The beginning of the New Year is done differently with a Chinese celebration. Lunar New Year or Chinese New Year in the Philippines is quite festive in its own right. Chinese culture has definitely brought their own influences to the Philippines many many years ago, from the Filipino famous pancit to the majorly renowned chain of malls, SM. The impact of the Filipino-Chinese community transcends its people and its nation as a whole.
Filipino-Chinese families have been all over the country, the oldest of which can be found in Lucky Chinatown along Ongpin Street. The two most prominent China Towns run through Binondo and Sta. Cruz in Manila. During CNY, these parts are plagued with parades, dragon dances, lion dances, Chinese food feasts and the infamous CNY treat “tikoy.”
Chinese New Year Festivities
Chinese New Year represents various age-old traditions in the Fil-Chi community. Fortune readings, feng shui, zodiac representations, and many more have become part of the country’s culture as a whole. Businesses, establishments, and other renowned places in the country celebrate the one-day event with numerous countdowns, parties, street parades; there are even hotels that host unlimited buffet dinners all over the city. Here are three superb places in Manila to celebrate your Chinese New Year, the Filipino-Chinese way, more ang-bao, am I right?
Where: 2609 Civic Dr, Alabang, Muntinlupa, 1781 Metro Manila, Philippines
When: February 1-10, 2019
Crimson Hotel will be hosting several buffet dinners with a selection of Chinese dishes in their very own Café Eight, at Php 1,550 per person. The hotel’s restaurant will also be holding their annual dumpling festival for diners.
The hotel in Alabang will also be conducting a welcome ceremony of CNY with feng shui master Joseph Chau. Chau will be sharing his predictions for the New Year of 2019, what to do, what not to do, what not to wear and what to avoid in order hauling in the good graces for people and families. There will also be a traditional lion and dragon dance in the event to cap off the celebration.
Where: Roxas Boulevard, Corner Dr. J. Quintos Street, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila, Philippines
When: February 2-5, 2019
The Diamond Hotel’s Corinche restaurant will be open to guests for festive CNY dishes prepared by chef Yang Yong for Php 2,880 per head. Along with the dinner feast, guests are also welcome to get a free reading and consultation for 10 minutes from feng shui expert Angel Macalino on February 5 itself. Lion and dragon dances will also be taking place during the holiday in order to give way to prosperity and luck in the Year of the Earth Pig.
Where: CCP Complex, Roxas Blvd, Pasay, 1300 Metro Manila, Philippines
When: February 4-8, 2019
Sofitel Manila is not one to be left out from the CNY festivities. The renowned hotel in Pasay City will be hosting their CNY feast called “12 Dishes of Prosperity” at their Spiral restaurant. Chef Yui So Chan, one of the region’s experts on Chinese cuisine will be preparing the menu and food for the four-day festivity.
The cost per person starts at Php 3,888 for dinner and guests are also welcome to check out Sofitel’s Sunset Bar which will also be holding a Chinese hawker style barbecue buffet on February 4. The feast will be accompanied with live music, fire dancers, and of course a fireworks display at Php 3,488 per head. This will include unlimited local beer, iced tea, and cocktails, as well as the Wine of the Month for all purchasing diners and guests.
Cultural Influence of Delight
Indeed, the Lunar festivities are truly a time to remember and celebrate. One day alone for a holiday is not enough for some people, and other Asian cultures and countries take weeks to celebrate Chinese New Year. In the Philippines, there may be just one day for people to embrace Chinese influence and culture, but it’s not shy from monthly long promotions, events, and other forms of celebration of Chinese culture. From food, wardrobe, monetary gifts (ang-bao), and fortune telling, the celebration is felt amongst a whole nation, whether you’re Chinese or not. Kung Hei Fat Choy!