CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – The Year of the Metal Tiger last Friday and Saturday was celebrated in this city’s “Kaganapan 2010.”

“Kung Hei Fat Choi,” dragon dances, fireworks, film showings, “tikoy” authentic Chinese food ala “Binondo” and a host of other merchandise in a China Town semblance in front of the City Hall here ushered the Year of the Metal Tiger as part of “Kaganapan 2010.”

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The Chinese New Year celebration was recently incorporated, for the first time, into the City Government’s 9th Cityhood Charter Anniversary celebrations. It is a collaborative effort of the 100-member Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce (FCCC).

According to FCCC’s Engineer Ruben Sy, the little China Town was a showcase of Chinese culture, arts, traditions and trade that provides people a “peek” into the Chinese way of life.

“For this first Chinese New Year celebration the city, we have invited some concessionaires from our community to present Chinese cuisine, crafts and other merchandise that is really unique. We really are grateful to the City Government for giving us the opportunity to join Kaganapan 2010,” said Sy, adding it would be the younger generation of Fil-Chinese who would carry on the tradition in the years to come.

Sy, together with Kaganapan 2010 chair Angelo David who has Chinese blood in his veins, said the first Chinese merchants immersed themselves into the city some time in 1887.

“It could even be before that since our ancestors, the great forefathers of the late Quirino D. Yap, came before that time. Since then, our Fil-Chinese here had lived in harmony with their Filipino counterparts in the city as they shared in trade and other activities.”

Hundreds flocked to the little China town to buy crafts, Feng Shui items and sample the delicacies first time laid for sale.

On Saturday evening, the Chinese New Year eve, Bea Ang told Sun.Star Pampanga that tradition dictates they (the women) should be home for the dinner with their families.

Ang also demonstrated and lit up a Chine lantern, where one’s name and wishes are written and sent to the sky.

“We could have lit up more of these but you see, it takes a lot of skill to do so,” said the young lady designer and environmentalist.

Mayor Oscar Rodriguez, for his part, said the Chinese-Filipino community has always been a partner of the city, the very reason they have been integrated into Kaganapan 2010.

The Year of the Metal Tiger officially began at 10:51 a.m. last Sunday and is seen, according to a temple master, as “a year for everyone to increase and multiply the good in one’s life” as it symbolizes power, courage, passion, daring and good fortune.