This article is written in 2017, but can be used as a reference for 2018 for those who may be visiting Fort Bonifacio during that time and want to know where to find Chinese New Year celebrations in this part of Metro Manila. You may say that this is unnecessary, as events would be announced online and anyone who wants to know can just search online nearer the time to find out. Let us tell you this from our experience: there are still malls which do not publicize their events on their website, let alone their social media.
In 2017, the malls in Fort Bonifacio that spent a lot of effort in organizing activities to celebrate the Chinese New Year were SM Aura Premier, Venice Grand Canal Mall in McKinley Hill, and Market!Market! mall. However, these malls either post their events online on the day of the events, or not at all. You can only find out when you visit the malls.
Photo above: Programs of Chinese New Year activities at SM Aura Premier, Venice Grand Canal Mall and Market!Market! Mall
Fortune Telling, Feng Shui Talk
Fortune telling is a popular activity at bazaars at Chinese New Year celebrations. It is said to be offered in Venice Grand Canal Mall, from Jan 27 to 31. The talk is usually about the coming year's fortune for people belonging to different Chinese zodiac signs. Market!Market! mall had a fortune telling session on Jan 28.
Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese study of how people are affected by the existence of objects around them. Its claims are disputed by the western scientists, but that has not stopped people from wanting to know about it. There was a Feng Shui talk at Venice Grand Canal mall on Jan 28 at 5pm.
Fireworks was invented in China over two thousand years ago. Chinese New Year is the most popular time for fireworks display. In Fort Bonifacio, fireworks lit up the sky above Venice Piazza in McKinley Hill for ten minutes from 6:20pm on January 28, the first day of Chinese New Year.
Dragon and lion dance
Many malls, like SM Aura Premier, Venice Grand Canal Mall at McKinley Hill, have lion and dragon dance inside their malls to entertain visitors. The lions or dragon will visit retail shops and show off their acrobatic skills when they collect the red packets from the shops, which are usually hung from a high place in the shop.
In Central Square of Bonifacio High Street, Grab (used to be Grab Taxi, now grabs anything) had a promotional activity to give out fried Chinese snacks (dimsum) for free. They also hired lion and dragon dancers to perform. Last year, there were lions and dragons going around all the participating shops in Bonifacio High Street to perform and collect the red packets.
Musical and dance performances
Some establishments will hire Chinese musicians to perform traditional music using unique Chinese musical instruments, the most common being Guzheng (古箏), a16–26 stringed zither with movable bridges, and Erhu (二胡) a two-stringed fiddle. We saw this at the Chinese New Year celebration by Shangri La at the Fort at One Bonifacio Park on January 27 and 28, 2017 ("All Fired Up").
SM Aura Premier had a dance performance on Jan 29.
A Chinese paintings exhibition is ongoing at the Upper Ground Floor of SM Aura Premier mall as part of its Chinese New Year celebration.
Photo above: Western cakes for Chinese New Year displayed by a cake artist (Jaemee Ang) at One Bonifacio Park on Jan 27 and 28.
Shangri La at the Fort's Chinese New Year activities at One Bonifacio Park on January 27 and 28 included some food stalls from the hotel's Chinese restaurant. At Venice Grand Canal Mall, there were bazaars selling decorative items as well as gadgets, probably for children who had collected red packets to spend on.
Discounts and Promos
Many Chinese restaurants in Fort Bonifacio offered special items or discounts on the first days of Chinese New Year. Tim Ho Wan restaurant in Uptown Mall, for example, gave a free dimsum for a minimum purchase of P500, on January 27 and 28. Crystal Jade restaurant at Bonifacio High Street gave an order of dumplings for free for customers who dressed in red on January 27 and 28, plus gift certificates for customers of their CNY set menu of over P5,000.
An ice cream shop with a branch on 4th floor of SM Aura Premier, offers a free ice cream for customers born in the year of Rooster, i.e. between Jan 23, 1993 and Feb 9, 1994, or between Feb 5, 1981 and Jan 24, 1982.
Free movie show
HOOQ, a video on demand streaming service that is in partnership with Globe Telecom, will be showing a movie called Mano Po 7 at the Central Square of Bonifacio High Street at 7pm on February 7, 2017, as part of its celebration of Chinese New Year. Mano Po is a series of movies locally produced to tell the stories of Chinese Filipino families. Before the movie, there will be lion and dragon dances.
Hopefully, the information provided here will help you find your desired Chinese New Year activities in Fort Bonifacio, next year if not this time. We at TheFortCity.com will search not only online, but at locations, to gather all these events for you as early as possible to help you plan your activities.