MANILA, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- A rich array of cultural activities displaying Chinese culture were unveiled at Shangri-La Plaza in downtown Mandaluyong, Philippines, as part of the celebrations to mark the Chinese lunar New Year on coming Sunday.
The celebrations, which included Chinese film show, traditional Chinese painting exhibition, demonstration of Chinese handicrafts and a photo show on modern China, attracted a large crowd of Filipinos and Chinese.
Philippine Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda attended the occasion and read a letter of President Benigno Aquino III who was in the southern city of Davao.
In the letter, Aquino said, "For Filipinos and Chinese alike, the Lunar New Year is an occasion to celebrate the rich heritage that our nations cherish. For this reason, I declared the Chinese New Year as a special non- working holiday last year - a gesture of recognition from the Filipino people to the Chinese community of our nation."
"Relations between China and the Philippines stretch centuries back... Through activities like this, we can further strengthen our partnerships, which open more doors of opportunity for the citizens of both our countries," Aquino said.
Just as the Chun season (Spring Festival) reminds us of new beginnings, may this festival serve as a new opportunity for us to forward dialogue and cooperation in all our spheres of activity, he said.
In response, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Ma Keqing said, "China is willing to share with its neighbors the fruits of development, not only the economic benefit but also the products of culture. The cultural differences between China and the Philippines will only inspire us to appreciate each other's works of fine art and understand the complexity and subtlety of human nature."
"I believe the Chinese films, photo and painting exhibitions will enrich your experience of Chinese New Year with more details of life that the average people are living in China," she said.
These activities, organized by the Confucius Institute of Ateneo University, will run through Feb. 10.
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