Jan. 30, 2017 ...

In a joint celebration by the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) and the Consulate of the People's Republic of China in Laoag, pupils of the St. Santiago Chinese School in Laoag City offered cultural performances as the province together celebrated the Lunar New Year at the Provincial Capitol Grounds yesterday.

The pupils began with a tai chi fan demonstration, a Martial Art normally practiced today as a form of exercise in China and other parts of the world where Chinese culture holds influence.

They proceeded with public square dancing, wushu (another Martial Art), "Quing Tian Su" (a modern Chinese dance), and lastly a solo rendition of "Gong Xi Fa Cai," a prosperity song.

The song "wishes you more money and riches in the next year, explained Yan Wen Ging, who teaches mandarin in the Chinese School.

"I have been here for two years," she shared, "I could have chosen to go back [to China] last year, but I chose to stay because I love it here. The view is very beautiful, and the people are very friendly."

Coming from Jiangsu Province, Yan Wen Ging also expressed her excitement and appreciation to be able to celebrate the Chinese New Year in front of the Capitol despite being away from her homeland.

Sharing sisterhood with the Province of Shandong, Ilocos Norte maintains close ties with the People's Republic of China. Recently, Former Chinese Consul Zhao Qiaoliang spearheaded donations of hospital equipment to the Provincial Government.

"Common values like industriousness and resourcefulness allow us to unite and maximize what is available for us to improve the lives of our people," Governor Imee R. Marcos had said in her congratulatory message to Mme. Wang Jianqun, who assumed the Consulate's head post earlier this month.

"I am confident that we will sustain the spirit of harmony between our two nations," Governor Marcos had added.

Referring to the governor, Yan Wen Ging also shared that "the Filipino people around me tell me that she's a very good governor, and I believe so."


The Bakers and Restaurants Association of Ilocos Norte (BRAIN) also partnered with the Ilocos Norte Tourism Office (INTO) in bringing Chinese cuisine closer to the Capitol through the Chinese Food Strip which was set up from January 27-29.

Foods of Chinese origin such as chicken feet, siomai, and siopao lined the Dap-ayan area of Laoag City, nevertheless accompanied by Ilocano classics like empanada and grilled longganisa.

One of the sellers was Mrs. Kathrina R. Eguia who offered visitors shabu-shabu or hot pot and chicken lettuce wrap, among many recipes that her parents, both of Chinese descent, taught her.

The provincial celebration ended with a fireworks display and loud drumbeats by the Ilocos Norte National High School (INNHS) Tambureros, a Chinese tradition done to drive away any evil, and draw good will and fortune closer in the coming year.