Posted April 02, 2011, By Nieve Aquino, The Philippine Star, philstar.com
MANILA, Philippines – Paloma, one of the country’s most respected astrologers and geomancers, created a stir early this year when she announced that the Year of the Metal Rabbit would be full of violence. During a press conference for a credit card company, she acquiesced with opinionated RH bill advocate and theatrical performer Carlos Celdran that “Yes, expect an earthquake this year. A big one.”
But the outspoken Paloma was unusually quiet when the Japan earthquake hit two Fridays ago. It was like she knew something, but was holding back.
When asked why, she replied, “When I respond to any situation, I respond with the truth. I don’t spin. I don’t BS. I also don’t tiptoe around fame and popularity. So I was afraid I would react with the truth. And this country cannot take the truth. Maybe I kept quiet because I also wanted to see what reflex our leaders would show. But they were as quiet as I am.”
She’s letting it rip now, though. “The worst is yet to come,” she warns, and if Filipinos don’t do their part in preparing for disaster and emulating the Japanese, we’re headed for a catastrophe beyond imagination.
“Our earth shakes every day,” she explains. “Let’s say it’s Mother Nature’s way of breathing. But I think she’s pretty pissed at us now because of our transgressions against her instead of gratitude for her bounty. She coughs hard and growls and revolts from time to time.
“You know, phenomena like earthquakes are difficult to predict. It’s the same thing with chaos or unrest — it’s hard to predict exactly when it’s going to happen because that is part of what is a collective psyche. We bring it upon ourselves. I suspect that’s why Mother Earth is not at all pleased, so now we are on accelerated time only because we haven’t done our part according to her terms of maintaining balance.
“Closer to home, we had Ondoy in 2009, which had people alarmed and on alert at first, before sliding back into their old, complacent ways once they thought they were safe again.
“Did we learn from Ondoy how to read the signs? In under 30 minutes, gushing water was everywhere. Fifty-year-old trees were uprooted. But the young trees — thin, mere saplings — nakatayo pa rin!
“So what was that telling us? Old, worn-out ways, like greed, corruption, evil, power grabbing and the like, must go! They’re not serving any purpose anywhere. We need new growth, new ways, new concepts and ideals, new blood, new spirit. Was I the only fool who understood those symbols? I talked to everyone who interviewed me about it; no one was interested. It was deemed either too esoteric or too scary.
“Look, I don’t want to talk about sad stuff either,” Paloma says. “But we’ve got to break this bubble of ignorance — ignorance is the reason bad stuff happens!”
Explaining What Happened
Curious about how astrology and feng shui factored into the Japan earthquake/tsunami disaster, I asked Paloma to explain the relation of energies to the position of Japan on the earth.
“The flow of energies changes, but directions — north, south, east, west — remain the same. Geomancers know, through knowledge and through practice, where the good energies are and where the bad energies are.”
Paloma asserts that the benevolent energies are in the northwest, west, southwest, northeast, and southeast, and that the malevolent energies are in the north, south, east, and the center. This year, she explains further, death resides in the east and the south brings general misfortune of all kinds and losses.
Meanwhile, violence resides in the center (think the Middle East: Libya, Egypt, Bahrain). “Violence easily spills over to other directions if not contained. Because of this I knew that troubles in the Middle East would grow to proportions we’ve never seen before,” cites Paloma.
On the other hand, Paloma assures us that “the southeast brings in new growth, new ideals, new opportunities this year. But there’s a catch: it depends on the kind of seeds you’ve planted; if these have been beneficial to all or only to you.”
Japan was hard hit because unlike the rest of the countries in Southeast Asia, it is the only one with a “solid SW/NE axis with an intact center. As a matter of fact, that very much describes Japan. This SW/C/NE axis belongs to the Earth energy that produces metal (the element of the year). Metal is yin this year, especially in the month of March—hence, a double whammy — which means the end of everything is joined to make a new beginning. Earth and fire are two elements missing in the chart of the Yin Metal Rabbit. They then will be manifested in exacerbated incidents. Japan also occupies the NE part of SEA. The catalyst of SE (growth) is ending or death (NE),” explains Paloma.
She also cites other references of violence residing in the center: “We have the seat of government, the Manila City Hall, and the Senate. Now, you tell me. Are we okay? I don’t think so. Are we clear about anything here? I didn’t think so, either.
“The theme of the center is violence in all forms. And it’s coming from yin metal such as acts of terrorism, assassinations, nuclear mishaps, vehicular accidents by land (earth), by air (planes) and by water (ships, etc.). It is also produced by the earth element (violent activities of the earth like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions) and produces violent water (tsunamis).
“Actually, this is easy to read for anyone who knows the ebb and flow and the different interplays of elemental energies, whether they’re aggressive or kind to each other. Then the picture language comes alive and vivid. Even when you take it to western astrology, Jupiter in Taurus is quickly coming up with his band of planets alongside. Now Taurus and Scorpio are two signs that are notorious for having been responsible for major earthquakes. Their influence may be felt earlier than the actual transit.”
More Than Charms And Crystals
For a problem as massive and uncontrollable as a natural disaster, auspicious symbols, charms, and crystals will hardly do the trick. What Paloma somberly proposes is that each and every Filipino be aware of and prepared for what to do in different high-risk situations.
She mentions a book — a collection of writings and research she’s shared only with her own family and a few trusted souls — that she plans to release very, very soon.
Although Paloma wrote it in 1999, she forgot about the “disaster survival handbook,” as she calls it, until Ondoy flooded her home. While cleaning up the mess, she came across a printout of the handbook. Since then, she’s “given some copies to some close friends, and they’ve been doing the suggestions in the book on their own. They’ve started buying coal stoves, gas lamps, learning to live simply, back to basics, etc.”
The book is quite comprehensive — it covers earthquakes, floods, power outages, anarchy and riots (the known aftermath of widespread calamities), even heat and radiation emergencies. It’s got checklists on what to prepare way beforehand, and stuff to think about (a household with small children, for example, will have different emergency needs from a household with elderly relatives).
Still, Paloma encourages others to do their own research, to never stop being informed. “I just want us to be prepared. You don’t have to follow everything in the book literally. You can even improvise, like instead of buying gauze you can rip old cotton shirts. But I think you’ll get an idea of how to evaluate your situation and prepare for it.”
Paloma also stresses the importance of preparedness because of possible mobs, riots, and the hijacking of relief goods. “Just recently, a text circulated that caused panic about the Fukushima power plant’s radiation leak affecting the Philippines. Why would anyone want to do that? We must realize that pag nag panic tayo, tapos ang kwento natin pare-pareho? I cannot stress enough how well the Japanese have behaved. No looting, no wailing before TV cameras, no panic buying, no grabbing of relief goods like rats scrambling for a piece of bread — they are incredible! It shows us Filipinos that we can learn to be civilized.”
This disaster-survival handbook may just also motivate Pinoys to recreate their mindset on doing a better job of, well, being Filipino.
“I’ve said this before — it’s way too late to resolve climate-change issues. Those are irreversible. The bigger problem now is survival. Let’s take a good look at Japan and see how orderly Japan was compared to, say, Haiti or Indonesia. Kaya din natin ’yan! This book can help us prepare, and when we’re prepared, we can think more clearly. We can be gracious and considerate, thinking of other people’s welfare and not just our own. Think of the many heroic acts during Ondoy, of Filipinos embracing the bayanihan spirit. Yes, we have it in us to be like the Japanese in times of distress. We just have to be prepared.”
The advice, how-to’s and lists in the book can be practiced by one home, for instance, then shared with the next. The whole neighborhood can benefit, then the whole town or city.
“Maybe if one mayor starts, the next city can say, ‘Hey, we’ll try that, too…’ We Filpinos, we only move when we see the other guy’s done it too — or done it first,” Paloma says wryly.
“You’ve got to have someone in control who knows what he’s up against, who talks less and does more. Name me one politician who has openly come out and said, ‘Hey, Japan is too close to home, it could happen to us, we have to move quickly.’ ”
Paloma backtracks a bit. “Well, I guess they do speak among themselves, but more in a hush-hush manner, because if they discussed possibilities blatantly, it would surface that we could be in deep s**t and the authorities are stalling.
“And I’m telling you, this is one hell of a bigger problem than all the corruption and anomalies going on right now. Just think of the children. How do we save our children and protect them at all costs, or at least minimize their suffering when disaster strikes?”
When will the book be available? That’s where you, the reader, comes in. “I’m actually looking for help to print or sponsor it,” says Paloma. “At this point, I don’t really care who. The donors can share a page — it’s everyone’s book! It’s your book. I’m not looking for credit. More important is that it has valuable information good for every Filipino to know. You will want every member of your family and every barangay to have it.
At this point, I don’t care who helps; basta it has to go out into your hands, hopefully before the s**t hits the fan.
For inquiries, contact DM Paloma through her Twitter account, or 0906-490-3702.