By HERMES JOY TUNAC, GMA Integrated News
Unbeknownst to many, Quezon City is home to one of the biggest Chinatowns in the world: Banawe.
The area, which spans over nearly 7,000 square kilometers, boasts of a vibrant Fil-Chi community, is peppered with cultural spots, and has loads of delicious restaurants.
To promote the area as a tourist spot, QC has lined up a three-day activity in celebration of Chinese New Year, beginning Friday, February 9.
On Friday, a QC Chinatown Heritage Tour will happen, which will explore landmarks in the area, such as Sheng Lian Temple, the Buddhist Humanitarian Organization headquarters of the Tzu Chi Foundation, the Filipino-Chinese Friendship arcs called “Paifangs,” and the Wow Toy Museum, among others.
The tour will also include a food crawl to some of the hidden culinary gems of the QC Chinatown District.
Also lined up is the QC Chinatown Food, Arts and Crafts Fair featuring different booths selling Chinese delicacies, lucky charms, and unique artisanal products.
On Saturday, a lion and dragon dance through the different establishments in the area will kick off, followed by the Chinatown Float Parade and Chinese Calligraphy and Painting Demonstration. The program will begin at 4 p.m.
Musical performances by Jake Cuenca and Autotelic, together with song and dance numbers by the Philippine Cultural College and the Philippine Institute of Quezon City, will provide entertainment for visitors and residents. The acclaimed QC Symphonic Band will also be part of the program.
On Sunday, the celebration will culminate with the first-ever Chinatown Heritage Bike Tour, while visitors can still enjoy the food, arts and crafts fair.
“These festivities signify our commitment to promoting Banawe as a place to enjoy our unique Filipino-Chinese heritage through various cultural attractions. Local and foreign tourists can participate in many delightful activities during the three-day celebration,” Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said in a press release.
“Magkakaroon din ng pagkakataon ang ating mga kababayan na mapalago ang kanilang kaalaman ukol sa mayamang kultura ng mga kapatid nating Chinese,” she added.
Have you planned out your Chinese New Year festivities? Here are 5 restaurants with CNY promos. And here is a complete guide for those looking for guidance for the year ahead based on the Chinese Zodiac.
— LA, GMA Integrated News