Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna, together with Vice Mayor Yul Servo Nieto and City Administrator Bernie Ang, led the Mid-Autumn Festival otherwise known as the “Mooncake Festival” held last September 9, 2022, at Binondo, Manila.

They were accompanied by Third District Congressman Joel Chua, Majority Leader Councilor Jong Isip, Councilor Apple Nieto, Councilor Fa Fugoso, Councilor Maile Atienza, Councilor Terrence Alibarbar, Councilor Tol Zarcal, and District 2 Councilor Uno Lim.

Mid-Autumn Festival is the second most important festival celebrated by the Chinese next to the Chinese New Year because it celebrates good harvest, and it encourages harvest-giving light for another good harvest the following year.

As part of the tradition, there were also Dragon Dance Performances as it is believed to be a way to plead to their ancestors for enough rain for good harvest.

Mid-Autumn Festival is also celebrated in other Asian countries like Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

The festival’s highlight this year is the opening of the newly rehabilitated Filipino-Chinese Friendship Arch.

It is considered the world’s largest Chinatown Arch that is 63.8 feet high and 74 feet wide. It also showcases the fusion of modern and traditional designs between pagodas. Volunteers from the Filipino-Chinese Youth Business Association, Inc (FCYBAI) used about 800 bulbs to light up the arch.

It is expected to not just attract tourists due to its Instagram-worthy appearance but also to serve as a symbol of the more than 2, 000 years of relationship between the Philippines and China.

“This arch serves as a testament of the Filipino-Chinese relationship with our friendship, unity, and harmony,” Mayor Lacuna said.

She also encouraged migrant Chinese and Filipino-Chinese to come and to invest at Binondo, Manila.

“Let us redevelop [and] revive the majestic Manila Chinatown,” Mayor Lacuna said.

(Photos by K R De Asis/MPIO and Gerry Ele/OM)