February 9, 2023

The celebration of Chinese New Year in Baguio returns with the holding of the Spring Festival this January, after a two-year hiatus since the pandemic. It will begin today, Jan. 22.
According to the traditional Chinese calendar, rabbit years are known to be peaceful, positive and inspiring. Hurray for those born in the Year of the Rabbit, and this would include those born in 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, and 2023.
Also, according to research, “Gong xi fa cai” is how Mandarin speakers wish you a happy new year and in Cantonese, it’s “Gung hay fat choy”.
For the Chinese community, the rabbit is a tame creature representing hope and life for a long time. It is tender and lovely.
The celebration of the Spring Festival in the Summer Capital is spearheaded by the Baguio Filipino Chinese community executive committee headed by president Peter Ng.
“The festival’s aim is to promote better understanding and cooperation between the Filipino and Chinese communities in order to strengthen our historical friendship and unity. We value our relationship,” he said.
Chino Chow, an active member of the Chinoy youth community explains, “For this year, the Chinese community will add a new feature to the Spring Festival and it will be called ‘Little Chinatown’. It will be done on two simultaneous Sundays: Jan. 22 and Jan. 29 at Session Road.”
He continues, “It is a project of the Association of Baguio Chinese Filipino Youth Inc. Expect different Chinoy businesses to be present.”
Time to buy tikoy, hopia, moon cakes, pansit, and siopao or savor your favorite soups and dishes. Watch the grand parade with lion and dragon dancers on Jan. 27, Friday. The calendar of activities is available on social media.
Lainey Magboo del Rosario, marketing head of SM Baguio, enumerated the activities at SM Baguio: “We have an ongoing Chinese New Year Lucky Park at the Mall Atrium. There are installations and exhibitors selling Chinese New Year-related merchandise. On Jan. 22, we will have the Lion Dance at 2 p.m. at Sky Ranch, followed by a performance at 3 p.m. at the mall area.”
Is it time to look at our horoscopes? Or magpahula for those who believe in fortune telling, or better yet, to get your lucky rabbit charms for good luck.

As the spring festival commences, I am reminded of the second death anniversary of my husband Ed on Jan. 25. How time flies. My husband was the epitome of peace, calmness, and jokes. Quite a timely memory for the rabbit year. On similar times, we would watch the Chinese New Year parade together with the family or join the parade itself, distributing candies to the children who lined the streets from Session Road to Magsaysay Ave. ending at the Melvin Jones grandstand.
We felt generous with all the candies from the Chinese community being given away. Though halfway through Session Road, ubos na ‘yung candies namin, kaya lakad na lang. It was tiring but fun.
Another memory was watching the parade from La Azotea. It was hilarious! We were observing a gentleman across the building who got so many goodies and candies and stuffed them in his pockets until they were bulging. It seemed he was enjoying na nakiki-agaw sa mga bata.
Happy memories for Chinese New Year!
Kung Hei Fat Choy!

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