IF 2019 didn’t start off well for you, I hope your Chinese New Year was better. Whether you prefer to say Kung Hei Fat Choi or Gong Xi Fa Cai, it’s hard not to be excited by the energy that comes with the Lunar New Year. Red and yellow lanterns abound, and the loud, cheerful music that comes with traditional lion and dragon dances personally always puts me in a positive mood.
Marco Polo Plaza Cebu welcomed the Year of the Earth Pig in a big way this past Monday night. With hotel general manager Brian Connelly at the helm, the Marco Polo Plaza team welcomed a lobby full of guests for the Lunar New Year festivities. All ages enjoyed the vibrant dances by the Cebu Wushu traditional lion and dragon dancers, who performed for well over a half hour beneath the striking red branches of the hotel’s towering posterity tree. To ward off bad luck, a long string of firecrackers went off at the hotel’s main driveway, followed by the traditional yee sang toss using giant chopsticks. Hundreds of coins for good luck also seemed to appear from the sky, and everyone had a good laugh chasing after the shiny discs whizzing past our feet. If only money appeared like that on other days!
Among the guests of honor that evening were People’s Republic of China consul general Jia Li, People’s Republic of China consular attaché Jiang Wen, Ambassador Frank Benedicto of the Cebu Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, doctor Vivina Chiu of the Arts Council of Cebu, Mayen Tan, Francis Onglatco, Ann Marie Tan of GMA Regional Network, honorary consul of Portugal Samuel Chioson, and Philippine Airlines area head of Visayas sales Reyani Romano.
After the program, many guests chose to continue the celebration by dining at the Culinary Impressions of China in Café Marco, the hotel’s signature restaurant. At the end of the meal, we enjoyed sharing malicious cookies and pots of tea while cracking open and cracking up over the various words of wisdom from our fortune cookies.