Last Saturday, the people of Manila gathered in Lucky Chinatown Mall and Jones Bridge for the countdown to greet the Chinese New Year.
Louie Ngo and Nicole Cordoves hosted the Chinese New Year Countdown in Lucky Chinatown Mall, with special guests Darren Espanto, Ace Banzuelo, Janine Teñoso, Shanti Dope, and Jason Dhakal who performed song and dance numbers as people anticipated the Year of the Water Rabbit.
Meanwhile, the official countdown program at Jones Bridge was hosted by Valerie Tan, and the program was in collaboration with Manila City Hall, Manila Chinatown Development Council, and the Manila Chinatown Barangay. Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna and Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xi Lian delivered key speeches, with Mr. and Ms. Chinatown Philippines 2022 winners Kevin Lao and Berjayneth Chee also present for the countdown program held in Manila.
What made the countdown to the Chinese New Year momentous was the beautiful fireworks display that took place at exactly 12:00 AM at the Binondo-Intramuros Bridge. Even early in the evening, people were already at Jones Bridge to secure a good spot to see the fireworks display, which proves how eager people were to welcome the Chinese New Year with open arms— as the last countdown program was three years ago, people were excited to celebrate the event and in the presence of the community.
The countdown program started off with Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna’s speech, “Our shared heritage stands from immigrants to native Manileños like the Filipino-Chinese– their hard work and perseverance have contributed to the city as family, business owners, students, educators, and workers from all fields. Allow me to take this opportunity to thank you– our Filipino-Chinese friends here for choosing Manila as your home. Thank you for your relentless effort in extending assistance in sharing your generosity to the city on many occasions.”
She ended her speech by wishing everyone luck in the Year of the Water Rabbit.
“We hope that all of us can pursue the opportunity and success. We wish you and your loved ones happiness, prosperity, and good health and fortune.”
Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xi Lian’s speech highlighted the good relationship between the Chinese and the Filipino people that continues to grow, “It’s been three years since our last gathering of this kind. On behalf of the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines, I would like to extend seasonal greetings and best wishes to all of you as we immerse ourselves in the sublimity of the Binondo-Intramuros bridge behind us. [There] were three years when China-Philippines relations have built on a past and laid solid foundations for future relations under the guidance of our top leaders. We expect our collaboration to flourish in the fields of trade, infrastructure, agriculture, energy, and disaster relief,” says Chinese Ambassador Huang Xi Lian.
And for the grand finale, the program ushered in the new year with a majestic fireworks display perfectly framed by the Binondo-Intramuros Bridge in Manila:
Happy Chinese New Year, everyone!