JANUARY 26, 2009
(STAR) By JVM Francisco - After the erratic and energy-filled Year of the Rat, the Earth Ox plods into our lives this year almost appropriately and necessarily to clean up the mess left by the turbulent 2008 and sort things out for a more orderly world. And this tough task comes naturally for the Ox for he is strong, determined and hardworking. Being a dutiful and reliable worker, the Ox will put in a good amount of determined action that will bring positive results for many of us.

The Earth Ox is ambitious but pursues his goals in a sensible and level-headed manner. He is shrewd in business and economic matters and will be prepared to work long hours in order to succeed. The Ox motto, “I shall persevere” will become the battle-cry for most of us this year.

General Prospects For 2009

Following the lunar calendar, The Year of the Earth Ox begins on January 26, 2009 and will end on February 13, 2010. This will not be an easy period for most of us but with hard work and committed action, it could bring positive results.

On the political front, there will generally be peace and harmony in the world as political leaders try to steer away from politics and concentrate on economic recovery and protection of the environment. In feng shui, the Earth element, which is symbolized by a garden or green field, represents harmony, relaxation and recovery. This could therefore be a year for major historic developments. In previous Ox years, the People’s Republic of China was established, Nixon and Brezhnev signed the historic arms limitation agreement, NATO came into force, and Reagan and Gorbachev met for the first time signifying a new era in US-Soviet relations that planted the seeds for Gorbachev’s glasnost and perestroika.

Last year we predicted that a new non-traditional political leader would emerge in the United States. The election of President Barack Obama, whose birth sign aligns him with the “yin Earth”, could bring significant positive changes and help establish a new world order. Hong Kong astrologist Raymond Lo says that “people belonging to the yin soil tend to be more charming and charitable. They love peace rather than war. They are usually the ones who contribute to science and humanity.” However, the Year of the Ox will be a difficult one for Mr. Obama and he will face considerable challenges before he achieves his vision for his country and the world.

The prevalent Ox characteristic of sense of duty will bring forth an emphasis on law and order. Some political leaders will resign or will be ousted because of major wrongdoings or scandals. Many governments will also make considerable progress in their fight against organized crime, drugs and terrorism. While some natural disasters attributable to environmental degradation will be experienced by some countries, our world leaders, with pressure from civic groups, will come to a significant agreement on how to tackle and solve future environmental problems, particularly famine and agricultural production issues.

But the prevailing issue this year will still be the flagging world economy. What jolted us and crushed many hopes and dreams in the Year of Earth Rat will continue to affect many more lives in 2009. The world economy, particularly those in developed countries, will continue to be in the doldrums even as political and economic leaders pull their efforts together for concerted global action. The stock markets will experience a roller coaster ride until the end of the year and unemployment will continue to rise and affect many countries, particularly the United States. Except in investment areas related to land, it will not be wise to go into new ventures this year. Positive investment prospects are in agriculture, food, mining, real estate, entertainment and education. Small and medium enterprises will enjoy progress, slow at first but steadily improving through the year.

The Year of the Ox is an opportune time for education. More government funding will be allocated for infrastructure and educational programs, particularly in the vocational and cultural fields. With job creation as a focus, the knowledge economy together with the creative industry will be at the forefront of development in many countries. Lucky professions this year are those related to wood, paper, energy, fashion, news media, arts and entertainment. In the arts, particularly film and animation, there will be outstanding new works that will set trends and receive global acclaim.

After long periods of research and experimentation there will be new breakthroughs in medicine and technology which will be of great benefit to society. It will be recalled that it was during Ox years that the jet engine was invented and man first ventured into space. However, a new viral disease will surface during the second half of the year and will affect thousands in certain parts of the world.

But overall, 2009 will be a positive year for many of us. It may be a difficult period and will require tremendous work and effort but we will see many of our goals achieved before the Year of the Tiger in 2010.


Fire Rat - January 24, 1936 to February 10, 1937

Earth Rat - February 10, 1948 to January 28, 1949

Metal Rat - January 28, 1960 to February 14, 1961

Water Rat - February 15, 1972 to February 2, 1973

Wood Rat - February 2, 1984 to February 18, 1985

Fire Rat - February 18, 1996 to February 7, 1997

The person born in the year of the Rat is hardworking and thrifty. He rarely lets an opportunity pass and is constantly involved in many plans and schemes. Charming, intelligent and sociable, he is easy to get along with and enjoys parties and social gatherings. He cherishes friends, associates and family relations and often gets enmeshed in people’s lives and affairs.

The Year of the Ox will be generally favorable for the Rat but progress will take a considerable amount of effort, discipline and determination. This is therefore not a time to be slack. Careful planning will be the key to the achievement of your goals this year.

With these in mind, the Rat will see a steady improvement in his career, highlighted by positive achievements in March, June, October and November. For Rats involved in business, this is not the time for venturing in new areas. Avoid getting involved in activities you’re not so knowledgeable about. It will not be a bad financial year for you but be careful about profligate spending. Pay close attention to details of contracts, invoices and bank statements.

2009 will also be a good time to improve your skills or talents. Take time out to learn more about your special fields of interests, for this could prove to be valuable later. It’s also an opportune time to engage in sports or regular exercise and have that often postponed medical check-up. Your social life will be active and pleasurable. In difficult situations, you will enjoy the support and benefit from the advice of family and friends. During most of the year you will have lots of opportunities to meet new acquaintances. Someone you met last year will become closer to you in 2009 and this could develop into a meaningful relationship. July and August bring good prospects for romance.


Fire Ox - February 11, 1937 to January 30, 1938

Earth Ox - January 29, 1949 to February 16, 1950

Metal Ox - February 15, 1961 to February 4, 1962

Water Ox - February 3, 1973 to January 22, 1974

Wood Ox - February 20, 1985 to February 8, 1986

Fire Ox - February 7, 1997 to January 27, 1998

The Ox is an animal that symbolizes prosperity through determination and hard work. A person born under the Ox sign is therefore dependable, calm and methodical. He is a tireless worker and can be entrusted with positions of authority and responsibility. Strong-willed and persistent, he can sometimes exhibit a bad temper.

This is your year and good times are just around the corner! Overall this will be a productive year and will be generally satisfactory in practically all aspects of your life. Oxen have a tendency to take everything too seriously, so this year you can relax as you see your plans carried out smoothly.

Career moves are positive for the Ox in 2009. You will see the business you’ve been laboring on for all these years bear fruit. Those who are employed will see opportunities for advancement and promotion, while Oxen seeking work will see good prospects in April and May. If you’re working and not sure about your career path, this will be the year when you’ll discover your lifetime profession. Oxen who are involved in education will experience success this year. There will also be a noticeable improvement in your finances, but do be careful about large financial transactions. Study the fine print first before plunging into any deal.

Your personal life will also be joyful this year. Family and social activities will give you much pleasure. It is also a good time to travel but do so with family members or friends. For unattached Oxen, 2009 will be a good period to meet the love of your life or finally settle down with your loved one. The year of the Ox will give you a chance to make a big difference in your life so now is the time to make a bold move – build a house, start a family or go on a long-wanted trip.


Earth Tiger - January 31, 1938 to February 18, 1939

Metal Tiger - February 17, 1950 to February 5, 1951

Water Tiger - February 5, 1962 to January 24, 1963

Wood Tiger- January 23, 1974 to February 10, 1975

Fire Tiger - February 9, 1986 to January 28, 1987

Earth Tiger - January 28, 1998 to February 15, 1999

The Tiger symbolizes power, passion and daring. A Tiger therefore usually displays a rebellious, colorful and unpredictable character. He is a fearless and fiery fighter but on the other hand has a humanitarian and romantic streak in him. At his best, he is warm, sensitive and sympathetic; at his worst, he is obstinate, unreasonable and selfish.

2009 will be an important year for you but it won’t pass without challenges. While you will make major decisions in your life, careful study and planning will be needed in order to see positive outcomes. All the difficult times you will encounter this year will be in preparation for a brighter 2010, the Year of the Tiger.

At work it is advisable to concentrate on familiar territory. Avoid taking risks in your business for it is not the time to venture into new ambitious projects. Pay close attention to the advice of your colleagues as teamwork will be the key to your success this year. In financial matters, this is not the year to be extravagant or indulgent. Careful planning of your expenditures will result in a better financial situation towards the end of the year.

On the domestic front, you can look forward to more pleasing times with your family and friends but you do need to be careful about hurting the feelings of those close to you. Think before you speak should be your motto this year. Socially, you can expect an active year with many enjoyable and memorable activities. There will be several opportunities for romance from April to June but it will be wise to establish friendship first before jumping into a love relationship. An unexpected trip to a long dreamed of destination will delight you.


Earth Rabbit - February 19, 1939 to February 7, 1940

Metal Rabbit - February 6, 1951 to January 26, 1952

Water Rabbit - January 25, 1963 to February 12, 1964

Wood Rabbit - February 11, 1975 to January 30, 1976

Fire Rabbit - January 29, 1987 to February 16, 1988

Earth Rabbit - February 16, 1999 to February 4, 2000

To the Chinese, the Rabbit symbolizes graciousness, good manners, sound counsel, kindness and sensitivity to beauty. The Rabbit is a witty and intelligent speaker and loves being involved in a good discussion. He is an efficient worker and has an extremely good memory.

The Year of the Ox will be a rather difficult one for you but lessons learned from your experiences this year will have an important bearing on future progress. Without realizing it, future directions in life will be set this year.

2009 will be a demanding year for work related matters. You will sometimes feel tired or helpless but don’t give in to pressure or frustration. Continue to reach for your goals and do so in a determined manner. Avoid being a jack-of-all-trades this year. It is best to concentrate on your areas of expertise and you will enjoy considerable progress in your career. Take advantage of specialized or advanced training for what you will achieve this year academically will be the key to your success in the future.

You will have a pleasurable year as far as family matters are concerned. Many family activities and projects will find you at the center of all preparations and action. You will greatly enjoy many outdoor activities with friends and family like picnics, gardening or sports. During the year, you will find yourself embroiled in a complicated interpersonal problem, not of your doing, but your analytical thinking and wise counsel will smoothen out a potentially damaging imbroglio. Lucky months for romance are April, June and September.


Metal Dragon - February 8, 1940 to January 26, 1941

Water Dragon - January 27, 1952 to February 13, 1953

Wood Dragon - February 13, 1964 to February 1, 1965

Fire Dragon - January 31, 1976 to February 17, 1977

Earth Dragon - February 17, 1988 to February 5, 1989

Metal Dragon - February 5, 2000 to January 23, 2001

The Dragon is born under the sign of good luck and will do well in practically anything he attempts. He is magnanimous, full of vitality and is constantly on the go. Proud and aristocratic, the Dragon possesses an assertive personality. He could be egotistical, eccentric, dogmatic, whimsical, terribly demanding or unreasonable, but is never without a band of admirers.

The Year of the Ox will be a variable year for the Dragon and progress will be generally slow. But being the determined person that you are, you can change the course of things as long as you restrain your impulsive nature. You cannot afford to have an overly independent attitude this year and it would be wise to heed the counsel of persons close to you.

At work you’ll need to be realistic in your expectations and avoid spreading your energies and resources too widely. Focus will be your key word this time and considerable progress can be achieved. March, September and October are lucky months for professional advancement. You also need to be careful with your finances for the Year of the Ox is not the time for large investments, speculative ventures or big unplanned expenditures.

Your social life will be busy and there will be many occasions for celebration with colleagues, family and friends. Try to accommodate them and join these social activities as much as you can, for your involvement will be important to your loved ones. There will be opportunities for foreign travel that will be quite memorable for the Dragon, including a chance encounter that might put a romantic spell on you. Many Dragons will be itching to undertake domestic projects like home or garden improvement. This will bring you great satisfaction so go for it.


Metal Snake - January 27, 1941 to February 14, 1942

Water Snake - February 14, 1953 to February 2, 1954

Wood Snake - February 2, 1965 to January 20, 1966

Fire Snake - February 18, 1977 to February 6, 1978

Earth Snake- February 6, 1989 to January 26, 1990

Metal Snake - January 24, 2001 to February 11, 2002

The Snake is the deepest thinker and the most mysterious in the Chinese zodiac. He is endowed with an inborn wisdom and intelligence. He treasures his privacy and possesses a calm and placid nature. Graceful, soft-spoken but with a good sense of humor, he loves good books, food, music and theater.

The Snake and the Ox are generally compatible so this will be a good year for the Snake, one which will bring positive results that will prove significant to your future. However, hard work will be necessary to achieve this.

This will be a favorable year for your professional growth with your new ideas and schemes being well appreciated by your superiors and peers. However, this is not the time to keep to yourself as is your nature. You’ll need to consult others from your team and be adaptable to changing situations. For those seeking work or wanting to change careers, bright employment prospects will come during the last quarter of the year. Be always on guard when it comes to your business and finances. A very tempting offer will come during the second or third quarter. Study the financial prospects very carefully.

There is much to look forward to in your domestic and social life. You will delight in the success of some members of your family or close circle of friends. However, you need to exercise care in your relations with others and be mindful of their feelings and views. Social engagements will be frenetic but quite enjoyable during the middle of the year. You will feel more romantically intense throughout the year and love prospects will look bright in April, May and September.


Water Horse - - February 15, 1942 to February 4, 1943

Wood Horse - February 3, 1954 to January 23, 1955

Fire Horse - January 21, 1966 to February 8, 1967

Earth Horse - February 7, 1978 to January 27, 1979

Metal Horse - January 27, 1990 to February 14, 1991

Water Horse - February 12, 2002 to January 31, 2003

The Horse is cheerful, popular and quick-witted. He is very perceptive and loves to talk. He is quite physical and exudes raw sex appeal – the type who will fall in love easily and fall out of love just as easily. Impulsive and stubborn, he will want to have things done his way.

After problems and uncertainties experienced during the Year of the Rat, the Horse will finally see many facets of his life go for the better this year. Being industrious like the Ox, the Horse will enjoy the fruits of his labor and will be rewarded with many good fortunes in 2009.

There will be many career opportunities that will come your way, either in the form of promotion or offers for a new job that suits your talents better. If you are seeking a job for the first time and have several options to choose from, it is best to stick to the area where you were educated in. If you are an entrepreneur, you will enjoy good returns this year but it is not advisable to diversify as yet. Your finances will also considerably improve but do be careful about unwarranted expenditures even if you can afford them. The Ox year is not well aspected for profligate spending.

As far as your personal life is concerned, you need to be careful about relations with your family and close friends. This year is going to be a sensitive period for interpersonal relations so you must be extra vigilant and understanding about the feelings of your loved ones. For single Horses, there will be new love prospects but you should not jump into a new relationship immediately. Work on developing friendship first and let love take its natural course.


Water Sheep - February 5, 1943 to January 24, 1944

Wood Sheep - January 24, 1955 to February 11, 1956

Fire Sheep - February 9, 1967 to January 29, 1968

Earth Sheep - January 28, 1979 to February 15, 1980

Metal Sheep - February 15, 1991 to February 3, 1992

Water Sheep - February 1, 2003 to January 21, 2004

The Sheep is the most feminine sign in the Chinese zodiac. Known for his gentle and compassionate ways, he is considered the good Samaritan in the cycle. He is righteous, sincere and is easily affected by sob stories. Although he enjoys being with nature, the Sheep is usually a homebody.

2009 will be a challenging year for you. Things will not be as easy as they used to be. You’ll need to work hard for everything in order to reach your goals. More significantly, this is going to be a stepping stone year for you, a time for laboriously laying down the foundation for better years ahead.

At work, you’ll need to be more attentive to details, more adaptable to changes and more considerate of the opinions of your colleagues. For businessmen and entrepreneurs, avoid making hasty decisions or risky transactions as they will lead to disastrous results. The name of the game this year is careful planning and conservative moves. In financial matters, you need to make allowances for unexpected but necessary expenditures. This is also not the time to lend huge amounts. The second half of the year will see improvement in your financial standing.

Domestically, you need to be more considerate this year. Be sure to listen to your loved ones. Be active in family activities such as household projects and out of town trips. Socially there will be many occasions for you to shine and develop new friendships. Take advantage of the new relations because they will prove beneficial to you in the near future.


Wood Monkey - January 25, 1944 to February 12, 1945

Fire Monkey - February 12, 1956 to January 30, 1957

Earth Monkey - January 30, 1968 to February 16, 1969

Metal Monkey - February 16, 1980 to February 4, 1981

Water Monkey - February 4, 1992 to January 22, 1993

Wood Monkey - January 22, 2004 to February 8, 2005

The Monkey has the closest affinity to man and therefore inherits most of his intelligence. He is quick-witted, clever and innovative, and can solve intricate problems with ease. The Monkey is innately warm, natural and spontaneous. He exudes self-confidence and has an enviable joie de vivre.

The Year of the Ox will require lots of hard work and caution if the Monkey wants to see progress. Trim your excess energy and spend more time for introspection. This will be the best time for you to look back and tackle unfinished business.

If you want to see significant progress in your career, you need to be more informed, more resourceful and more teamwork-oriented. Doing it alone will bring unproductive results. For Monkeys longing to change careers or jobs, this is not the year to do so. Stay put in your present job and focus your energy on skills development instead. You need to be disciplined in financial matters. Do not be easily tempted by bargain purchases and endeavor to save more than usual.

However, your domestic life will be most enjoyable. Time spent with your family, particularly for travel and vacations, will bring you much pleasure and will offer great opportunities to strengthen ties or to smooth out soured relationships. Also be vigilant as far as your health is concerned. Do not overlook or ignore small aches and pains. Consult your doctor immediately. While your lucky months for romance are April, September and December, love at first sight will not necessarily lead to something permanent.


Wood Rooster - February 13, 1945 to February 1, 1946

Fire Rooster - January 31, 1957 to February 17, 1958

Earth Rooster - February 17, 1969 to February 5, 1970

Metal Rooster - February 5, 1981 to January 24, 1982

Water Rooster - January 23, 1993 to February 9, 1994

Wood Rooster - February 9, 2005 to January 28, 2006

The Rooster is the most misunderstood of all the animal signs. Outwardly, he exhibits self-assurance and aggression; but at heart, he could be conservative and old-fashioned. Rooster men are usually attractive, even dashingly handsome. On the whole, the Rooster is sharp, neat, precise, organized, decisive, and is good at handling money. He loves to budget everything he could lay his hands on.

2009 will be a favorable year for the Rooster whose personality suits the tenor of the Ox year – effort, method, order. In general, you’ll find yourself more in control of the situation and progress will come in many aspects of your life.

Many Roosters will enjoy considerable improvement in their professional life, either through a promotion, reassignment to a more challenging post or change of career altogether. Do not be daunted by more responsibilities. This will lead to more rewards and recognition for you. For entrepreneurs, this will be a good time to explore the possibility of opening new subsidiaries or new product lines. Financially, this will be a much improved year for you and you will be surprised by an unexpected sum from a close relative or friend or bounty from a project.

Socially, this will be an exhausting but enjoyable year for you with numerous family activities and social events that will put you at the center of things. Try to be as cooperative and participative as you can, for the good relations you will establish in these gatherings will prove useful to you in the course of the year. Romance will be in the air for you most of the year. Your love relation will grow deeper and for the single Rooster, there are strong possibilities for affairs of the heart in the second half of the year.


Fire Dog - February 2, 1946 to January 21, 1947

Earth Dog - February 18, 1958 to February 7, 1959

Metal Dog - February 6, 1970 to January 26, 1971

Water Dog - January 25, 1982 to February 12, 1983

Wood Dog - February 10, 1994 to January 30, 1995

Fire Dog - January 29, 2006 to February 17, 2007

The Dog is honest, genuine, loyal, sincere and respects law and order – qualities of an ideal citizen of the country! He is not materialistic and possesses humanitarian instincts. He is the type who will lay down his life for a friend or relative. However, he can suffer bouts of melancholy or, when the situation calls for it, show flashes of temper.

The year will see some pleasant and memorable times for you but generally progress will be slow. However, with hard work and perseverance, you will have the chance to see many of your goals realized this year.

At work, you will experience some delays and obstacles that could frustrate or discourage you. Do not be afraid to seek support from your partners or superiors for this will be crucial to your progress which you should expect during the last two months of the year. For those seeking work or wishing to change jobs, lucky months are from October to December. On financial matters, this is a year for careful planning and budgeting. Deal with financial paperwork promptly and pay off your bills regularly. Put off any large investment unless you’re quite positive about the prospects.

It is also important to put more attention to your home life this year. Organize more family activities and pay close attention to the needs of your close relatives and friends. In this difficult time, they will provide you the much-needed support that will help pull you through. For the loveless, a meaningful relationship will develop towards the end of the year. This could be with someone you’ve met before. Do not be blind and go for it with gusto.


Wood Pig - February 4, 1935 to January 23, 1936

Fire Pig - January 22, 1947 to February 9, 1948

Earth Pig - February 8, 1959 to January 27, 1969

Metal Pig - January 27, 1971 to February 15, 1972

Water Pig - February 13, 1983 to February 1, 1984

Wood Pig - January 31, 1995 to February 18, 1996

The Pig is the most easy-going and laid-back of all the signs. Cheerful, friendly and overflowing with good intentions, he does not bear grudges. He is the connoisseur of the Chinese zodiac and thus enjoys good food and has a healthy appetite. Despite lacking strong ambitions, he is hardworking and is generally successful in life.

2009 will be a satisfying and enjoyable year for you. After a challenging Year of the Rat, you will have the chance now to focus on your objectives and pursue progress in many aspects of your life. The Ox year bodes well for the Pig, so many opportunities will come your way.

You will enjoy good prospects at work. Your hard labor and bold initiatives will be greatly appreciated and recognized by your company and a promotion will be forthcoming. For those engaged in business, things will improve considerably in February and March, July, and October and November. Take advantage of these lucky months for some opportunities that will help expand your business. Your financial situation will be generally favorable and will gradually improve during the year. However, you need to carefully choose where to keep or invest your savings.

There will be opportunities for travel this year, particularly to places that you’ve been dreaming of. Domestically, you will enjoy an eventful family life full of surprises – a new family member, a memorable reunion, or a proud achievement by a relative. Although you will be busy with your social life, you must not neglect your personal well-being. Take care of your health and go for that executive check up. Exercising or doing some form of sports will be necessary this year.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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