Oro Filipino-Chinese community optimistic for Chinese New Year

THE Filipino-Chinese community in Cagayan de Oro City expects good tidings for the year of the Fire Rooster as the local government spearheads the celebration.

This will be the second year the City Government will join in the Chinese New Year festivities to recognize the countless contributions of the Filipino-Chinese community in the city.

“It cannot be denied that the Chinese people are not really foreign to the foundations of the city's community. Their input to the development of Cagayan de Oro has been significant over the years and celebrating the Chinese New Year with them is one way of the City Government to honor these contributions,” said Eileen San Juan, the city investments officer and head organizer for the Chinese New Year celebrations.

This year, the Chinese New Year will be met with a city-wide celebration that features Chinese bazaars, food fairs, fireworks, and the traditional Dragon-Lion dances. Hanging red lanterns will not only be seen in a number of Filipino-Chinese residents’ homes but in the whole city. The famous traditional Chinese delicacy, “tikoy,” will also be showcased by the tourism office.

Aside from the usual arrangements done by the Misamis Oriental Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MOFCCCI) and the Bell Church, the City Government has tapped local schools and industries to help boost the Chinese New Year festivities all over the city.

On January 22, the city's malls have already come up with bazaars showcasing Chinese items. Lucky charms such as bracelets, key chains, and home ornaments for the Year of the Fire Rooster are among the most common finds in these stores. Some merchants even offer free Feng Shui readings for their buyers. Iconic Chinese food like dumplings, sweet and sour pork, kungpao chicken, spring rolls, chow mein, and tikoy are also displayed by members of the Chinese community at affordable prices.

Another anticipated event of the celebration are the Dragon and Lion dances, Wu Shu Martial arts presentations, Chinese prosperity dances, and Chinese cosplay festival done by local participating schools such as Kong Hua School and the Oro Christian Grace School.

These cultural shows can be witnessed in various malls from January 26 to January 28. The well-known Dragon and Lion dances of Chinese New Year celebrations are believed to bring protection to the city and to people's homes.

On January 27, a motorcade from the Rodelsa Rotunda to Lim Ket Kai commercial complex will be attended by members of the Filipino-Chinese community. This will be followed by the main Chinese New Year's ceremonies at 10 p.m. at the Bell Church where everyone will gather to pray to their ancestors and light incenses of prayer to the saints.

The celebration of the Chinese New Year will ultimately end with a fireworks display exactly at 11 p.m. while the community will offer Miso soup and tikoy to participating families at dawn.

MOFCCCI president Greg Lao feels optimistic for the celebration of the Chinese New Year in the city this January 28 and hopes that not only the members of the city's Filipino-Chinese community but also other Kagay-anons can attend in the festivities.

“We are happy that the celebration of the Chinese New Year in Cagayan de Oro is growing bigger and bigger with the help of the local government. Hopefully in the next years, with the help of more hands, more people will come, witness, and participate in the Chinese New Year,” Lao said.
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