October 2, 2023
Chairman of the Executive Committee of Baguio Filipino-Chinese Community and also President of the Baguio Museum Incorporated welcomes guests to the 22nd celebration of the Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day at the Fil-Chinese Garden.
The prosperity photo of the Filipino-Chinese community in Baguio with Consul Weidong, Chairman Peter Ng and the executive committee at the Botanical Garden.

Baguio has been heralded by Filipino Chinese celebrations like Chinese New Year and the Autumn Festival.

These are festive and happy  occasions  when we anticipate lion and with dragon dances in bright red and orange colors, drum beating and distribution of goodies.

Red is a lucky and auspicious color in Chinese culture. It is associated with the fire element, which represents life, vitality, and light. It is a positive color which  symbolizes happiness, success, and good fortune. Hence, the Filipino Chinese Day program opened at the Filipino-Chinese Garden with a dragon dance.

The Filipino-Chinese Day is an annual  festivity celebrated every June. The day signifies the bond and friendship between the Philippines and China. The celebration is usually observed on July 9 – a testimony to the shared history and culture of the two nations.

Lion and Dragon dancers from Bell Church headed by  Lloyd Michael Lee is an attraction in any Filipino-Chinese celebration.
Mayor Benjie Magalong explaining future joint projects between the two nations, Baguio-Philippines and PROC like monorails and cable cars.

The roots of Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day can be traced back to the ancient maritime trade and cultural exchanges between the Philippines and China.  

The formal recognition of Filipino-China Friendship Day began in 2002 when Proclamation 148 s. of 2002 issued by former President Gloria Arroyo declared June 9  as ‘Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day’. The day also commemorates the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between the Philippines and China.

People’s Republic of China (PROC) Consul in Laoag, the Honorable Consul Sun Weidong stated, “Today is the 48th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the Philippines. It is also the 22nd anniversary of China-Philippines Friendship Day…At present, China-Philippines relations have been continuously consolidated  and improved,  which has brought  tangible benefits to both countries and its people. It has made positive contributions to worldwide peace and stability. The Chinese Consulate  in Laoag  is committed to promoting friendly cooperation between the cities and provinces in the consular district and China. In the future,   we will continue to work together with local governments and the consular district, including the Baguio City government.”

PROC consulate in Laoag City, Consul Sun Weidong expounds on China-Philippines relations and the commitment  of the Chinese consulate in Laoag to promote friendly cooperation between cities and provinces within the consular district and China.
Baguio Born Filipino-Chinese artists Roland Bay-an, Chino Chow, George Lee and the late Norman Chow opened their FEIHUA (Chinoy) exhibit at the Art Bank located at the Baguio Athletic Bowl.

Chairman Peter Ng in his welcome remarks affirmed,  “it is in the heart of the Baguio Filipino-Chinese community to become a key partner in the socio-economic development projects  of Baguio City. We carry on the legacy of our forefathers, blending Filipino and Chinese ways. In this year’s celebration, we have endeavored to support Baguio’s creative projects, particularly the Baguio Art Bank at the Athletic Bowl under Councilor Leandro Yangot.”

The Baguio-Filipino Chinese Garden at the Botanical Garden was a project of the Baguio Filipino-Chinese community in 2014. The working Committee was under the Chairmanship of Peter Ng with Fernando Tiong as vice-chair, Thomas Kho as treasurer, Jose Ong Tajan as adviser, with Roland Wong and Kane Chanbonpin as members.

Baguio Museum visit: Mark Jefferson Ng, PROC Consul Yang Zerui, Thomas Kho, Jose Ong Tajan, PROC Consul Sun Weidong, President of the Baguio Museum Peter Ng and Museum Curator Gemma Estolas.
Former head of the Tourism Promotions Board Venus Tan explains the weaving process to Consul Weidong and party at the Harvest Art Gallery at the Botanical Garden.

The other hard-working Filipino-Chinese communities are: Association for Philippine-China Understanding (APCU) – headed by OIC George Ong; Baguio Filipino-Cantonese Association-CAR and the  Baguio-Filipino Chamber of Commerce are both headed by Peter Ng; Baguio Patriotic High School headed by  Leng Leng Cu, SM Supermalls – SM City Baguio headed by AVP for Northern Operations – Marc Janssen Pe;  Association of Baguio Chinese Filipino Youth headed by Pres Jeffrey Sy and Chair Jerrison Tiong; Filipino-Chinese Amity Club Baguio chapter headed by President Thomas Kho; Filipino-Chinese Shin Lian Association headed by President Alex Sia; Tiok Lim Grand Mason Baguio chapter headed by President Mike Tiu; Bell Church Baguio Dragon Lion and Martial Arts Team headed by athletic trainer Lloyd Lee; Megapines Realty and Development headed by Chairman Fernando Tiong; and the Phil-Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry La Union and Baguio Chapters headed by President Nelson Go.

SKETCH ARTISTS — Roland Bay-an, Kevin Barrientos, Willie Teves, Richard Domirez, Joseph Domirez, Howard Domirez, Oliver Abuan, and Nicole Morales being introduced by Chino Chow.
RIBBON CUTTING RITE — Coun. Vladimir Cayabas, Thomas Kho, Jose Ong Tajan, Chair Peter  Ng, Mayor Benjie Magalong, Atty. Edilberto Tenefrancia, Consul Sun Weidong  PROC Consulate in Laoag, Paul Go, Noly Balatero and Pastor Ricardo Bagalawis representing Rep. Mark Go.

This year’s celebration carries the theme: Strengthening Bonds and Embracing Diversity,   reflecting a strong commitment to nurturing and fortifying long-standing friendships. It is the celebration of mutual respect.

It acclaims the rich cultural heritage and diversity of both nations thru a  spectra of: business, arts and culture, education and philanthropy, art collaborations and  cultural events and special projects, social media and community service.

Releasing of the doves  symbolizing freedom, peace, serenity and new beginnings. In picture Consul  Sun Weidong, Chairman Peter Ng, Mayor Benjie Magalong and John Ong Tajan with Councilors Vladimir Cayabas, Fred Bagbagen, Leandro Yangot, and Betty Lourdes Tabanda.
Councilor Leandro Yangot, Head of the Art Bank Project at the Athletic Bowl explains the significance of the project and the residency projects, a recipient of a contribution from the Filipino-Chinese community.

A photo exhibit called “Feihua” of four Chinoy artists namely: Roland Bay-an, Chino Chow and George Lee (with the art paintings of the late Norman Chow) are now exhibited at the Art Bank at the Athletic Bowl until June 24.

Consul Sun Weidong also visited the Baguio Museum and the Harvest Gallery.

And so, the day ended with a prayer from  Jeffrey Sy, “for the  festive gathering to flourish from generation to generation and may it join Filipino-Chinese hands in nation building.”

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers of the different communities in Baguio! (photos by Darwin Ng)

Stella Maria L. de Guia