Iloilo City Events

Iloilo Chinese New Year

Iloilo Chinese New Year: Chinese New Year is always celebrated in the City of Love. Officially known as the ‘Chinese New Year’, it is a festival celebrating the beginning of a new year on the traditional lunar calendar. In Chinese and East Asian countries, the festival is referred to as the ‘Spring Festival’ – starting with ‘lichun’, the first of the twenty-four solar terms. It marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring.

Chinese New Year in Iloilo 

The Chinese New Year is one of the most important holidays in China. In Iloilo, the Chinese New Year celebration is spearheaded by the Iloilo City Government, together with the Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc., the Chinese New Year Task Force, and Hua Siong College of Iloilo, supporting the Filipino-Chinese community in the City of Love.

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas, in a social media post in 2021, describes the relationship of Iloilo City and the Chinese community in the metro through the ‘Filipino-Chinese Friendship Arch’ located in Iznart Street in downtown Iloilo.

Launched by the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Iloilo (FCCCI) at the beginning of 2012 as the organization’s centennial project that pays tribute to the strong relationship between the city government and the Chinese-Ilonggo community.

“As we celebrate the Chinese New Year, let us recognize our strong partnership with the Chinese community that had helped create a better living environment for the Ilonggos,” states Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas.

The Iloilo City Government, Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc. (IFFI), and the local Chinese community recently launched the week-long Chinese New Year celebration with a cultural exhibit at SM City Iloilo.

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas, IFFI Chairman Judgee Peña, IFFI President Allan Tan, Chinese New Year 2024 Chairman Roland Uy, Filipino Chinese Family Associations, Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Iloilo Inc., and Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Panay Inc. led the opening program.

On February 09, a grand parade from the Iloilo Provincial Capitol will kick off at 4:00 pm to Chinatown, followed by a grand cultural show, food festival, and fireworks display at the Filipino-Chinese Friendship Arc at Plazoleta Gay, Iznart Street.

The Chinese New Year falls on February 10.

One of the highlights of this year’s celebration is the showing of the Quanzhou String Puppetry at West Visayas State University Cultural Center, and Chinese New Year Mall Shows at SM City Event Center, Main Mall and Indoor Atrium, and Festive Walk Mall from February 10 to 11.

Four Chinese-Filipino schools, namely Sun Yat Sen High School of Iloilo, Ateneo de Iloilo, Iloilo Scholastic Academy, and Hua Siong College of Iloilo, will perform dragon and lion dances.

Treñas said that the celebration themed “Harmony in Blossom: 20 Years of Cultivating Filipino-Chinese Unity” is a manifestation of strong Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in the city.

“As a yearly tradition, the Ilonggos are joining the whole nation in celebrating the Chinese New Year, especially with the Filipino-Chinese community here in the City of Love. Iloilo City has come a long way as evident of its continuous progress and development, and we must acknowledge the selfless contribution of our beloved Ilonggo Tsinoys in the city’s relentless journey towards development,” Treñas stressed.

“It cannot be denied that the Public-Private Partnership that was forged with Ilonggo Tsinoys has grown deeper and bigger, creating a great impact in all our endeavors, especially in achieving our goals,” he added. Meanwhile, Uy emphasized the big contribution of the Filipino-Chinese community in the city’s overall progress.

“The Filipino-Chinese community has forged an unyielding and sturdy relationship that has contributed a lot to strengthening both cultural and economic development. Our celebration will be extra special because there will be a cultural exhibit that will showcase different festivals in China, Chinese New Year Mall shows, food festivals, grand parades, cultural shows, and the Quanzhou String Puppetry that will join us for the first time,” he said.

A Thanksgiving Mass at Sta. Maria Chinese-Filipino Parish is set on February 11 at 8am and the Chinese New Year Closing Ceremony at Park Square, Festive Walk Parade at 5pm. (Via Andrea Pearl Fernandez/Iloilo City PIO)

2024 is the Year of the Dragon

2024 is the Year of the Wood Dragon. According to, the dragon is the fifth animal in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac signs (composed of rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig). Recent years associated with the Year of the Dragon include the following: 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964, and 1952. The next year of the dragon will be in 2036. describes dragons as strong and independent figures but also yearn for support and love. They are powerful, energetic, goal-oriented, idealistic, and visionary. They also possess the keenest sense of self among other zodiacs.

Dragons present themselves as magnificent yet benevolent rulers who’re confident, generous, idealistic, and ambitious. In Chinese culture, these mythical creatures are in a class of their own, regarded as the givers of abundance and longevity.

Dragon’s confidence is neither false nor empty, as they hold lofty ideals they’re striving toward— usually for the benefit of their community instead of themselves. They are independent thinkers who’ll never yield their highest conviction.

Dragons are wise and adventurous and, at times, temperamental and impulsive. They’ll be loved and admired by many but find it difficult to return such affection. This will be one of Dragon’s most important lessons.

Even though they may not care to invest in relationships, Dragons cannot stay alone for too long without feeling desolate. Once they find that special someone, Dragons will guard that person as their treasure. (Source:

2024 Schedule of Activities

2023 is the Year of the Rabbit

Chinese New Year 2023 falls on Sunday, January 22nd, 2023, and celebrations culminate with the Lantern Festival on February 5th, 2023. According to the website,, 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit. It is said that the rabbit is the fourth of all zodiac animals.

“Legend has it the Rabbit was proud—arrogant even—of its speed. He was neighbors with Ox and always made fun of how slow Ox was. One day, the Jade Emperor said the zodiac order would be decided by the order in which the animals arrived at his party. Rabbit set off at daybreak. But when he got there, no other animals were in sight. Thinking that he would obviously be first, he went off to the side and napped. However, when he woke up, three other animals had already arrived. One of them was the Ox he had always looked down upon.” – ChineseNewYear.Net

“The Rabbit is also associated with the Earthly Branch (地支 / dì zhī) mǎo (卯) and the hours 5—7 in the morning. In the terms of yin and yang (阴阳—yīn yáng), the Rabbit is yin. Rabbits are earnest with everything they do; they just ask that others treat them the same way. In Chinese culture, rabbits represent the moon. Some say it is because the shadows of the moon resemble a rabbit. Others say it is because of the rabbit’s pure characteristics. Paired with the Celestial Stems (天干 / Tiān gān), there is a 60-year calendrical cycle. Although mǎo is associated with metal, the years also cycle through the five elements of nature (五行 / wǔ xíng),” the website further adds.

Lucky things for Rabbits

  • Colors: red, pink, purple, blue
  • Numbers: 3, 4, 9
  • Directions of auspiciousness: southeast
  • Directions of wealth: northeast, southwest
  • Directions of love: east

Unlucky things

  • Colors: brown, gray, white
  • Numbers: 5, 11

2022 is the Year of the Tiger

Information sourced from the website, Tigers are the third of the Chinese zodiacs. According to legend, Tiger was confident that no one could compete with its speed and vigor for the celestial race that would decide the order of the zodiacs. However, when Tiger climbed out of the river, thinking it was first, it was informed that Rat placed first for its cunning and Ox placed second for its diligence. This left the king of the jungle having to settle for third place.

Tigers are courageous and active people who love a good challenge and adventure in life. Like their eponymous zodiac animal, people born in years of the Tiger are vigorous and ambitious, daring and courageous, enthusiastic and generous, self-confident with a sense of justice and a commitment to help others for the greater good.

Lucky Things for Tigers

  • Lucky colors: blue, green
  • Lucky numbers: 1, 3, 7
  • Lucky flowers: plum blossom
  • Lucky directions: north

Unlucky Things for Tigers

  • Unlucky colors: white
  • Unlucky numbers: 4, 9

Tigers’ Personality, Strengths and Weaknesses. People born in years of the Tiger are fiercely independent and possess strong self-esteem. They like to act alone and are not very gregarious. They are most likely optimistic and enthusiastic by nature, and always seem to have endless energy, especially at work. Their energetic presence and intense eyes are the greatest charms of Tiger natives. Their vitality is apparent to anyone at a glance, and people are instinctively drawn to this larger-than-life quality in them.

Tigers are lively and cheerful, and they love freedom and independence. They are a zodiac sign that absolutely must have their personal space. Tigers usually have a keen sense of justice. When faced with injustices, whether against themselves or others, you can be sure Tigers will not stand aside. However, Tigers may also appear unrefined or thoughtless in the way they handle things. In a less developed person, these traits can easily turn into ignorance or foolhardiness.

In general, Tigers possess great tenacity. They are loyal, quick and the center of attention in everything they do. However, a king needs a domain to be truly in possession of their power. For any Tiger, male or female, their ambition will come before they allow themselves a break to enjoy other parts of life.

Strengths of Tigers. Tigers are courageous and authoritative, although they have a cute and charming side as well to those who know them more intimately. Their ambitions run sky-high, however, and Tigers will never treat them as pipe dreams. They are adventurers with the courage to be a pioneer in the line of work they choose. They work tirelessly to realize their dream of changing the world in some way, one step at a time.

Tigers never mince their words, but always speak forthrightly and boldly. They are honest and judicious, almost chivalrous in a way that does not seem to fit the modern world. This quality makes them natural leaders that others gravitate toward. They have a strong sense of responsibility and will always keep their word and uphold their obligations.

Weaknesses of Tigers. Tigers can be very rebellious, often too self-confident to want to coordinate or communicate with others. That frequently leaves them lonely. They may find themselves isolated at work or in the community. They can be dictators with potential love interests and unable to create a happy family life. Likewise, they may have a lot of acquaintances or professional contacts, but may not have any real friends. No one likes to always be alone. That is a fact that the proud Tiger has to learn to accept in themselves.

In pursuit of their goals and ambition, Tigers can be stubborn and brash, possibly willing to use whatever means to achieve their goals. This can appear too domineering for others’ tastes because, with such single-minded focus on their pursuit, Tigers may very well disregard others’ feelings.

Male Tiger Characteristics. Tiger men are talented and ambitious. They are unlikely to stay in a work environment that does not allow them to develop freely for long. Very likely, Tiger men will work for a large company for a few years before setting up their own shop. They are charismatic although rarely gregarious. They are trusted leaders, but rarely friends or confidants. It will be easy for them to move up in any career path they may choose, as long as it presents the potential for independent decision-making. These are serious and earnest men who take their work and life seriously and work tirelessly until they reach their goal.

The same dedication applies to their love life—if they are in love with a woman, they will work earnestly to win her affection before settling down to a serious commitment with her. Once that happens, Tigers will remain a loyal partner. Extramarital affairs are almost impossible for these majestic and diligent men.

Female Tiger Characteristics. Female Tigers are intelligent and strong to the point of domineering. To some, they may appear entirely unfeminine. In the workplace, they can appear brash. In reality, however, Tigers possess positive traits that spell success both at work and home. In the professional setting, Tiger women are bold and decisive. They are fearless and never hesitate to take on a leadership role—why should they? They know themselves to be the best.

It is believed by some that Tiger women are arrogant and temperamental, therefore unlikely to find satisfaction in home and family life. This statement is not unreasonable, but more because ancient cultures like China’s tended to believe a woman’s place was in the home. In the modern day, that is no longer true, and anyone who can handle their dominant first impression will find a dedicated and strong woman underneath their tough exterior—an equal match for any man outstanding enough for these independent ladies to consider as a potential mate.

2021 is the Year of the Ox

On the same website, the Ox is referred to as the second of all zodiac animals. It is associated with the Earthly Branch and the hours 01 to 03 in the morning. In terms of the yin and the yang, the Ox is the Yang.

“According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party. The Ox was about to be the first to arrive, but Rat tricked Ox into giving him a ride. Then, just as they arrived, Rat jumped down and landed ahead of Ox. Thus, Ox became the second animal,” an excerpt from an article published on the Chinese New Year website.

Oxen are hard workers in the background, intelligent and reliable, but never demanding praise, says the website. In Chinese culture, the Ox is a valued animal.

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