Tag Archives: Chinese Culture

Chinese New Year Greetings | Say What?

We’re celebrating the Chinese New Year in a few days. In the Philippines, this Chinese holiday has become something like a national event. In fact, a few years back, the Philippine government began declaring the Chinese New Year as a special non-working holiday. One question that I get a lot: how to say proper Chinese New Year greetings?

We see and hear a lot of different variations, which has only added to the bit of confusion.

Chinese New Year Greetings kiong hee huat tsai Binondo arch
The Binondo Chinatown Arch, Manila

So is it –

“Kung Hei Fat Choi”? (What we read and hear most commonly)

Or “Gong Xi Fa Cai”?

Or “Kiong Hee Huat Tsai”?

Continue reading Chinese New Year Greetings | Say What?

The fruitiest Chinese New Year celebration

The mystery-cake saga continues. And everything is set to be revealed tonight!

I got this in the mail last night:

Whats a giant mango doing at SM Mall of Asia?
What's a giant mango doing at SM Mall of Asia?

If you happen to be around SM Mall of Asia later today, or if you want to be part of the biggest Chinese New Year celebration, drop by the Music Hall at SM MOA around 5:30 PM.

The manhunt for the fruitabomber Pulp-X ends there. The mysterious Mr. Ang will most probably make a public statement too. And something pfretty fruity-explosive will be revealed!


Kiong Hee Huat Chai!

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Kung Hei Fat Choi!

All three mean the same, only they’re in three different Chinese languages. The first is in Fookienese, the dialect in the Chinese Fujian/ Fookien Province from which most Filipino-Chinese’ ancestors came.

The second greeting is in Mandarin, the universal Chinese language, also said to be the global language of the future. (So start learning the language now!)

The last one is in Cantonese, the main Chinese dialect in Canton (Southern China) and Hong Kong.

The phrase translates to “I wish you will prosper.”

To all of us, a prosperous Year of the Rabbit!


What are good gifts for the Year of the Rabbit? For women, they will surely appreciate an anti wrinkle cream that works. Anyone would love to look a few years younger.

Happy Chinese New Year!

The Lunar  /  Chinese New Year coincided with Valentine’s Day this year.

And because my husband is, above all things, Chinese – no Valentine’s date. *sad face*

But we did celebrate the Chinese New Year the traditional way. New Year’s eve was spent by husband in prayer and offering at the Buddhist temple. The next morning, we went to the Father-in-law for the customary visit, and to pai-pai (offer incense).

Then we had family lunch at a Chinese restaurant. (Eating is always the highlight, hehe)

I wanted to go to Binondo for the real stuff, but husband was not brave enough. So we ended up at the closest real thing –  Banawe Street. Banawe is not just the place for car accessories and car repairs. It’s also the place to go to for authentic Chinese food.

Eating places get pretty crowded there during weekends and most especially during holidays such as the Chinese New Year.

Update, January 4, 2016: In recent years, Banawe Street has been upgraded to become the Chinatown of Quezon City.

We were not expecting to get a table but we pushed our luck at Mandarin Sky Seafood and Shabu Shabu Restaurant – a newly opened restaurant at what used to be Wah Yuen.

Well, if it’s a preview of lucky things to come, then I’m excited for this Year of the Tiger!

Not only did we get a table, but there was also a Dragon Dance and a Lion Dance at Mandarin Sky when we got there. It was a nice treat for the kids (though at first, Nate was crying and clinging to me, deathly scared of the lions and the noise.)
Happy Chinese New Year dragon dance

The red lion lion symbolizes courage, while the green lion friendship.

Continue reading Happy Chinese New Year!

Causeway Restaurant Dimsum Promo | Quezon City

In the middle of one night, hub presents the idea: let’s go to this restaurant that offers a huge discount on dimsum from 9PM to 12 midnight every night. We go – hub, kids and I. The Causeway Restaurant dimsum promo!

The Chinese characters for dimsum  – “dian xin” – literally mean “spot, dot, point” and “heart”. And I can totally appreciate why. My family loves dimsum. There’s something about dimsum that is heart-warming. It’s become our comfort food. It’s easy to fall into the trap of ordering one basket after another, and before you know it, it’s a dimsum feast on the table! 😀

We order our favorites – siomai, siao long pao, spareribs, chicken feet, machang. We have a feast. We simply love it.
Causeway Restaurant dimsum promo dimsum cartDimsum cart at Causeway Restaurant

Continue reading Causeway Restaurant Dimsum Promo | Quezon City

Nearly-preschool Nate

Nate just turned three two weeks ago.

In a year, he will officially be going to pre-school. I’d like to think he will be ready by then.

He is now toilet-trained – only wears diapers during the night and when we go out (more for our convenience, hehe). He is not a picky eater too, so I guess teachers won’t have any difficulty feeding him… Well, except that he has lots of food allergies.

And, oh, his vocabulary is fantastic! He can name (and mimic) most wild animals – his favorites being tiger (roaar!), lion (growl!), snake (hisss! with matching tongue-wagging), e(le)phant, and dragon (with matching fire-breathing). I know, the last one doesn’t count as ‘wild animal’, but, hey, we’re Chinese! 😛

He can blabber lots of mostly-intelligible phrases too:

“Tabi tayo ha, Mama.” (My heart melts!!! *swoon*)

“Yan chicken a(ller)gy ako?”

“Almost done, guys!” (Always cracks me up, LOL!)

“Watch ako Agent Oh-sow.” (He loooves this new show on Disney Channel, Special Agent Oso!)

“Waay kamiii!” (Translation: Wait for me!)

“Eeeew, yuck!” (when anyone kisses him)

I am contemplating, though, of enrolling him in a pre-nursery school when the second semester opens in November.

I know, I know! These things weren’t existent when I was growing up too! I mean –  I went to a public school for kindergarten, for goodness’ sake. And I turned out just fine… Right? (I guess??? I hope!)

Continue reading Nearly-preschool Nate