Food with these qualities are often prepared for New Year’s eve as part of Filipino tradition and Chinese influences, said Melanie Ng, past president of the Philippine Retailers Association.
Many shop for round fruits, tikoy or sticky Chinese pudding, spaghetti and pancit or other noodles dishes.
Aside from food, people buy fireworks to drive away bad luck and negative energy, said RJ Leduna, SM Supermalls public relations manager for Visayas and Mindanao.
Nieves Borja, 45, who was shopping at an SM supermarket in Mandaue City, said her family buys round fruits to bring good luck all year round.
“I don’t know if it’s true but you don’t lose anything if you just follow the tradition,” she said.
Various supermarkets and grocery stores sell baskets with a mixture of 12 different round fruits for as low as P495.
Vendors at fruit stands also sell fruits by the kilo in smaller, more affordable retail packs.
For Cebu Bankers Club and Cebu Chamber of Commerece and Industry past president Prudencio Gesta, the New Year means bonding time.
“To prepare for the New Year, my family always attends Holy Mass as our first activity to give thanks to our Lord for the year that was, and for the new year. I believe our attendance in the New year’s Holy Mass and family prayers must be the hallmark of our preparation for a better year to come,” he said.
Midnight snacks are another family tradition.
Family members and guests gather at the table with food to “carry over blessings” from the previous year to the new year.
The same is practiced by Melanie Ng’s family.
“My mother always cooks fresh Chinese lumpia which the family enjoys so much as it bonds us together, and we always make sure we have plenty of fruits and sweets on the dinner table,” said Ng.
Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry past president Eric Ng Mendoza said his family prepares 13 round fruits and delicacies, plus the traditional ham.
Mila Espina, CCCI head of the tourism committee, said she usually takes the celebration to another level.
“I wear a colorful polka dot dress. Most of all I pray to the Sto. Niño, St. Ezekiel and St. Martin for good health,” said Espina.
Other popular traditions include tossing coins in different corners of the house to spread financial gains.
“We make loud noise using pan covers and blow car horns to drive out evil spirits and to start the year fresh,” said Alma Mangapis of Basak, Mandaue City.