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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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