The activity, spearheaded by the city government of Cotabato, featured Chinese traditional songs and dances performed by students from the Cotabato City Institute.
The visitors of the occasion were also treated with free Chinese delicacies like siopao, lumpia, misua soup, siomai, and others during the food fair.
This is the 7th year that Cotabato City celebrates the Chinese New Year, an occasion that the late City Mayor Japal J. Guiani, Jr. has initiated in recognition of the contributions of our Chinese communities to the growth and progress of the city. This celebration sends out the message of unity, camaraderie, and cooperation among all the Cotabateños and the respect that they are showing to everyone's culture and traditions.
In her message during the program, City Mayor Atty. Frances Cynthia J. Guiani-Sayadi revealed that 43% percent of the total population of Cotabato City is of Chinese descent and they have significantly contributed to the growth of the city's economy.
"This is one way of thanking our Chinese friends and relatives for being a great part of our city's economy", Mayor Guiani-Sayadi said.
The crowd also cheered as City Mayor Guiani-Sayadi spoke in Mandarin, a language she calls her "second tongue", being a Chinese descent, herself.
Prominent Chinese personalities in the city also joined in the celebration. Atty. Eugenio Soyao, the Vice President of the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, said he is thankful to the present administration for the recognition is giving to the Chinese community and also praised the performance of the City Mayor in running the city LGU.
"Maliit lang ang Cotabato City pero magaling ang ating Mayor and recognized locally and nationally as she has been recently named as one of the top 10 outstanding movers of the country", Atty. Soyao said. The festive celebration began with a culinary competition that featured Chinese dishes and ended with the symbolic releasing of balloons and a show of pyrotechnics.