11 ways to attract good luck in the Year of the Fire Monkey


The Marites Allen Annual Feng Shui Convention is a veritable source of auspicious ideas to navigate through each Chinese New Year with confidence. First held in 2006, The 11th  staging of the event was held last Sunday, January 3 at The Marco Polo Hotel to usher in the Year of the Fire Monkey, which starts on February 8, 2016.

Here’s a mix of tested and innovative ways gleaned from the event on how to attract good fortune. Eleven represents the number of years that Marites — the first Filipina feng shui master accredited to date by the International Feng Shui Association (IFSA) — has been sharing prosperity tips to avid feng shui followers.

The Annual Feng Shui Chart 2016: Numbers 1, 6, 8, 9, and 4 represent the lucky sectors that must be activated with the proper enhancers. Numbers 2, 5, 7, and 3 are the unlucky sectors that must be weakened by suggested cures.
  1. Know the good and bad sectors for the year. Each year, the so-called Flying Stars or energies fly into different directions bringing lucky and unlucky prospects wherever they have landed. It helps to determine those locations and to place the appropriate enhancers to boost good energies. It is just as important to install the recommended cures to deflect the negative ones.

2. Understand the five feng shui elements. Many are familiar with those five elements—Water, Wood, Earth, Metal, and Fire. A better understanding of how they relate with each other and knowing that each element represents specific sectors and colors may increase one’s chances of enjoying better feng shui.


3.  Look good in auspicious clothes. Depending on your aspirations, a unique brand of fashionable wear can help you achieve your specific goals. The recent collaboration between Frigga Charmed Life and award-winning designer Frederick Peralta has produced a classic and comfy fashion collection that is empowering and luck-enhancing at the same time. Check out frigga.co.uk for the exciting combinations of colors, prints, and designs meant to create better opportunities for you.

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The combination of lush florals and the auspicious coin symbol in this Frederick Peralta creation for Frigga helps attract money luck.


4. Complete your lucky look with the right accessories. Attract good prospects and be protected from afflicted energies using scarves, hankies, wallets, bags, belts and jewelry designed with auspicious symbols.

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Frigga Charmed Life accessories for men and women


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This mystic knot-inspired throw pillow is just one of many Frigga Home Accessories designed to attract positive energies.


5.  Furnish your home with unique, luck-enhancing decors. If you find some feng shui charms too Chinesey, you will love the new line of very functional and stylish Frigga home accessories. The limited-edition displays include auspicious throw pillows, decorative mirrors, paintings, mantra stickers, and other out-of-the-box ideas.



6. Spray on some Frigga scents. Yes, now you can also smell lucky. The available sets of eau de toilette, room fragrances and fragrance diffusers will help enhance Prosperity, Love, Beauty, Harmony, Longevity, Happiness, Wealth and Good Fortune.


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Get a whiff of good luck with these Frigga scents.


7.  Carry luck with you when you travel. Whether you travel for business or pleasure, use these colorful luggage tags to help you identify your bags easily. They are designed with different luck symbols to protect you on your trips.

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Snap on these Frigga luggage tags for safe and productive travel.


season friends 8.  Know your allies and friends. Destiny is not always kind, and if you’re not blessed with positive energies on a specific year, you may “borrow” good luck from your astrological allies. They will help you survive a bad period. Aside from your Affinity Triangle, there is another grouping called the “seasonal combinations” that could prove helpful.

9. Equip yourself with handy feng shui references. Make sure you have your 2016 Feng Shui Almanac and Feng Shui Planner to guide you in choosing lucky days and hours for important activities. Your personal horoscope book provides helpful indications in many aspects of your life, including wealth, career, romance, and health. It also has valuable suggestions every month on what enhancers to place in specific sectors of the home and recommended fashion wear to attract positive energies.

These horoscope books, almanacs, and planners are must-haves for the Year of the Monkey.


10.  Have your destiny chart plotted. This is the way to go if you want a truly personalized reading based on your birth date and hour, which sets you apart from others who may be born under the same animal sign. It uses the Four Pillars Chart of destiny forecasting that includes all elements at play for you as a unique individual. Please call 0920-9509390   for personal consultations.

11.  Be the reason for others to feel lucky. This suggestion works all the time and never loses its charm. The universe keeps score and the things we do have a way of coming back to us in unexpected ways. Do good to others every chance you can, and let karma work wonders in your life.

Have a prosperous and worry-free year of the Fire Monkey, everyone!

[Photos provided by Frigga Charmed Life]

Make way for the new, auspicious Barong Tagalog

Guess who’s out to set a new trend in formal men’s wear.

Mr. Washington Sycip, SGV and AIM founder, Ramon Magsaysay Awardee for International Understanding, and social advocate, that’s who.

Wonder no more if you see him in formal functions wearing the Filipino barong tagalog in exciting colors other than the traditional white or off-white. His fashion statement will also bear traces of his Chinese roots. If you look closely, the barongs may be designed with the Eight Auspicious Symbols of feng shui—clearly, an added feature to attract good luck for the wearer.


The business icon’s formal wear are from the creative team of Frigga Charmed Life headed by London-based international feng shui master Marites Allen. Marites has been trained and certified in several feng shui disciplines and is the consultant of choice of popular personalities in media and government. She has parlayed her knowledge of feng shui into her latest venture, the auspicious fashion brand labeled Frigga (www.frigga.co.uk). She also completed fashion courses at the University of Arts-London College of Fashion.

The fabrics used in the barongs were designed exclusively for Mr. Sycip by the Frigga creative team composed of award-winning London fabric designers. “Each of the eight auspicious symbols reflected in the barong tagalog represents a specific type of luck,” Marites explains. “The conch shell, for example, is for protection and prosperity during travels. The Double Fish is for abundance, the Wheel for wisdom, and so on. When you combine all these powerful symbols you attract harmony, luck, and prosperity.”

She adds that Mr. Sycip himself chose the colors from a wide array of swatches. At 93, the very fashionable business icon believes in feng shui and the use of auspicious colors in aligning different types of elements to further enhance luck.

But rule out male vanity; his fashion choices are driven by a nobler thought. In a big social affair he was quoted saying: “one should wear a different color of barong every day to give more business to the industry. I wish that the men would be more colorful, even in these big affairs, instead of just wearing black tie.” But then again, Mr. Sycip has always been one for creating new business opportunities to boost the economy.

Now, men can look dapper in barong, help create livelihood, and attract good luck.

Who wouldn’t want to enjoy the three-point advantage?

Yes, feng shui is also for the rich and famous

(Full text of the article published in The Philippine Star (Lifestyle section), January 31, 2014)

It is perhaps a reflection of the country’s precarious economic state that most of the questions directed to Marites Allen, International Feng Shui Association (IFSA)-certified feng shui master, are related to ways to increase income opportunities. The queries raised on her websites and during public talks since she started practicing feng shui are variations on the same theme: how to make more money, how to facilitate work travel abroad, how to grow one’s business, and how to get rid of negative energies that prevent one from having a better life.

Makes one wonder: Do these concerns even figure in the lives of those who have millions or billions to their names?

“Yes, and even more so, the richer one gets,” comes the quick reply from Marites. “Rich people have much more to lose and so the pressure that comes with their large fortunes is commensurately great.”

Marites is uniquely qualified to make that observation. She is, after all, known as the go-to feng shui consultant of famous persons in business, media/entertainment, and politics. Months before the coming of the Chinese New Year, she is invited to their houses to chart lucky and unlucky sectors—an activity known as feng shui audit, and to recommend solutions such as the proper cures and enhancers.

Auditing  the Bookkeeper

Who’s Who: With business tycoon Mr. Henry Sy, SGV founder Mr. Washington Sycip, fashion icon and columnist Tessa Prieto-Valdes

Recently she was at the office of SGV founder Mr. Washington Sycip, to conduct her annual feng shui audit. The Ramon Magsaysay awardee for International Understanding (1992), Mr. Sycip is dubbed as “the man to know in Asia;” yet, he refers to himself as “Only a Bookkeeper,” which is also the title of his biographical book. The 92-year-old business icon has been a regular guest in all annual feng shui events of Marites, and is all praises for co-host  Boy Abunda for making every convention even more amusing. Mr. Sycip has given the feng shui maven many valuable business advice. At one time, he jested that perhaps Marites should think about putting ‘sexier’ messages inside fortune cookies to make them more interesting.

Mr. Sycip has even found time to share his thoughts on feng shui, which is posted on Marites’s official website:

“I do thank Marites Allen for keeping good feng shui at my home and office for many years now, especially for briefing me on ideal days for important decisions.

I remember that in choosing a date to celebrate my 90th birthday with friends and business associates, the odds favored Thursday, June 30th. As it turned out, the day was extremely lucky. On that day, President Benigno Aquino III conferred upon me the Order of Sikatuna, the highest presidential award. I was also able to raise funds amounting to Two Million Dollars (U$ 2 million) to be used for basic education and microfinance projects.  For my health and longevity offering, Marites together with my family released 168 birds at our home in Forbes last June 30.

As I’ve said, there’s no harm in getting to know about feng shui and there’s every possibility that you might benefit from it.”

SGV founder Mr. Washington Sycip with Marites Allen: Observing good feng shui at his home and office

Marites notes that Mr. Sycip has several symbols of the turtle in his office. Stone turtles also adorn a park in the central business district named after him. In feng shui, turtles are known longevity symbols. The Rooster-born tycoon sometimes graces formal occasions in dressy barong tagalog adorned with roosters, his zodiac animal sign.

Feng shui for health

Another post on the feng shui master’s website concurs with Mr. Sycip’s comments.

“We met Marites Allen at Wash Sycip’s birthday celebration five years ago. This meeting turned into an introduction to feng shui.

Subsequently, we have been fortunate to be able to tap Marites Allen’s expertise and this has been very helpful, even CRUCIAL in the precarious health issues Joly has been battling with in the past decade and a half, exacerbated by almost nine years of kidney dialysis and recently heart and lung complications in addition to psoriasis in its extreme case.

The medical team headed by veteran Dr. Claver Ramos has successfully given superb medical care to date ‘over and above’ the statistical norm. Yet, they have accommodated the additional input from feng shui master Maritess Allen. All these plus the prayers have kept the family hopeful that ALL the forces are being explored for Joly’s well-being.

We agree with Wash Sycip…it  can’t hurt, but it has definitely helped us, so far!

Dr. Jose Conrado “Joly” Benitez and Joanne de Asis-Benitez: Feng shui was helpful in battling his health issues

The testimonial was shared by Joanne de Asis Benitez, the New York investment banker wife of Dr. Jose Conrado “Joly” Benitez, former Human Settlements Deputy Minister. Dr. Benitez had a surgery done just over a year ago for a kidney ailment for which he was earlier given a slim chance for survival. The Benitez couple had sought the help of Marites who recommended favorable dates for the operation. Now up and about again after his long ordeal, Dr. Benitez thanks the medical team for accommodating the dates suggested by Marites. “It was probably Marites’s day, because had it been any other day I think I would have been gone,” the former Deputy Minister says.

The American heiress

Never in her growing up years had Marites imagined herself rubbing elbows with highly influential people. Owing to her feng shui practice, she has memories of her encounters with many important personalities, a virtual A-list of Philippine society, including two former presidents (Fidel Ramos and Joseph Estrada). Those are occasions that she considers the perks of her craft.

Her close association with the Benitez couple led her to being invited to a pre-celebration for the 92nd birthday of Mr. Sycip in New York last year. The exclusive gathering was organized by Ms. Joanne de Asis Benitez, a long-time New York resident who honed her financial skills on Wall Street for over 20 years. It was a very exclusive group of less than 20 that included people who, in the words of F. Scott Fitzgerald, “are different from you and me.” In this gathering, Marites met the likes of Bill Dudley, the President of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, as well as Sondra Gilman, whose family donated a wing at the prestigious New York Metropolitan Museum and who chairs the famous Tony Awards (the Broadway equivalent of the Oscars) and found herself in a conversation with Alice Walton, heiress to the Wal-Mart fortune and the richest American as per Forbes Magazine.  Marites was then wearing a formal dress designed with antakahrana prints, which caught the attention of the American heiress. Marites had to explain the significance of her luck-enhancing dress and her newly launched Frigga fashion line. Fascinated, the black pantsuit-clad Alice Walton was soon asking Marites for some fashion advice.

With American billionaire Alice Walton

Weeks later, Marites received an e-mail requesting for her updated contact details and other information to be included in the personal database of the sender’s employer. The message came from the personal assistant of the Indian princess Jeet Nabha Khemka, another distinguished philanthropist Marites met at Joanne’s New York reception.

NY Federal Reserve President Bill Mudley and wife Anne, with Joanne Benitez
NY Federal Reserve President Bill Mudley and wife Anne, with Joanne Benitez
Joanne Benitez, Alice Walton, and Sondra Gilman
Joanne Benitez, Alice Walton, and Sondra Gilman
Marites Allen, George and Barbara Sycip, and Joanne Benitez
Marites Allen, George and Barbara Sycip, and Joanne Benitez

Feng shui, indeed, knows no social bounds.


How Marites Allen discovered her own world of feng shui

(Published in The Philippine Star, February 8, 2013)


MANILA, Philippines – In 2004, while vacationing with her husband in Hawaii, Marites Allen found out that Lillian Too, the world-renowned feng shui master and author, was conducting her Annual Feng Shui Extravaganza in the same hotel they were staying. ystyle20

Having read about and being fascinated with Lillian’s work, Allen wasted no time and paid a small fortune to attend the convention. She also ended up buying a hoard of feng shui items for which she needed a new suitcase. Her husband Nick, a British-born international consultant, quipped that with her purchases, she could start her own shop back in Manila.

What was spoken in jest turned out to be prophetic.

Before that year ended, Marites attended Lillian’s Master Practitioner Course in Malaysia and soon after opened the first World of Feng Shui franchise in Manila. Looking back at those start-up days, she muses that she was merely fulfilling a simple wish.

“I only wanted to have my own business that would complement my role as wife of a busy international executive and mother of four young children.”

Eight years later, she has six more boutique franchises all over Metro Manila. She has written her own books, guested in many radio and television shows, written for various publications, and even hosted her own television program. She was responsible for bringing in Lillian Too to the Philippines for the first time in 2005 and has been hosting the Annual Feng Shui Updates since then.

Allen’s client base now reads like a who’s who in Philippine business, politics, and entertainment. Allen disclosed, however, that one of the wishes she wrote during her wish-fulfilling balloon ceremony at the opening of her first boutique in 2004 was to have several more boutiques in the future… and yes, this has happened!

Fame and fortune may have been incidental but Marites was ready and embraced them with open arms when they came. “You’re lucky if you are at the right time and the right place, but what you do when such an opportunity comes is what holds the key to success,” she says.

But luck is not everything, clearly. Armed with a business education from a top Manila university, she enhanced her product knowledge through years of training and mentorship with noted masters from Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong and China. She is also an active member of the prestigious Feng Shui Societies of London, Singapore and the World of Feng Shui Malaysia. Lady Luck works long hours, which sometimes drives her staff crazy. Yet, when Marites puts on the charm, everyone knows it is her natural gift of persuasion and not any of her feng shui enhancers at work.

“I always remind my team that we are in a business where we make a difference in someone else’s life and it is always important that we treat each and every client with the utmost care and respect at all times.”

More than clients

In over a decade of feng shui practice, Marites has provided advice to hundreds of enthusiasts from diverse economic and social backgrounds. Through the years, many of them have become not just clients but more like friends to Marites, as they continue to share mostly positive feedback on their feng shui experiences. Some of these testimonials may be viewed at www.maritesallen.com.

A recent one is from a former government official who has been consulting with Marites since they met at a birthday party of a respected business icon. He had been trying to have a kidney transplant, but because of his health condition, the precise requirements of the treatment, plus the need to synchronize the schedules of the assigned team composed of medical practitioners from different countries, his impending surgery had dragged on for years. He would approve a date only if Marites said it was a good date for the procedure.

Although he was considered the “most studied patient” in the hospital where the surgery was done, he was given a 50-50 chance of survival, which was considered optimistic. The surgery was finally done in September last year despite all odds. He remembers that he was lying flat and cold for the first three days after the procedure and had to be revived on the third day because of some complications. As far as the lead surgeon was concerned, the successful operation was a miracle. Things started humming shortly after that and today the patient walks with hardly any assistance. Former Human Settlements Deputy Minister Jose Conrado Benitez now feels like a man reborn. He gives due credit to the medical team for its superb medical care “over and above the statistical norm,” and for graciously accommodating the additional input from Marites Allen. “It was probably Marites’s day, because had it been any other day I think I would have been gone.”

How does Marites take all the glowing tributes? “I won’t hide my satisfaction with whatever I have accomplished in almost 10 years of bringing in the wonders of feng shui into this country. I find all the positive feedback heartwarming. I have nothing more to ask for. I’ve been so blessed and I can say I’m okay to move on to another phase.”

New directions

Despite a heavy schedule imposed by the coming Chinese New Year, Marites finds time to talk about her latest ventures. Last year, which was an auspicious period for her to start a new business, Marites opened Fame, a first-of-its-kind hair care and styling salon at the second floor of F1 Building in Bonifacio Global City (467-2195, 478-6378).

“Think of it as a place for personalized makeovers using feng shui principles. Many people don’t realize that depending on our date of birth, we all have our lucky or unlucky shapes, shades or colors.” She goes on to say that changing one’s hairstyle can help that person become wealthier, healthier or luckier in love. A special feng shui chart will tell you if you should have long and straight hair or a rounded and soft style to improve your chances at romance. The styles could change if you’d rather focus on having more wealth opportunities or enjoy better health. “Fame salon encourages people to discover the elements that work for them, not only to make them prettier but also to bring them good fortune.” Aside from personalized haircare, Fame also offers nailcare, make-up and other beauty services.

And then there’s Frigga, her new line of luck-enhancing fashion for men and women. The brand is owned by the House of Allen in the UK and registered in the European Union. Frigga’s fabric designer is from Paris and was one of the winners of the textile prints in the UK last 2012. Working with Marites is a team of fashion experts and consultants who follow the latest trends reported by WGSN, the world’s leading fashion forecaster.

Inspired by the Norse goddess of prophecy, Frigga symbolizes the modern woman who is in control of her life. “The basic philosophy behind Frigga is that fashion should not only be functional or decorative but more importantly, empowering. That’s what power dressing is all about.  If our goals are clear to us, we can affirm them through our fashion choices. And Frigga can help by providing the right combination of colors, patterns, fabrics and styles to attract good energies.”

Within six months after its successful launch in August 2012, Frigga is now serving orders in the Philippines, Singapore, UK, Japan and Belgium. Inquiries are pouring in from different parts of the world including Alaska. “Right after our Jan. 19 Annual Feng Shui Convention, a client put in orders for 6,000 pieces of two Frigga designs. I was overwhelmed because we were only doing specialized pieces, but this is a positive sign — a welcome challenge, really.”

Marites stresses that her clothing line has something for people with different aspirations, including  wealth and income opportunities, health and longevity,  love and romance luck, fame and authority, and career advancement. Visit www.frigga.co.uk for available designs or e-mail: ilovefrigga@gmail.com for inquiries.


Because of numerous requests for feng shui-related information from followers, Marites deemed it timely to come up with a proper solution. In the works are mobile apps that will deliver the most requested information such as daily horoscope readings; lucky days to open a business, get married, or move houses; auspicious and inauspicious hours for each day; compatibilities among different zodiac signs; and suggested luck enhancers for different purposes, among other possibilities.

These fun and lucky ways to use feng shui daily will be available sooner than you think. Get those tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices ready.

* * *

Marites Allen’s Chinese New Year forecast event will be at SM North EDSA today, 5 p.m.; SM Mall of Asia on Feb. 9, 4 p.m.; SM Megamall, Feb. 10, 1 p.m. Call 442-0113, 556-0615, 0920-9509390. Join Allen for an auspicious dinner get-together at F1 Hotel, 32nd St., Bonifacio Global City on Feb. 9, 7 p.m. Seats are limited. For inquiries, call 929-9888, 478-6378. You may also follow Allen’s updates on her Facebook fan page or Twitter: Marites Allen.

World of Feng Shui branches are at Glorietta 4 (818-8858), SM North EDSA (442-0113), SM Mall of Asia (556-0615), Serendra Piazza (659-2405), SM Mega Mall (470-7661), and Cash and Carry (736 0512)

Fame, Fortune and Feng Shui

This article written for Marites Allen of the World of Feng Shui Philippines is in today’s issue of The Philippine Star. It was slightly edited to suit the publication’s Fashion and Beauty section.

The full article may be viewed at http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=758215&publicationSubCategoryId=83

Ms. Allen is holding her Annual Feng Shui Updates on December 17, 2011 at EDSA Shangri-La Cineplex 4 and a special Chinese New Year presentation and bazaar at the Manila Hotel Tent City on January 22-23, 2012. Her annual SM Mall Tour kicks off at SM Mall of Asia on January 6. These activities are in preparation for the Year of the Water Dragon, which falls on January 23, 2012 to February 9, 2013.