DAGUPAN CITY, Feb. 14 (PIA) — The celebration of the Chinese New Year is the time of the year when Chinese and Filipino communities bond and usher in new hopes and good luck.
Artemio Cheng, Jr., a “lao shi” or teacher, said the celebration of the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival was meant to inculcate the culture and values of the Chinese society among the youth, Chinese and Filipinos alike.
“Most of the Filipino traditions every New Year have been basically influenced by Chinese customs,” said Cheng.
Loud popping noise from firecrackers was heard over the city’s downtown area on Monday.
Red and oval paper lanterns and decors of inscriptions in Chinese calligraphy conveyed New Year greetings inside the People’s Astrodome here.
Revellers, who arrived at the dome garbed mostly in red, greeted and chatted merrily with everyone.
Students of the Pangasinan Universal Institute opened the celebration by performing dragon and lion dances that awed the crowd.
Old folks believe that the loud beats of the drum and the deafening sounds of the cymbals together with the face of the dragon or lion dancing aggressively can evict bad or evil spirits.
Students from other Chinese schools in the city such as the Divine Word Academy of Dagupan and Oakridge International School rendered song and dance intermission numbers accompanied by Chinese music, while other students presented an exhibition of wushu, a Chinese martial arts.
Cheng said that they are grateful to President Benigno S. Aquino III who considers the event as one of the most revered and festive events celebrated not only in China but also in the Philippines by both Chinese Filipinos and ordinary Filipinos.
“The event is a way of recognizing and giving importance to the Chinese community and its tradition,” Cheng added.
Dagupan City Mayor Benjamin Lim also shared some virtues to live by this year such as unity, cooperation and collaboration, which are significant qualities that Dagupeños, especially local officials, must possess for the city to become more prosperous. (MCA/AM – PIA1 Pangasinan)#