PH-China cultural festival makes history in Cebu

PH-China cultural festival makes history in Cebu

The Chinese Cultural Courier brought the annual Philippines-China Cultural Festival for the first time to Cebu City on Friday, Oct. 26, 2023, at SM Seaside City Cebu.

The event was attended by the Chinese-Filipino communities in Cebu, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and the Chinese Consul General to Cebu, Zhang Zhen, at the mall’s Centerstage, with a packed audience of 800 people.

Zhen said in her speech that the event was not just a show but a festival of colors, music, dance, literature, fine arts, martial arts, and, most importantly, the shared values and aspirations of Filipino-Chinese friendship.

“Living and striving here together, we both belong to the Asian community with a shared history and a shared future,” Zhen said.

She also shared that, before the show, performers from the Zhejiang delegation showcased the repertoire of Chinese National Classics through Peking Opera and Kunqu Opera.

Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines, Huang Xilian, in a message, said that bringing the annual festival outside of Metro Manila marked a significant milestone in developing Filipino-Chinese friendship, extending it from the capital to local communities.

He also emphasized the role of cultural exchanges in fostering “friendly bonds between the two peoples” of China and the Philippines.

Rama, for his part, shared that even though Cebu City has no specific Chinatown, the bond of the Chinese community with Cebuanos can be traced back hundreds of years. He likened the downtown of Cebu City to a Chinatown due to the presence of several businesses with a Chinese culture and vibe, some of which are owned and managed by Filipino-Chinese.

The annual festival was founded to enhance understanding and mutual respect between the two nations, as Xilian emphasized the long history of Sino-Philippine ties, dating back over 400 years when Chinese settlers made their way to the islands.

The 2023 Philippines-China Cultural Festival in Cebu was organized by the Chinese Embassy in Manila, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts of the Philippines, Zhejiang Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism of China, Federation of Filipino-Chinese Association of the Philippines and Chinese Cultural Courier of the Philippines.

The Philippines and China also held the second staging of their cultural festival on Oct. 24 in Quezon City.

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