June 20, 2024

Baguio City marked the 21st Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day with a program last June 9, at the Baguio Filipino-Chinese Friendship Garden at the Botanical Garden.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong and leaders of the city’s Filipino-Chinese community led the observance graced by Hon. Zhou Youbin, consul and head of Post Consulate of the People’s Republic of China in Laoag City.

Highlights of the program were the ribbon-cutting rites for the unveiling of the Baguio Filipino-Chinese Garden view deck and events place and a gift-sharing activity for the recipient barangay.

Consul Zhou Youbin, Magalong and Rep. Marquez Go acknowledged the fruits of the long-standing friendship between the Filipino and Chinese communities and committed to more cooperative endeavors and partnerships in realizing the development goals of the city government particularly on the socio-economic and environmental aspects.

The program was spearheaded by the Baguio Filipino-Chinese Community Executive Committee Working Committee (BFCCEC) led by chairman Peter L. Ng, vice chairman Fernando S. Tiong, treasurer Thomas K. Kho, advisers William Ang and Jose Ong Tajan and members Roland Wong and Kane Chanbonpin.

The committee said Fil-Chinese Friendship Garden at the Botanical Garden was chosen as venue of the event as it symbolizes Filipino and Chinese understanding, cooperation and unity and recognition of the importance and close relations of the two peoples and the community partnership it purposely emboldens. It is similarly a symbol of the city government of Baguio’s longstanding bond and support to the local Baguio Filipino-Chinese community.

It is also a testament to the culmination of the establishment of sister-cities relations between Baguio City and Hangzhou City on Aug. 13, 1982 and offers an experiential insight into the rich Chinese heritage and culture through the 12 Chinese zodiac sculptures and the popular giant panda bear.

A pagoda view deck overlooking the whole Botanical Garden and events place area for big gatherings and activities were recently added to enrich the overall feature of the garden

The view deck was donated by the Consulate of the People’s Republic of China in Laoag City and along with the marker was commissioned by the Baguio Filipino-Chinese Community Executive Committee to commemorate the goodwill and honor the friendship between the two countries.

The events place on the other hand was developed and donated by Hotel Supreme Convention Plaza owned by Ng and TG Home Builders of Tiong as a joint project of the city and the BFCCEC with Ompong Tan as design consultant and Zaparita Gardens as landscaping consultant.

Proclamation 148, signed by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Jan. 24, 2002 proclaimed June 9 of every year as Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day. – Aileen P. Refuerzo