Cagayan de Oro celebrates 2nd Chinese New Year Festival
Rains dampened the celebration but that didn’t stop the city from celebrating the second edition of the Cagayan de Oro Chinese New Year Festival from January 21-28, 2017.
Also known globally as the Spring Festival, the city government joined hands with the local Filipino-Chinese Community led by Greg Marten Lao last year with the issuance of Executive Order No. 009-16, series of 2016, creating the City Committee to undertake various activities for the Cagayan de Oro Chinese New Year Festival.
The E.O. cited Section 16 of Republic Act 7160 (Local Government Code of 1991) which provides that every local government unit shall within their respective territorial jurisdictions, ensure and support, the preservation and enrichment of culture, and furthermore, considers partnerships with different sectors of the community as a vital part of local governance.
President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III previously issued Proclamation No. 831 on July 17, 2014 declaring the annual Chinese New Year as a special, non-working holiday.
It is estimated that one out of every five Filipinos today are of Chinese descent. The E.O. also recognized the vital contribution of the Filipino-Chinese community to the dramatic growth and development of Cagayan de Oro City, Northern Mindanao region and the country.
Eileen E. San Juan, chairperson of the Oro Trade and Investment and Promotion Center and concurrently, the Cagayan de Oro Tourism Council Events Committee, head the festival committee with Greg Marten Lao, president of the Bell Church Cagayan de Oro Chapter as co- chair.
Although the Chinese New Year celebration traditionally starts 15 days before the Lunar New Year, the CTC again chose a modest program starting last Saturday, 21 January 2017 up to the Chinese New Year on 28 January 2017 due to the prevailing weather.
The city’s two Filipino-Chinese schools Kong Hua School and Oro Grace Christian School will also present cultural performances with song and dances at all major malls. A billboard detailing all major events is posted near the Tourism Assistance Center in Plaza Divisoria for the guidance and reference of all residents and visitors.
A unique treat awaited curious Kagay-anons who wanted to explore their Chinese roots with the special new year offering and the lighting of the first incense stick at the Bell Church Cagayan de Oro in Macasandig on New Year’s Eve and culminating with the traditional Chinese New Year’s fireworks to welcome the Year of the Red Rooster courtesy of Phoenix Fireworks.
GONG XI FA CAI!