The 6th Cagayan de Oro Chinese New Year Festival will be held virtually amidst health protocols mandated by the ongoing global pandemic.

In an online interview hosted by the City Information Office on 05 February 2021, Chedilyn Aissa Dulguime, OIC-City Tourism & Cultural Affairs Officer said the activities coordinated by her office for this first of the city’s four major annual festivals will be held virtually in the digital realm.

“Starting Feb 8, one of the most colorful and fun festivals in our city will start with a simple launching program at City Hall on Feb 8 to launch the festival followed by the 3 episodes to be show within the week, and capped by the Chinese Cosplay Competition on Chinese New Year Feb 12,” Dulguime said.

The 3-episode show starting on Feb 8 that will look back at the Visionaries of the Filipino-Chinese community in Cagayan de Oro, the Flavors of China that influenced the food in our city, and the Symbols of China.

The 3-day show on various themes focusing on the culture and influence of the Chinese people that have become a big part of our culture in Cagayan de Oro, Dulguime said.

The virtual launch of this year’s festival will be held at 6PM on Monday, February 8 at the Executive House with a limited audience and virtual performances, to be followed immediately by the turning on of the Symphony of Lights which will be turned on intermittently for the whole week from 6-10PM daily.

Gaston Park is bathed in brilliant colors by the Symphony of Lights during the 5th Cagayan de Oro Chinese New Year Festival. (Wowel Condeza, CIO)

The Feb. 8 Episode 1 CNY Virtual Show “Visionaries from China” will start at 5PM and can be viewed through on the Tourism Cagayan de Oro, Higalaay Festival and Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines Facebook pages.

Episode 1 – The Visionaries of China (February 8, 2021)

The 30-minute show produced by the City Tourism Office will feature members of first Chinese Families who came to Cagayan de Oro, how they came here and became established in in the city.

Episode 2 on Feb 10 “Flavors of China” will focus on Chinese cuisine, including traditional rites practiced by Chinese families and their meanings, and traditional food served during Chinese New Year and their significance.

Not the least, Episode 3 on Feb 11 “Symbols of China” will feature Chinese New Year culture and traditions and how these have become ingrained into the mainstream of Kagay-anon culture and traditions.

Episode 3 – The Symbols of China (February 11, 2021)

“We want people to be aware of the Chinese culture and traditions that they may already be practicing without being aware these originated from China and our fellow Filipino-Chinese neighbors,” Dulguime said.

The weeklong festival culminates on Saturday, Feb 13 with a Virtual Chinese Cosplay Festival where virtual videos of the participating cosplay performances will be featured. Cash prizes and android phones await the winners.

In a bow to prevailing health protocols, Dulguime said this year’s festival will dispense with the traditional motorcade of the Cagayan de Oro Filipino-Chinese Community, the New Year’s Eve rites and fireworks at the Bell Church, the distribution of tikoy to indigent families and the Dragon Boat racing which held just its 2nd edition last year.

“During these difficult times of the pandemic, we need to make adjustments and limitation in the way we live. What’s important is that we be patient and calm just like the Metal Ox. Strong, conscientious and methodical. We need everyone to observe the minimum public health standards, and together as one team, we can defeat the virus,” said Mayor Oscar S. Moreno in his taped greetings aired over the same program.

“To everyone from all of us, the men and women of the city government, happy new year and may this coming year give all of us happiness, prosperity, progress and growth!”

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