RESILIENCE AND STRENGTH: Ilonggo Tsinoys converge at SM City Iloilo for Chinese New Year celebration

After successfully co-hosting the Dinagyang Festival with the local government, SM City Iloilo is once again the center of yet another landmark celebration in the city.

Themed “Ilonggo Tsinoys: Celebrating Resiliency and Strength”, SM City Iloilo is hosting the Chinese New Year program of the Chinese-Filipino community in Iloilo.

The Chinese New Year officially started on Jan. 22.

According to Novee Yap, secretary of the Chinese New Year 2023 Task Force, today’s event is the highlight of the Chinese New Year celebration which includes a Lion Dance Eye-Dotting Ceremony at 4 p.m. to be followed by a grand cultural show headlined by four big Chinese-Filipino schools in this southern city – Sun Yat Sen High School of Iloilo, Ateneo de Iloilo, Iloilo Scholastic Academy, and Hua Siong College of Iloilo.

The cultural show will feature Chinese culture and heritage, and will be capped by a fireworks display.
On Jan. 28, Hua Siong College of Iloilo will have a mall show at the SM City Iloilo Main Event Center at 3 p.m. and the next day, still at the same venue, Sun Yat Sen High School of Iloilo will also have a mall program at 2 p.m.

The Ilonggo Tsinoys will also have a Thanksgiving Mass at Santa Maria Parish at 8 a.m. on Jan. 29.
Yap said the celebration is their first face-to-face Chinese New Year fete in two years due to the coronavirus disease pandemic.

Charlie “Charles” Ho is this year’s chairman of the Chinese New Year 2023 Task Force.


Mayor Jerry P. Treñas said Iloilo City is one with the whole nation in celebrating the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Water Rabbit.

He lauded the Chinese-Filipino community’s significant role in the various socioeconomic programs and projects of the city government.

“The public-private partnership we have with them has grown deeper through the years, creating a great impact,” he stressed.

Treñas said the city government’s collaboration with the Chinese-Filipino community will be sustained.
“For only in being inclusive and united can we achieve the goals we have set for Iloilo – a livable, sustainable and resilient city that every Ilonggo and Ilonggo Tsinoy can be proud of,” he stressed.
It was Treñas who initiated the yearly Chinese New Year celebration in 2003 as a way of recognizing the significant contributions of the Chinese-Filipino community to the city’s booming economy.

The metropolis is home to some 13,000 Chinese-Filipino.

There are a lot of active Chinese-Filipino organizations in Iloilo. Among these are the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Iloilo, Inc., the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Panay, Inc., and the Philippine-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Panay Chapter.

Pre-pandemic, the Chinese New Year celebration in Iloilo City was considered the biggest outside Metro Manila and made lively by an estimated 3,000 mostly students from Chinese schools. It featured a colorful Chinese lantern parade downtown, spectacular fireworks display, a grand cultural show at the Filipino-Chinese Friendship Arch on Plazoleta Gay (a busy intersection of three major downtown streets JM Basa, Iznart and Ledesma), and a Chinese food festival. (via Panay News)

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News and Media Blog in Iloilo City, Philippines.

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