Events + Entertainment

LIST: Where to Go in Iloilo City to Celebrate the 2024 Chinese New Year

Celebrate the vibrant festivities of Chinese New Year in Iloilo!

By: Karen Bermejo | February 06, 2024
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Chinese New Year in Iloilo

Witness the amazing celebration of Ilonggos for this year’s Chinese New Year!

Image: Iloilo City Government Facebook page

For this year's Chinese New Year in Iloilo, the Filipino-Chinese community in the city will mark its 20 years of friendship with a grand celebration. According to organizer Iloilo Festival Foundation Inc., several activities were lined up for the week-long celebration anchored on Harmony in Blossom: 20 Years of Cultivating Filipino-Chinese Unity.

If you’re visiting Iloilo to celebrate the 2024 Chinese New Year, here are the places you should see to join the festivities.

1. SM City Iloilo Event Center

Event: Cultural exhibits
When: February 6 to 11

Chinese New Year in Iloilo dance performance

Enjoy the celebrations and dance performances in city malls.

Image: SM City Iloilo Facebook page

Catch the opening of the Chinese New Year Celebration at SM City Iloilo Event Center on February 6. Spectators can expect lion and dragon dance performances at the opening ceremony and the Chinese New Year Cultural Exhibit launch at the mall's North Point area.

The cultural exhibit will run from February 6 to 11. In addition to the photo exhibit, mallgoers can expect a display of figurines, lanterns, lucky charms, and other Chinese items. They can also check their luck regarding love, career, or health this year of the Dragon through a display of 2024 Lucky Forecast at the mall.

2. Iloilo City’s Chinatown Area

Event: Food fest, grand parade, and fireworks display
When: February 9

Chinese New Year in Iloilo Dragon and lion dances

Dragon and lion dances are essential for Chinese New Year parades.

Image: Iloilo City Government Facebook page

When it comes to the Iloilo Chinese New Year celebration, food and merrymaking will always be present. The Chinese New Year in Iloilo City will also be a feast of good food and fun. The Chinese New Year Food Festival at Iloilo's Chinatown is part of the weeklong activity, which will open at 11:30 AM on February 9. The food festival will feature a gastronomic feast of Ilonggo and Chinese cuisine.

A grand parade from the Iloilo Provincial Capitol to Iloilo Chinatown will also start at 4:00 PM on the same day. A lion and dragon dance performance, colorful costumes, and big smiles from the participants are expected during the parade. The parade will culminate at the Filipino-Chinese Friendship Arch for the grand cultural show and fireworks display.

Meanwhile, some roads in the downtown area will be closed to vehicles due to Chinese New Year activities.

3. Iloilo Business Park and SM City Iloilo

Event: Various mall shows
When: February 10

Chinese New Year in Iloilo cultural performances

Expect cultural performances to mark the Lunar New Year.

Image: PIA Iloilo Facebook page

Ilonggos will also be treated with a series of Chinese New Year Mall shows from the various Chinese schools in the city. Sun Yat Sen High School will perform on February 10 at the Iloilo Business Park's Indoor Atrium of the Festive Walk Mall.

The Hua Siong College of Iloilo and Iloilo Scholastic Academy students will perform a show at SM City Iloilo Event Center.

4. West Visayas State University

Event: A world-class puppet show
When: February 10 to 11

One of this year's Iloilo Chinese New Year celebration highlights is the highly-anticipated Quanzhou Puppet Show. According to organizers, this is the group's first performance in the Philippines. Ilonggos are also lucky to witness the world-class puppet show performance, considered China's National Intangible Cultural Heritage, for free. The show is presented by the Iloilo City Government and the Iloilo Festivals Foundation, Inc.

The Quanzhou Puppet Show will be held at the West Visayas State University Cultural Center from February 10 to 11. Eight shows will be held during the two-day event, particularly at 10:00 AM, 2:00 PM, 4:00 PM, and 7:00 PM. Guests can expect five stories featuring life-size puppets during each show. Limited tickets are available in the cultural exhibit area at SM City Iloilo from February 6 to 11.

Ilonggos can also witness a preview of the puppet show at SM City Iloilo on February 8 at 3:00 PM, simultaneously at the Indoor Atrium at Festive Walk Mall.

5. Santa Maria Parish Church (a.k.a. Our Lady of China)

Event: Thanksgiving mass
When: February 11

The Ilonggos sure know how to give back and give thanks. A thanksgiving mass is also set on February 11 at 8:00 AM at the Santa Maria Parish Church. The church, known as Our Lady of China, is visited by the Chinese-Filipino community in the city. The parish church is located along General Blanco St. in Barangay Maria Clara.

6. Festive Walk Iloilo

Event: Closing ceremony
When: February 11

The celebration's closing ceremony will be held at 5:00 PM at Park Square, Festive Walk Parade, fronting the Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Arts.

Two decades since the inception of the yearly Iloilo Chinese New Year celebration, only one thing has remained constant: it is becoming bigger and grander each year. Indeed, the week-long celebration showcases the strong bond between the Ilonggos and the Chinese community in the city.

Ilonggos and city visitors can expect another festive and merry week while visiting the City of Love.

Visit Yoorekka Magazine to learn more about events and happenings in Iloilo!

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About Karen Bermejo
Karen writes to earn a living, tell stories and promote her advocacies. She’s a traveler and a volunteer. Her adventurous soul makes her more comfortable to sleep on the couch of a stranger than pay bucks for accommodation. Her ultimate dream is to travel the world, master a foreign language and learn how to swim. To keep her sanity while chasing her dreams, she chases waterfalls on weekends.
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Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of Yoorekka are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, Yoorekka does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.
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