Peaceful environment attracts Chinese community to Iloilo

TRADITIONAL Chinese lanterns adorn Iznart Street in City Proper, Iloilo City, a popular enclave of the Ilonggo-Chinese community. (F. A. Angelo)

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

MORE and more Chinese nationals are living in Iloilo City because of its peaceful environment.

According to Ramon Cua Locsin, Philippine Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (PCCCII) – Panay Chapter president, the peaceful environment in the city is also the reason why Chinese traders invest in Iloilo.

“Iloilo is a one of the most peaceful cities in the country. Ang mga negosyante gusto diri magnegosyo sa Iloilo kay matawhay,” he said.

Locisn added that Chinese businesses are not only growing in the Downtown Area in City Proper but also in the different municipalities in the province of Iloilo.

“Ang Chinese businesses sa Iloilo especially sa Downtown Area mostly mga Chinese stores, amat-amat nagalapta naman sa different na mgamunicipalities,” he said.

This year’s Chinese New Year celebration in the city commenced on February 4, 2019 and was staged at the Iloilo City Dinagyang Grandstand on Muelle Loney Street.

The local Filipino-Chinese community together with city government headed by Mayor Jose Espinosa III welcomed the Year of the Earth Pig with lion and dragon dance presentations from students of Ateneo de Iloilo, Hua Siong College of Iloilo, Iloilo Scholastic Academy, and Sun Yat Sen High School.

The Iloilo Hotels, Resorts, and Restaurants’ Association at Muelle Loney also organized a one-day food festival offering the best of the Chinese food.

The food festival will continue on Feb. 8 from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.

In his message, Espinosa recognized the contributions of the Filipino- Chinese community to the Ilonggos.

“Let me also take this opportunity to thank and commend the Filipino-Chinese community as partners

for progress who have extended significant contributions to society benefitting the Ilonggos,” he said.

Meanwhile, Locsin assured the continuous cooperation of the Chinese community with the city government.

“Ang mga Chinese community ga-cooperate man kon ano ang kinahanglanon sang mga Chinese government gabulig man especially sa peace and order,” he noted.

On February 8, the Chinese New Year celebration will continue with a grand parade on Feb. 8 at 4 p.m. from the Iloilo Provincial Capitol to Iznart Street, City Proper.

According to Locsin, the celebration is divided into two days to give way to Chinese families who are celebrating the Chinese New Year on Feb. 5.

“Wala kita gadungan sa New Year kay busy mga Chinese families, kag ang kanya kanya may preparation so indi sila ka attend cultural show that is why may another celebration pa gid sa Friday,” he said.