I received the following text message yesterday from a friend: “This is the lucky year. This weekend is 07-07-07 if you don’t send this to 7 ppl you will have bad luck. You only have 7 mins. (don’t send back)”
Of course, such chain text messages is just another ploy on the part of the telecom companies to drum up more business by taking advantage of the gullibility of their subscribers. As if the tens of millions of pesos in text charges they get per day is not enough, they have to find new and creative ways to divest us of our hard-earned money.
But to be fair, such a seemingly innocuous date has been accorded special significance by a lot of people worldwide. I myself have a cousin who got married in the far off Tuscany region of Italy, choosing July 7, 2007 to tie the knot and begin what we hope and pray would be the start of “la dolce vita” for the newlyweds. They were not alone. The wedding planning website The Knot estimates that 38,000 couples would wed on n 7/7/07 in the U.S. alone, up from about 12,000 for a normal July weekend.
Supposedly, this convergence of numbers has cosmic implications. Seven has been universally perceived as a lucky number for ages . The late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos was fixated on the number seven and believed it to have a special significance in his life. Seven is a popular jersey number among Philippine athletes, most notable of whom is former Sen. Sonny Jaworski, who parleyed his well-known number into winning national office. Of course, gamblers have a special affinity for seven and casinos around the globe were reportedly filled to overflowing this weekend.
Seven is also prominent in Christian thought and beliefs, there being seven Christian seasons: Advent , Christmas, The Season After Epiphany, Lent, Holy Week, Easter and The Season After Pentecost. Up to seventy times seven is how one should forgive an inequity. Of course, there are the seven deadly sins: lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride. This is counterbalanced by the seven holy virtues: chastity, abstinence, liberality, diligence, patience, kindness and humility.
As for me, I sent the above-quoted text message to seven friends at precisely seven p.m. last night. Thus saved, I breathed a sigh of relief and sat down to watch the creepy thriller “Seven”. Seven hours later, I was still awake. But by then, it was July 8.