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Getting Lucky with Marites Allen

March 16, 2006

In the personality profiles of the different Chinese animal signs, a person born in the Year of the Monkey is said to be quick-witted, meticulous, and makes an excellent professional. A monkey woman, in particular, loves excitement and is definitely never boring. One should know beeter than try to control her, though. The monkey woman will not allow her independence to curtailed; she will simply get out of your life. This may seem like an astrological generalization, but Marites Allen, chief executive officer and president of World Of Feng Shui Philippines (WOFSP), happens to be all of these – and more.

We saw a lot of Marites in the local media during the start of the 2006 Chinese New Year when her credentials as an internationally recognized feng shui expert, wit over a decade of experience came into play. Television news and talk shows, newspapers, and selected magazines carried snippets or full features of her-mostly giving a preview of what’s in store for the Year of the Fire Dog, how to make it more auspicious through the right luck symbols, or simply explaining the whys and wherefores of feng shui through the Chinese principle of the Trinity of luck.

The Trinity of Luck

Some people are simply born lucky. Marites says that this is due to good Heaven Luck or Tien that they are born rich or endowed with good looks. Those who missed out on its preordained and God-given gift wil have to rely on Mankind Luck or Ren. It’s possible to have a better life, of course, through hard work and more hard work. And just to sway the odds of perseverance in one’s favor, there is Earth Luck or Ti. This is what feng shui is all about – working in harmony with nature to bring better luck and avoid bad luck.

Marites shares that Heaven Luck was not particularly generous in her case. “I was the 10th child in a brood of 12. My was father was I the military so every time he comes home from the field, my mother would get pregnant,” she chuckles. Growing up in her native Masbate, she remembers having Nutribun and boiled saba (plantain banana) as her regular baon (packed snacks) in school. Through a system imposed by her father, where the elder sibling took care of the education of the younger ones, Marites finished a business course in the University of San Jose Recoletos in Cebu City. At 22, she was married and thereafter had three children in close succession. It was a restrictive relation where she was discouraged rom nurturing a career outside the home. This chapter of her life closes with her packing her bags and leaving Cebu for Manila, with her three children and a househelp in tow, and with only a few thousand pesos in her pocket.

Out to fend for her own in the big city, she was appointed in a management position at the Executive Power Center in Makati. Between supervising a staff of 60 and looking after her young children, she still managed to tuck in an MBA from the Ateneo Professional School. A single parent (she had her first marriage annulled) with a movie star, good looks and lots between her ears, she had many male admirers vying for her attention. She bided her time, wary of jumping from the frying pan into the fire. But Nicholas Allen, a British consultant for international aid agencies whom she met at the business center, ws relentless and didn’t have qualms about being an instant father to her children. Marites took this as a sign to give marriage a second chance. “I always feel very blessed that despite my humble beginnings and circumstances in life, I found a man who is very supportive of what I do and loves me and the kids dearly,” she says. Everything has been rosy since then, but then again, trust this feng shui expert to activate the Southwest corner of her home to enhance love and romance even more.

Feng shui is for everyone

Marites has been been a feng shui practitioner for over 12 years and applies the knowledge she acquired from various trainings in the renowned Lillian Too Institute of Feng Shui to ther professional consultations with clients, who include top businessman and media celebrities. Perfecting her own feng shui, however, is her strongest argument that practicing it brings wonderful results almost instantly-and not just by properly positioning objects in a given space.

Aside from being the president and CEO of WOFSP, she is also the pesient of OrientExec Corp., a highly specialized professional support services company. To manage her time, given all these concerns plus the fact that she has four growing children, she get a little help from feng shui as well. “My formula, which always works, is to hire somebody who is in affinity with my husband, myself and also with the children. This means that after going through their personal skills, I get their birthdates and ensure that I hire them in accordance to our animal sign compatibility.” This turns out tobe the secret behind her very supportive and efficient team at the World Of Feng Shui (WOFS), which started with only four staff at the flagship store at the Podium last November 2004. WOFS recently opened an outlet at SM City Cebu, will soon open another shop at the Mall of Asia and now has 16 staff and is definitely growing. Needless to say, even the household staff, especially the nannies, are the astrological secret friends of the Allens.

Lest you think that feng shui is only for adults, Marites has this to say about her children: “The kids are into it as well. They know their favorable directions even shen they eat or watch TV. I teach them how to get their KUA number ( a formula for knowing one’s auspicious directions) so they would know their favorable and unfavorable directions. So even in school, they know to choose the best seats.”

Indeed, on a daily basis, the lady walks her talk. “Foremost, I am never without my compass. It helps me ensure that I always face my best direction. The compass is the most important tool in practicing feng shui, and I don’t know how one can move on without it. Secondly, I always refer to my Feng Shui almanac (Tung Shu in Chinese), which summarizes the auspicious and inauspicious dates during the entire year for all types of needs, such as starting a business, making an investment, getting married, starting a job, renovating or moving a house, etc. Thirdly, I always have as my reference the book Fortune & Feng Shui written by Ms. Lillian Too. Oftentimes, it validates my own assessment and readings and is a big help in knowing one’s luck patterns from month to month whether on love, career, money family or studies. If offers time and unique feng shui remedies and cures that could maximize our wealth potential and avert bad luck. Finally, I always apply logic to what I do and of course, I work hard to achieve my goals in life. One should not leave everything to feng shui, although it has played a lot in all the successes I have achieved so far.”

Next, interactive feng shui

Her next challenge, says Marites, is to able to share the benefits of feng shui with everyone, not just the rich and famous. WOFS’ entry into the SM malls is a move toward this direction. She has also recently signed an agreement to become the official content provider of mobile feng shui services to Smart subscribers. For a very affordable rate of P2.50 per message, they can now downlodad their daily horoscope, compatibility signs and luck forecast whether on daily, monthly or yearly basis. They have a choice of subscribing to the Filipino or English version. All they have to is Text WOFS to 286 to find out more about feng shui. Also in the drawing boards is the possible conduct of personalized feng shui consultations using 3G technology.

Despite everything that has been written about the subject, Marites admits that feng shui is still very much misunderstood. A common misconception is that its practive runs contrary to some religious beliefs. She says nothing could be farther from the truth. “The study of feng shui is like any other degree, like economics or getting a master’s degree. It is a living skill, a science that has lived for generations,” she clarifies.

Thus, to help educate the people on its merits, Marites has accepted to write a column for this newspaper, where there will be tips on how to make more money through feng shui, among other things. It is designed to be an interactive column where feng shui related questions from readers will be addressed. To start with, she will tackle hundreds of e-mails seeking help on love and relationships, and mostly, money. She says some lucky readers might even have the chance to win gifts from the World Of Feng Shui, or have a free consultation with her.

Now, that would really be something to look forward to.

Episode 12 - Marites Allen and the Eight Aspirations
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Episode 11 - Marites Allen talks about being pretty
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Episode 10 - Marites Allen explores luck and scents
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Episode 9 - Marites Allen tours London and Iceland
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Episode 8 - Teresita Ang-See Sits down with Marites Allen
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Episode 7 - Businessman Samie Lim joins Marites Allen
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Episode 6 - Tim Yap on Fun Feng Shui moments on Marites Allen
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Episode 5 - Rita shows her heart on Marites Allen
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Episode 4 - Take a Peek of Gloria’s home with Marites
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Episode 3 - Tessa and Her Lucky Side on Marites Allen
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Episode 2 - The Annual Star Chart Revealed
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Episode 1 - Marites Allen Is on Air!
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Episode 13 - Ruffa on Marites Allen
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Taping with Boy Abunda for Jan. 12 episode of Bottomline
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Taping with Boy Abunda for Jan. 12 episode of Bottomline
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Taping with Boy Abunda for Jan. 12 episode of Bottomline
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