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HomeTourismFestivalsLGU, Filipino-Chinese Community celebrate 8th Cagayan de Oro Chinese New Year Festival 

LGU, Filipino-Chinese Community celebrate 8th Cagayan de Oro Chinese New Year Festival 

The Cagayan de Oro City Government and the Cagayan de Oro Filipino-Community have joined hands once again to celebrate the Chinese New Year in the City of Golden Friendship.

The City Government under the leadership of City Mayor Rolando ‘Klarex’ Uy, will officially launch the “Lucky 8th” Edition of the Festival on Thursday, February 8, 2024  with a Ceremonial Lighting and Lion Dance at the Executive House of City Hall at 6:00PM, to be followed at 7:00PM by the opening of the Chinese Food Bazaar at the nearby Duaw Park.

Members of the Bell Church Cagayan de Oro Chapter led by President Greg Marten Lao (center)

This will be followed on the next day, Friday, February 9, 2024 with the Official Opening Ceremony of the 8th Cagayan de Oro Chinese New Year Festival at the Rio de Oro Boulevard at 6:00M, to be immediately followed by the Pyro Music Fireworks at the same venue.

The traditional New Year’s Eve service will follow at 11:00PM at the Bell Church Cagayan de Oro at Bgy. Macasandig to solemnly welcome the Lunar New Year with the arrival of the Year of the Wood Dragon.

For New Year’s Day on Saturday, February 10, 2024, the festivities reel off at 7:00AM with the assembly and motorcade by the Cagayan de Oro Filipino-Chinese Community with the participation of the Cagayan de Oro City Government.

This will be followed by the traditional distribution of tikoy by the Cagayan de Oro Filipino-Chinese Community to selected beneficiaries at the Rio de Oro Boulevard.

The Cagayan de Oro Filipino-Chinese Community’s participation in the festival is led by Chairman Greg Marten Lao, one of the original organizers of the 1st ever Cagayan de Oro Chinese New Year Festival in 2016.

“As one of the original organizers of the Chinese New Year Festival in Cagayan de Oro, I feel incredibly proud and satisfied with what has been achieved so far in perpetuating the Chinese-Filipino heritage and history with the younger generations,” Mr. Lao said in a message  prepared for the occasion.

“Over the past eight years, we have put in a tremendous amount of effort to ensure that the festival not only celebrates the Chinese New Year, but also educates the younger generation about their heritage and history. Through various cultural activities, performances, and exhibitions, we have successfully exposed the younger generation to the rich traditions, customs, and values of our Chinese-Filipino community.”

Meanwhile, the City Government’s participation in the Cagayan de Oro Chinese New Year Festival is headed by the Oro Trade and Investments Promotion Center (Oro-TIPC) under Local Economic and  Investments Officer John Asuncion and the City Tourism & Cultural Affairs Office under City Tourism Officer Rico Libre.

However, even before the official launching of the festival on February 8th, the Cagayan de Oro Business Community led by the city’s shopping malls had already started the Chinese New Year festivities with various events and exhibits of traditional activities such as feng shui presentations and readings, food bazaars, and cultural presentations.

“It’s truly gratifying to witness how the festival has grown in popularity each year and how young individuals actively participate and engage in the festivities. The increasing number of attendees, especially the younger generation, shows a genuine interest and appreciation for the Chinese-Filipino heritage and history,” Mr. Lao noted.

The city’s participation in the festival officially concludes with the 2nd Mayor’s Cup Spring Festival Dragon Boat Race on the weekend of February 17-18, 2024 at the Isla de Oro, Cagayan River.

“We are expecting around 12 teams and around 500 athletes to join the event,” said Mr. Asuncion, who is the founder and organizer of the annual event. The awarding ceremony for the winners will be held at the SM CDO Uptown at 6:00PM.

During the inaugural edition of the grace held January 21, 2023, some 17 teams and over 600 athletes from all over the country joined the event dominated by the Philippine Army Dragon Warriors who copped the 300M Standard Open Crew, 300M Standard Mixed Crew, and the 1,000M Catch the Rabbit Tail Standard Mixed Crew. The Manila Masters, CGY Oro Dragons, Barangay Carmen, and Amihan teams each won one event.

“Our goal has always been to foster a sense of identity and pride among the younger generation, ensuring that they understand and value their roots,” Mr. Lao said. “By providing platforms for them to learn about and actively participate in Chinese-Filipino traditions, we believe that we are successfully passing down this cultural legacy to future generations.”

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