PAGADIAN CITY, January 26, 2020 (PIA)- The Pagadian City government hosted the Chinese New Year celebration on Friday marking "The Year of the White Metal Rat" in a ceremony held at Plaza Luz here.
Mayor Samuel Co said the Chinese New Year's celebration, is an annual activity of the local government that pays homage and esteem to the rich culture and tradition of the Filipino-Chinese community in the city as they were also regarded as one of the biggest contributors to the economic well-being of the city.
"As we celebrate the Chinese New Year, we revitalize our bond of friendship, unity, harmony and cooperation among Filipino-Chinese community and to our tri-people as well", Co said.
Co said that the two-day celebration is not only to make the activity worth remembering but also to express gratitude to our Almighty God for the abundant blessings that the city has received from Him.
"I am very grateful to our Almighty God for sparing our city from devastating natural disasters," Co said.
The people of Northern and Southern part of Mindanao, Co said they were directly affected by earthquake; part of Visayas was slammed with a powerful typhoon and its people evacuated, and in Luzon, thousands of people were affected in the aftermath of the volcanic eruption in Taal, but Pagadian City is spared to experience these calamities.
Co also considered part of this year's blessings are the construction of more commercial buildings as he signed applications for building permits like the establishment of DFA consular office and the tax holiday incentive for the investors.
"The Filipino-Chinese community are always hoping and praying for prosperity particularly for their good business and for them to contribute for our economy," Co said.
Meanwhile, Brigadier General Bagnus Gaerlan, Jr., the event's guest of honor and speaker encouraged the Filipino-Chinese community and the public to help the government in maintaining peace and order, adding that "each one of us plays a significant role in preservation of peace and security in our country."
Gaerlan assured the public that the Philippine Army is always ready to serve the people and secure the city of Pagadian.
"Your active support has motivated and inspired us to faithfully fulfill our duties and responsibilities as your protector," Gaerlan concluded.
During the event, the students of Pagadian Chinese Chamber School performed the traditional dragon and lion dance performances, cultural dances, and field demonstration to highlight the rich Chinese culture.
The Filipino-Chinese Community gave "ampao" or red envelopes and distributed groceries to 1,000 poor people. A fireworks display capped the celebration.
Pagadian City institutionalized the celebration of the Chinese New Year through the enactment of an ordinance that made the celebration as part of the important celebrations of the city. (RVC/GCC/PIA-Zamboanga del Sur)