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New Binondo Friendship Arch to Highlight Moon Festival in Manila

Moon Festival in Manila
Mayor Honey Lacuna, Vice Mayor Yul Servo, City Administrator Bernie Ang and Manila Congressman Joel Chua (3rd district) in a huddle about the upcoming moon festival celebration in Chinatown. (JERRY S. TAN)

Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna, Vice Mayor Yul Servo and City Administrator Bernie Ang will lead this year’s celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the ‘Moon Festival’ or the ‘Mooncake Festival’.

The lineup of activities during the celebration on September 10 of what is considered to be the second most important festival in China next to the Chinese New Year, will be highlighted by the formal opening at 7:30 p.m of September 9, of the newly-rehabilitated Filipino-Chinese Friendship Arch, which greets those visiting Binondo, home of what is touted as the world’s biggest Chinatown in the world.

Lacuna said the said arch, which is at the tip of Jones Bridge, will sport a new look with the installation of impressive, colorful lights to make it more attractive and as the latest addition to the city’s Instagrammable spots.

According to Lacuna, the rehabilitation of the landmark arch comes at no cost to the city and had been shouldered by youthful Chinese entrepreneurs led by the officers and members of the Filipino-Chinese Youth Business Association, Inc. (FCYBAI) and the Filipino-Chinese Youth Business Association, Inc. (FCYBAI), whose members she thanked for having volunteered to beautify, maintain and preserve the iconic arch.

About 800 bulbs were used to light up the arch and third District Congressman Joel Chua and Councilor Numero Lim, who chairs the committee on international relations at the Manila City Council, will also be also present once the new arch is presented to the public during the celebration.

It will be recalled that a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was entered into by the city with the FCYBAI represented by its founding president and chairman Peter Zhuang; president Andrew Ong; Executive Vice President Jackie Chan; vice president Jerry See; Vice president Willy Chua; vice president Dick Go and architect Jacky Yi. The MOU was the result of a resolution authored by Councilor Lim.

Ang, with whom the FYCBAI first discussed the plan before its implementation, said that the arch is a donation from Mr. Chan Chau To of Shanghai, China.

The Filipino-Chinese Friendship Arch was erected in 2015 at a time when Philippine-China relations were being strained by claims of ownership of the South China sea or the West Philippine Sea.

“The bridge was built when our country’s relations with China was at its worst, as a way of showing that the friendship between the two countries remains steadfast and that mutual respect will always be there,” Ang said.

The Filipino-Chinese Friendship Arch, he added, will serve as a symbol and testament of the Philippines-China relations that dates back to over 2,000 years already.

“The newly-rehabilitated arch will be lighted up with 800 bulbs and cost at least a couple of millions. The lights installed, unlike ordinary ones, will last for at least three to five years,” Ang said.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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