I am a proud descendant of Limahong.
According to my cousin who is our generation’s repository of family history, the Samsons are descended from the sleepy-headed third son of Lim Ah Hong. San being the Chinese word for the number three, and son, the English word for male offspring, what other proof need there be? By the way, Lim Ah Hong was not a dirty pirate as the Spanish propagandists claimed, but a Chinese nobleman who had fallen out of favor with the Ming Dynasty emperor. Rather than continue to suffer the intrigues of his jealous rivals at court, my great-great-…-grandfather chose to take early retirement and struck out on his own to build a new kingdom on the uncivilized island of Luzon.
Legend has it that the original Sam-son was fast asleep—literally, tulog sa pansitan—when Limahong was run out of Manila by greedy Spaniards who had only recently come up from Cebu. Thus, Samson was left behind to fend for himself somewhere along the Pasig river. To survive, he became an itinerant salesman traveling from town to town along the riverbanks. Being of noble birth, he was a handsome young devil with a gift for words. Naturally, he had a girl in every town and sired many children all over the region. This explains why I spend an inordinate amount of time in bed (Sleeping!) and why in my younger years the GRO’s would invariably ask, “May Chinese blood kayo, sir?”
More important, my Chinese ancestry explains why I am utterly qualified to make the following predictions for the Chinese New Year of the Fire Monkey:
Wealth and Career. The Year of the Monkey will be a good year for business because the monkey is known for business, hence the term “monkey business”. Money will be plentiful in the first half of the year as the monkeys try to buy our votes. The second half of the year will be a time for change. If you have been in for the past six years, you will likely be out in the next, regardless of how liberal or conservative you might be. The element of Fire could mean you will be fired, or not, depending on how incompetent you are; or it could mean that you should find a job that involves fire: fireman, fireworks salesman, fire dancer or arsonist. Industries that will be prosperous include food, health, clothing, housing and education. Companies that sell colored faceplates for Nokia phones, as well as companies that publish newspapers, will face challenges. Always remember the Chinese proverb: “In the end, China will win.”
Romance and Relationships. Due to the appearance of an unlucky star, some showbiz couples will break up. Others will make up. At this point, we don’t really care. Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza, however, will stay together for purposes of their endorsements and because they were truly made for each other. Young lovers should be careful in counting the days of the lunar month, lest they have an unwanted third party who may force them to get married. Married men must remain faithful and love their wives unreservedly this year. Maybe next year you can get your mistress.
Health and Safety. If you are morbidly obese, you will have high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney stones, gout and painful knees. Lose weight or die. It is not enough to cut down on the pancit at the weekly birthday celebration at the office, especially if you still eat six sticks of barbecue. You must exercise, even if this means having shorts specially made because you cannot find XXXL shorts in the stores. For those born in 1957, 1961, 1974, 1988, 1990, 2006 and 2014, there is a danger of earthquakes, landslides, typhoons, floods, volcanic eruptions, and asteroid hits. You may protect yourself by purchasing origami animal figures for only P299.99 each, plus shipping, from me. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. No hate mail please.
Ok, ok, ok. Enough. In deference to my relatives and friends who believe in feng shui, I must say that legitimate Chinese New Year predictions generally counsel hard work, honesty, good interpersonal relations, healthy diets and the like. They warn against recklessness, greed and violence. You really cannot go wrong with these recommendations. Packaging all that good advice in red and gold together with cute animals and tikoy is pretty brilliant. Using the elements, moon, stars and planets as the bases of the forecasts makes the prognostication seem unquestionable. I can’t help but wonder, though, how astrologers in general are dealing with the fact that a new and as yet unnamed ninth planet has been discovered in our solar system.
Personally, I found that my good fortune and greater prosperity were ensured when I, descendant of Limahong, married one of the daughters of our mother country Spain.
¡Feliz Año Nuevo!