President Rodrigo Duterte expressed optimism that the Chinese New Year, which was celebrated, would pave the way for a “stronger” friendship between the Philippines and China.
This was the President’s message, as he extended his “warmest” greetings to the Filipino-Chinese community that is celebrating the Chinese New Year.
“The fact that we are celebrating this event and embracing it as one of our own reflects the strong and inseparable bond that has been forged through centuries of friendly and beneficial relations between the Philippines and China,” Duterte said in a message released on Saturday.
“As we open a new page in our shared history, may we foster even stronger bonds of friendship with those of Chinese descent all around the world through cooperation, investments, cultural exchanges, and people-to-people ties,” he added.
The Chinese New Year, otherwise known as Lunar New Year, falls on January 25 this year, prompting people all over the world to celebrate it by following Chinese superstitions.
It marks the beginning of the lunar calendar and the “Year of the Metal Rat” in the 12-year Chinese zodiac cycle.
January 25 has been declared a special non-working day in the Philippines.
Joining the Filipino-Chinese in celebrating the Chinese New Year, Duterte hoped that everyone will have a “prosperous and happy” 2020.
Duterte said the festive occasion celebrates “new beginnings and ushers in hope and wishes of prosperity for our nation.”
He also remained optimistic that members of the Filipino-Chinese community would continue to exhibit “small acts of kindness” that would eventually bring progress to the country.
“I also hope that the Chinese-Filipino community will continue to engage in socio-civic and charitable acts that will uplift the lives of our people, especially the poor and the marginalized,” he said.
“Together, these small acts of kindness shall create a ripple effect that will benefit not only those belonging to your community but also countless others, creating a much bigger wave of compassion that will eventually redound to the greater good of our country,” the President added.
The Philippines established its diplomatic ties with China on June 9, 1975.
Despite the long-standing South China Sea disputes between the two nations, Duterte has recognized Beijing as a friend and good ally of Manila.
The two countries’ cooperation in the fields of security, trade, investment, agriculture, tourism, cultural and people-to-people exchanges has also improved under Duterte’s watch. (PNA)