Going on a DIY Chinese New Year Field Trip
Chinese New Year is happening next week. And here in Bacolod City, it is a big thing with the Bacolaodiat Festival. As a Filipino-Chinese homeschooling family, we try to keep these Chinese traditions alive for our kids to appreciate and relish. What we had was a tour for the senses.
Our DIY Chinese New Year Field Trip
The family business is a physical store located at the Capitol Shopping Center, which used to be considered as the Chinatown of Bacolod. So essentially, if we wanted a CNY field trip, it was going to be around here.
Hua Kong Chinese Drug Store
Wearing their Chinese costumes for kids, first we marched out for our DIY Chinese New Year field trip.
Our first stop was Hua Kong Chinese Drug Store along Tindalo Avenue. This old store is like the icon of anything Chinese here in Bacolod. You will find all kinds of traditional Chinese medicines (TCM) for just about any ailment you will feel. They have herbs for cooking, too.
Plus, they have snack items, candies, nuts, even even decor. It was a feast for the senses of the sights, aromas, and flavors. The kids enjoyed their time there because of the many things they can see and taste.
We bought fortune cookies, some candies, haw flakes, and was also given tikoy (sticky rice cake) as a gift.
Respect for Elders
As I have mentioned in the my post about the Cha Misua (Chinese birthday misua), the Chinese is keen on being filial.
When they went home, the kids greeted their Angkong and Ama (Fookien for grandfather and grandmother) and then shared fortune cookies with them.
We went home for lunch (Intsik kaya kuripot) and also to take a break. With this back pain of mine, I have to take rests throughout the day.
The kids also got a video break and watched Ni Hao Kai Lan, a Nickelodeon series about a little Chinese girl named Kai Lan. While the show is in English, they inject Chinese words in the script. It also espouses good values.
In the afternoon, we went to SM City Bacolod and then Ayala Malls Capitol Central, as both Bacolod malls have their own Chinese New Year displays. The kids had their photos taken, as these are keepsakes of their happy memories.
The Chinese are very much into luck and fortune. They are not in lack of fortune tellers and at Ayala Malls Capitol Central, they have what they call a “Pork-tune teller” for the Chinese New Year, a word play as it’s the Year of the Pig. Since we are not believers, we skipped this.
We wanted to give the kids some Chinese food like steamed dumplings and lumpia. The only thing that they were able to have was fried lumpia and siopao. I dunno why but there were no steamed dumplings and that’s like the national food on Chinese New Year. Bummer.
Meanwhile, the siopao that we had is by City Lunch, which is another iconic Bacolod restaurant in the Chinese district.
As a homeschooling family, we come up with these activities for the kids without us having to spend so much. Yes, you can do these things without hurting the family budget and still have some learning experiences. Except for the snacks that we bought, everything else is FREE, even the bracelet making at Ayala Malls Capitol Central. All it takes is a little research and some asking around.
So okay, to make the bracelet, you need to present a receipt with any amount of purchase. Shawna bought a balloon for P2.75 from Hannah’s Party Needs while Shane had ice cream for P20 for a total of P22.75. But the craft making session is more than worth it.
Chinese New Year Schedule at Yuan Thong Buddhist Temple
The Yuan Thong Buddhist Temple along Burgos Street, Bacolod City (near Lopue’s East Centre), is one of the most festive places during Chinese New Year. They open their gates to the public and people can just enjoy the temple, the Chinese food booths, bazaar, and of course, the messages of peace. You are also welcome to leave your wishes.
By the way, there’s no need to worship there if you don’t want to. This temple has become a popular attraction for the CNY.
This year, please check the Chinese New Year schedule below:
Feb 4 | Monday
- 06:00PM – Opening of Bazaar at the Temple Grounds
- 07:30PM – Cultural Show
- 09: 30PM – Bacolaodiat Lantern Dance Showdown
- 10:00PM – Dragon Dance
- 10:30PM – Prayer
- 10:40PM – Lion Dance – Giving of Fortune
- 11:40PM – Drum Rolling countdown to New Year by Master
- 11:58PM – 108 Bell Ringing
- 12:00MN – Declaration of New Year
Prosperity Platter Dinner
Tonight, we are going to have experience the Prosperity Platter at Seda Capitol Central. Stay tuned.