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Chinese New Year marked with joy in Binondo

A FIRE breather delights Chinese New Year revelers on a street in Binondo, Manila Saturday. Dragon and lion dancers were also out in full force during the celebration welcoming the Year of the Metal Rat. (Kevin Tristan Espiritu)

A FIRE breather delights Chinese New Year revelers on a street in Binondo, Manila Saturday. Dragon and lion dancers were also out in full force during the celebration welcoming the Year of the Metal Rat. (Kevin Tristan Espiritu)

Hundreds of people joined a series of events in Binondo, Manila – the home of one of the world’s oldest Chinatown – as the Filipino-Chinese community welcomed the Chinese New Year yesterday.

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso joined the celebrants as early as Friday night in a concert at Plaza San Lorenzo Ruiz before several fireworks display lit up the skies to mark the year of the Metal Rat at midnight.

Lion and dragon dances were held on many streets – Ongpin, Juan Luna, and Reina Regente, among others – as it is believed to cast out bad luck.

Several men dressed in spawn Mandarin were also visible and some tried to pose for a selfie with them.

Drums, cymbal, and firecrackers made the area more festive.

Light rains did not stop the people to engage in celebration, believing it was “a blessing.”

Mark Angelo Mendoza, 33, joined the celebration to thank for the blessings his business has been receiving.

“Sumama ako para i-celebrate ‘yung business ko na isang taon na,” said Mendoza, who tagged along for the first time his wife and two children, aged two and nine.

Moreno gave away “ang pao” or red envelopes containing a R100 each. Some, particularly in front of Ongpin North Bridge, were hurt as people tried to get one.

Celebrities, including Xian Lim, Kim Chiu, and Ruffa Gutierrez, joined the parade of several Filipino-Chinese groups who were throwing out candies and other sweets. (Joseph Pedrajas)

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