Mindanao Times

A Chinese New Year tree for prosperity

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CHINESE wishing trees, money trees, or hong bao or ang-pao (traditiona­l gift of money inside a red envelope) trees play a significan­t part in Chinese New Year celebratio­ns around the world. These symbolic trees gives an opportunit­y for believers of this Chinese tradition to toss a wish for prosperity, happiness and longevity into these trees.

On the eve of Chinese New Year, January 24, Friday, Davao City’s Chinatown got its own wishing tree at The Unity Park, a street island located at the junction of Alvarez Street, Quezon Boulevard and Magsaysay Avenue.

Davao’s Wishing Tree, an artificial tree with golden leaves and adorned with Chinese lanterns and hong-bao, found home at The Unity Park. The park is a PhP1.6 million project of the Davao City Chinatown Developmen­t Council and the City Government of Davao in collaborat­ion with BDO, Boysen Paint Philippine­s, and the City Environmen­t Natural and Resources Office.

“The concept of setting up a park at the gateway of Chinatown actually came from City Administra­tor Atty Zuleika Lopez after her trip to China two years ago. Today, we’re glad to have finally seen its fruition,” said former City Councilor and a DCCDC Founding Susabel Reta.

The 160 square meter minipark, an extension of the Arch of Friendship that was erected in August 2008, was designed by DCCDC member Architect Beatrice Jade Go with the help of fellow member Steve Arquiza

“It is basically an Oriental landscaped garden with a gold tree that we purchased from China,” said Architect Go.

By night, the park is lit by solar-powered Chinese lanterns and LED garden lamps.

“We’re trying to make it as green as possible. Our first concept was to create a sunken garden. However, we realized that the place is too small,” she said.

Go said that they are looking for other areas in Chinatown where they can make green spaces and pocket parks. So how can one make a wish at the Unity Park? “In China, people would write their wish on joss paper tied to a ‘kiat-kiat’ (orange) , then throw them up to hang in the tree. It was believed that if it successful­ly hung onto one of the branches, there wishes would come true,” added Go.

However, if it drops, tradition dictates that one’s wishes are” too selfish”. But fret not, tradition also states that one should not give up, and to just keep on throwing until one succeeds to make his or her wish come true.

Kiong Hee Huat Tsai!

 ??  ?? ONE of the dancers of the dragon dance with the wishing tree in the background
ONE of the dancers of the dragon dance with the wishing tree in the background
 ??  ?? BENEDICTO Lim Jr, Susabel Reta and Architect Beatrice Jade Go
BENEDICTO Lim Jr, Susabel Reta and Architect Beatrice Jade Go
 ??  ?? BOYSEN Philippine­s assistant area manager John Paul Alteza, are manager Samuel Ang and Mix and Match Davao’s Rowel Rodriguez officer-in-charge
BOYSEN Philippine­s assistant area manager John Paul Alteza, are manager Samuel Ang and Mix and Match Davao’s Rowel Rodriguez officer-in-charge
 ??  ?? THE Unity Park at the right end of the Arch of Friendship along Magsaysay Avenue
THE Unity Park at the right end of the Arch of Friendship along Magsaysay Avenue
 ??  ?? DCCDC’s James Lao and Severino Herrera Jr and City Administra­tor Zuleika Lopez
DCCDC’s James Lao and Severino Herrera Jr and City Administra­tor Zuleika Lopez
 ??  ?? THE park uses solar-powered LED garden lamps
THE park uses solar-powered LED garden lamps
 ??  ??

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