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Giant money tree lit up in Binondo area in celebration of Manila Chinatown’s 430th anniversary

Manila Chinatown money tree
Mayor Honey Lacuna (fifth from left) kicks off the activities for the celebration of the 430th anniversary of the Manila Chinatown with the lighting of the Money Tree, where she was joined by city officials led by (middle, seated) City Administrator Bernie Ang. With them in photo are (from left) MCBO chief Jefferson Lau, Justice Abad Santos General Hospital chief Dr. Merle Sacdalan, DOT- NCR Regional Director Sharlin Batin (mayor’s right), MCDC Exec. Director Willord Chua ( to mayor’s left), Councilor Tol Zarcal, Congressman Atty. Joel Chua (3rd district) and Councilors Maile Atienza, Fa Fugoso, Atty. Jhong Isip and Terrence Alibarbar. (JERRY S. TAN)

MAYOR Honey Lacuna kicked off the series of activities marking the 430th anniversary of the Manila Chinatown, touted to be the biggest not only in the entire country but in the whole world, with the lighting up of a huge ‘Money Tree’ or ‘Prosperity Tree’ right in the middle of the Plaza San Lorenzo Ruiz fronting the Binondo Church.

Joining the mayor were City Administrator Bernie Ang, Congressman Joel Chua (3rd district), Manila Chinatown Development Council Executive Director Willord Chua, Manila Chinatown Barangay Organization President Jefferson Lau, Manila third district Councilors Fa Fugoso, Tol Zarcal, Terrence Alibarbar, Maile Atienza and Atty. Jhong Isip, Department of Tourism, Culture and Arts of Manila chief Charlie Dungo, City Engineer Armand Andres and City Electrician Randy Sadac, among others.

The event was highlighted by the traditional eye-dotting ceremony of the colorful lions led by Lacuna, Ang and Chua, prior to the lion dance. Said ceremony is the last step before the lion is awakened and given its power.

This was followed by the lighting up of the huge ‘money tree’ and a colorful fireworks display.

In her short speech, Lacuna cited the role that the Manila Chinatown had played for the past years and how it helped Manila to become a must-see destination in the country for both local and foreign tourists.

The mayor also thanked the Chinese-Filipino community members for their unwavering support to the programs set forth by her administration geared toward a ‘Magnificent Manila’ in 2030.

According to Lacuna, the event, which is a first in Manila, also highlights the history and culture of ‘Chinoys’ and their contribution to the overall progress of Manila and the country as well.

City Administrator Ang, who is on top of the actvities lined up for the event, formally invited the public to visit the Manila Chinatown which he said had gone a long way since its founding in 1594 to become the vibrant business district that it is today.

He said that a grand celebration of the Manila Chinatown’s 430th anniversary will be held with a series of festive activities that will culminate in the Chinese New Year celebration.

Chua, for his part, explained the significance of the Money Tree is a feng shui symbol which is traditionally used as a cure to stimulate the flow of money or increased prosperity, as it is believed to attract positive energies that bring about wealth, luck, good health, peace, good fortune and abundance.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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