By: Giulz Nobleza-Garcia
With only a few days left before the official welcome for the Year of the Dog, we can’t help but say “tis the season to be lucky!” And what greater way to invite good luck than to join Chinese New Year celebrations with your family? The Metro is filled with activities — both for Chinese and non-Chinese folks — that offer exciting experiences for you to take on as you celebrate Chinese New Year 2018. Check out some things you can do this February 18, 2018!
Eat your way to luck with a food trip at Binondo. What’s Chinese New Year without some sticky, sweet tikoy? Or hopia? Or a big serving of laureat? Or pretty much every Chinese dish? Food has become such a big part of Filipino celebrations, and if your family has a particular liking for food trips, you shouldn’t miss the Binondo Food Crawl which becomes more special during the Lunar celebrations. Known as the oldest Chinatown in the world, Binondo is riddled with restaurants — some restaurants serve traditional dishes, while the newer ones serve Chinoy food with a twist. Jumpstart your family Chinese new year celebration by indulging in Quick Snack’s fried tofu and bihon, slurping hand-pulled noodles from Lan Zhou La Mien, feasting over Tao Yuan’ laureat, and hoarding some Chinese goodies from Eng Bee Tin. Of course, food isn’t the only highlight in Binondo during the new year celebrations — after grabbing some quick bites, you can spend the rest of the day watching presentations and festive dances, setting off firecrackers, and gathering some small, lucky treats given out by Chinese residents.
Spend it with your life’s treasures – have a staycation with your family or a family reunion. Do you owe your family some much-needed vacation time? Instead of joining in the Metro’s celebrations, February 18 is also the best time to pack them bags and head over to somewhere nice, quiet, and relaxing. The Chinese New Year treats Pinoys to a long weekend which you can use to spend time with your family.
Bond your way towards the year of the dog with CNY activities around the Metro. Fortunately, the Chinese New Year around the metro isn’t celebrated by Chinoys alone — even Filipinos join in the celebration. Because of this, several establishments around Manila have organized events which can be enjoyed by the family. For this year, ChinoyTV and Affiniterraces.com organized a fun run, DiverCHIty Run. For an affordable registration fee of P550 per person, you and your family can join in this event which aims to promote diversity, individuality, and unity among the Filipino-Chinese community. Different malls around the Metro such as Araneta Center-Cubao and Uptown Bonifacio also prepared different gimmicks — free concerts and free movies included– for those welcoming the Lunar New Year. End your day by attending breathtaking fireworks displays not only in Binondo’s Chinatown but also in major malls around Metro Manila. Don’t forget to wear red to invite more luck!
Learn more about the Filipino-Chinese community with a visit to Bahay Tsinoy. The Lunar New Year provides a great opportunity to learn more about the Filipino-Chinese community here in the Philippines. Bring your kids to Bahay Tsinoy where they can learn about how Tsinoys thrived in the Philippines since the early 1500s. Special collections including shells and ceramics are also on display here. Entrance fee is P100 for adults and P60 for kids.
Spend a day of bonding and learning with your kids at Kidzania and City of Dreams Manila. At Kidzania and City of Dreams- Manila, the Chinese New Year is for kids, too. Young kiddos can join the fun at Kidzania where they can hang their wishes on a lucky wall, get cute goodies from tiangges, watch fascinating dragon dances, and join the lantern parades! The whole family can also choose to celebrate the New Year at City of Dreams-Manila where you can engage in events such as Dragon Warrior Challenges and lantern making all for P1588 per person.
The Lunar New Year celebrations are loud and colorful and the best way to enjoy it is to go out and celebrate. What better way to invite good health, good fortune, and good luck throughout your year than to celebrate Chinese New Year with your family? Embracing this unique festivity can help us and our families fully appreciate our country’s beautiful diversity. Kung Hei Fatchoy!
Giulz Garcia is a mother to a 14-month old cookie monster. She loves to sing, write, and give kisses to boo-boos. She considers motherhood her favorite roller coaster ride.