Recognizing the rich contribution of the Filipino-Chinese heritage in the province of Cebu, the Cebu Provincial Tourism Office celebrated its first “Sugbu Chinoy Day” at the Provincial Capitol last Monday with a series of informative talks, cooking demonstrations and sumptuous Chinese cuisines.
Just two days after the Chinese New Year, the “Sugbu Chinoy Day” welcomed everyone with an auspicious Grand Lion Dance at the Capitol Grounds, followed by an Office Blessing at the Governor’s office.
Starting off the event was a speech by Joselito Costas, head of the Cebu Provincial Tourism Office.
“For the first time, the Cebu Provincial Government through the Tourism Office is celebrating Chinese New Year to acknowledge and honor Cebu’s rich Chinese heritage and history,” shared Costas in his welcome remarks.
He also quoted Edgar Wickberg, an eminent historian of the Chinese in the Philippines who said “unlike his counterpart elsewhere in maritime Southeast Asia, the Chinese mestizo of the time was not a special kind of local Chinese. He was a special kind of Filipino.”
The first talk came from Len Len Lim, a representative from the Sugbu Chinese Heritage Museum, the only Filipino-Chinese museum in Cebu.
Lim shared the plans and current developments of the heritage museum.
She said she is hopeful that the Sugbu-Chinese Heritage Museum will open in 2018, with its first phase already improved. The museum is now holding a scale model exhibit at the Capitol dome until February 3, 2017.
It was then followed by an informative lecture about “The Chinese Presence in Cebu in Archaeological Records” by Dr. Jocelyn Gerra, expert in anthropology and neo-archaeology of the University of San Carlos’ Department of Anthropology, Sociology and History.
The third talk was “Chinese New Year Traditions” by Ms. Melanie Ng, Owner of Premium Concepts International Incorporated and the current President of the Cebu Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce.
Ms. Ng shared to the audience the different practices Filipino-Chinese do during Chinese New Year including wearing of new red T-shirt during New Year, the luck a pineapple fruit gives when displayed, and other interesting auspicious practices.
The fourth and last talk was by University of San Jose Recoletos’ Chef Richard Hao about ngohiong, a popular Filipino-Chinese dish that is unique and can only be found in Cebu. He also did a cooking demonstration after his talk.
After the informative talks, participants and some Capitol employees enjoyed sumptuous Chinese dishes.
Kung Hei Fat Choi, everyone! (Francis Torralba)