File photo of a Chinese New Year celebration along Valencia Street in Puerto Princesa's Chinatown.

The organizers announced that preparations for the seven-day Chinese New Year celebration in January of next year have begun.

Nikko Dangalan of William Tan Enterprises, Inc. (WTEI) told the Amos Ta Ren sa Puerto Princesa radio show of the City Tourism Department (CTD) on Friday that preparations for the “Chinoy Festival” are already underway.

“Ang Chinese New Year po ay magsisimula sa January 16, that’s Monday, until January 22. Mag-e-end siya ng Sunday—that’s seven days na celebration natin—para mag maipagdiwang natin yong culture and diversified na kultura ng mga Chinoy, o Chinese and Filipino culture,” Dangalan said.

“Napaka exciting po nito. Sa pagpasok ng Bagong Taon ay [may] mga bagong kompetisyon na aabangan natin,” he added.

He said Valencia and Malvar streets, where the Chinatown Mall is located, will be the center of the celebration. The area will be spruced up with festive Chinese lanterns that symbolize good fortune.

The annual celebration is through an ordinance authored by Coucilor Luis Marcaida III.

“Sa mga gustong sumali sa street market natin, they can coordinate with us. Isasara natin yong kalahati ng Valencia, puwede po doon yong mga food, clothing, or kung anumang pupuwede nating ibenta to help the local industry to sell para makabawi din tayo sa pandemic,” he said.

The kick off celebration on January 16 will feature a Zumba dance competition (starts at 3:30 p.m.), dragon dance performance, cultural dance show, lighting of Chinese lanterns ordered from China, and live band.

Interested individuals (10-15 in a group) in the city and from municipalities are welcome to participate in the Zumba dance competition, he claimed. Their attire should reflect the Chinoy culture, just as their music or sound should.

Groups have the chance to win are P15,000; P10,000; and P5,000.

On January 17, the Chinoy Festival will have a music and dance concert from 5 p.m. to 12 midnight, in coordination with the city’s Talentadong Palaweño and dance communities.

The Hip-hop dance competition, which is open to everyone, will take place the following day, January 18. At this early stage, according to Dangalan, interested participants have already indicated that they will be attending from Narra, El Nido, and other towns.

“Dito rin sa Puerto may mga nagre-register na rin kaya hoping tayo na mas madami pa para mapakita natin ang ating mga talento,” he said. Each group can have 10-15 participants, and can have the chance to win P30,000; P20,000 for the 1st runner up; and P10,000 for the 2nd runner up.

An acoustic session featuring Mary Bernice, Freddie, and Anthony will be provided by the festival on January 19 and 20. There will be performances to from Banwa Dance and Arts, City Choir, and City Band.

January 21, the celebration day, will highlight among others the friendship parade, lion and dragon dance performance, street dance competition, cultural presentation, free tikoy tasting, setting off of firecrackers, fire dance competition, battle of the bands, and fireworks display.

“Sa street dance competition, inaanyayahan po natin yong ibang taga municipalities kung gusto nila we’re open for you to join the competition. Yong grand prize natin doon is P30,000 din po,” he said.

Finally, on January 22, the street market and performance awarding ceremonies will bring the celebration to a close.

Those who wish to join any of the competitions may call 0917 773 3556 and look for him.