Posted by: nastypen | January 19, 2008

Rub My Belly for Good Luck

This happened quite a number of times. I was told this at parties, an art exhibit, at the street…. The most memorable was in Starbucks Ayala Cebu. I was all alone surfing the net. Then this Chinese man came up to me and asked if he could share the table. I said it was ok. So, as I was busy reading and relishing literary merits of blogs, he leaned over and told me in a serious tone.

“You know, you have Buddha’s ears.”

I raised an eyebrow and said, “Apparently, I have his body shape as well.”

The man went on, “You are fortunate! You should do business. I do business and I always look at people’s faces. I see you and I know you’re smart and talented. And lucky.”

Smart and talented? How did he see that from my face, maybe I was checking out some gay porn and I looked quite intense? I just rolled my eyes and said, “Ok, thanks, but I don’t have a head for business.”

“You have face for business!”

What so I just walk in Asian Institute of Management, smile and I get an MBA?

The man saw that I was really not into this sort of belief system and he smiled. He said before he left, “You should be thankful to have Buddha’s ears.”

Buddha baby!

I thought of that man today as I went on assignment to take photographs of items “necessary” for the incoming Chinese New Year. I went to this specialty shop in a not-so affluent side of the metro. The place was cramped! There were statues as big as me, as tiny as my pinky all over the place. I just snapped away and you can check out some of the photos here. And despite its sordid appearance, business in that shop is brisk. I had to stop several times to let customers pass. i saw the cars parked outside the shop and they look like they are owned by people with 8-digit bank accounts.

Big businesses spend a whole lot on the industry of luck and fortune. I hear the assistants of the shop buzzing about whether this doctor got the shipment of the Fu Dog statues for luck or if Mrs. So and so ordered more bracelets. The people who come to her shop are no small fry. I saw one old lady and her maid saunter in. The old lady’s hair is coiffed and she hobbled nervously around me while the maid in white uniform was holding on to what looks like an expensive leather bag. A burly man walks in and we bumped stomachs as he yells on the phone about a buy-out.

Perhaps if if I buy one to enhance luck? Well, my Buddha ears worked as the proprietess gave me a lucky charm because I took photos of her and got her good side. Also, I was not overbearing and brash like the other photographers on assignment. She was surprised when I asked her to stand in front of the mandala. She perked up and said, “You know the mandala? You are interested? Oh, you like Chinese art! I give you bracelet! What’s your sign? Horse?! Oh no!!! Tsk tsk. Not so good year for you! Here! I like you! Have this charm blessed and rubbed in oil.”

So, as I type this, the smell of incense and oil are emanating from my right wrist.

If I had Buddha’s ears, I don’t want his luck. I want his enlightenment, that way I know with utmost conviction that there is no such thing as luck.



  1. hmm sige nga pa rub ng belly …agree though, better have enlightment than luck

  2. Well, to be fair you do have huge earlobes bending away from your face. I always find that very cute in a guy. Nibble-magnet, as far as I’m concerned. :p


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