President Joseph Estrada to place a gong facing the Pasig River back in 2000 to avoid bad luck. He said Estrada did not heed his advice so he was impeached for plunder by the end of that year.
"A pair of dragon toys should also be placed in front of the Pasig river so there will be no corruption in the Philippines," Chau added.
The Aquino government has not been very welcoming to predictions. Last week, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda refused to dignify local psychic Danny Atienza's remark that Aquino will be unable to finish his term due to his conflict with the Supreme Court.
"Dream on, Mr. Atienza," Lacierda said.
Aquino earlier admitted that he has been unlucky in love. His past dates include Valenzuela City councilor Shalani Soledad (who is set to marry Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo on January 22), celebrity stylist Liz Uy and stockbroker Len Lopez.
The President has also been linked to Bais City mayor Karen Villanueva, Cebu governor Gwendolyn Garcia, Korean television personality Grace Lee, actress Iza Calzado and Sabrina Chua of Singapore-based Channel News Asia.
"My love life is unlike poverty. It's not being addressed," he said in a forum with journalist-members of Bulong Pulungan last year.
Good luck for PH?
Meanwhile, Chau said the Philippines will have "good luck" in the Year of the Water Dragon.
Citing a computation based on the country's independence day (June 12, 1898), he said the Philippines, which has "many fire elements," will be "in harmony with the water that this year will bring."
"There is positive energy, harmony. We need water to extinguish fire," he said.
Chau warned, however, that the Philippines will experience "more flooding, raining, earthquake and explosions" in April and October, as well as in January 2013.
"I hope the government will have something prepared to prevent these," he said.
Chau then listed the following things that Filipinos should do throughout the year to avoid bad luck, regardless of their Chinese zodiac signs.
"Don't be too stubborn and address the situation. Businessmen should know when to advance and when to retreat. Education, tourism, trade and transport sectors will improve. Banking and mining will face challenges, while real estate will drop a little bit," he said.
"Think before you act. Avoid involving yourself in office politics," he added. "Keep away from sharp objects, gall bladder and stomach problems."
"Always save money, like the Chinese. Not like Europeans, they spend everything.
"If you have a sweetheart, don't go to the casino. You'll lose," he ended.