INVITING fortune and prosperity during the Lunar New Year, Waterfront Airport Hotel and Casino welcomed the Year of the Metal Rat with some fellowship and feasting last Jan. 25.

The hotel invited Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan together with his wife to celebrate the event. The ceremony started with the traditional lion dance performance.

Next, hotel manager Rex Benhur Caballes, together with the guests of honor, led the lion-awakening ritual when the lion’s eyes are painted, symbolizing the blessing and awakening of the new lion. There was also the ceremonial Cai Qing or the traditional custom of plucking auspicious Chinese cabbage and assorted round fruits. They also did the traditional prosperity toss—a big bowl of long noodles is believed to bring good luck in the coming year. The dish was loaded with ingredients that signified health, wealth and prosperity. It is said that the higher the toss and the louder the chants, the greater the fortune.

The culinary team led by Chef Tristan Encarnacion prepared special traditional Filipino-Chinese cuisine: Peking duck, char siu, kung pao chicken, lo han chai (Chinese vegetables), xiao long bao and other dishes perfect for the annual celebration.

Hotel guests and visitors can take photos with the Chinese temple replica and the canopy of lanterns that adorn the hotel lobby until Feb. 9.