Manila celebrates Chinese New Year amid coronavirus concerns

Kevin Manalo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 25 2020 12:03 PM

Filipinos flock to Binondo, Manila, on the eve of Chinese New Year on January 24, 2020. The Lunar New Year is the most important event in the Chinese calendar, welcoming the arrival of the year of the "metal rat". Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Manila Mayor Isko Moreno on Friday night led the countdown for the celebration of Chinese New Year in Binondo, home to a sizeable Filipino-Chinese community. 

“We’re very happy [that] as a city government a lot of people attended, more or less 10,000 people. I’m happy for our Fil-Chi community. We try to encourage every store sa Binondo to participate sa local trade," he said.

The city mayor was joined by other city officials, together with the Filipino-Chinese community, at the Jones Bridge.

Apart from a motorcade, part of the city's activities Saturday is to give assistance to Manila residents.

“Our members of the community will extend assistance to the less fortunate in Binondo, particularly sa San Nicolas area, 3,000 families. Para happy tomorrow and the parade," he said.

Amid the threat of a new strain of the coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, China, Moreno said the city government took precautionary measures, especially since they are expecting some Chinese visitors to celebrate in Manila.

“With regards to China, as far as Manila is concerned, safe pa naman (we're safe). Walang naitatalang (there has been no recorded) coronavirus. We came up with some measures two weeks ago and 2 days ago. Isa sa paraan ay 'yong (One of the ways is to use) gas mask we provided 2 weeks ago. Pero self discipline is very important," he said. 

“Iwasan muna natin ang beso-beso. Pinakamabisa ang mask. Kung may lagnat, pa-check up kaagad (Avoid kissing on the cheeks. The best way is to use a mask. If you have fever, get a checkup immediately),” he added.