Fil-Chinese Youth Business Association to beautify Friendship Arch in Binondo

A very promising term ahead is what seems to be coming the way of Manila Mayor-Elect Honey Lacuna, once she assumes office.

This is for the reason that this early, so many businessmen have already been showing keen interest in helping out in her administration through volunteering to undertake projects aimed at beautifying certain parts of the city, at no cost to the city.

For starters, the officers and members of the Filipino-Chinese Youth Business Association, Inc. (FCYBAI) have volunteered to beautify, maintain and preserve the iconic Filipino-Chinese Friendship Arch in Binondo, home to what is touted as the world’s biggest Chinatown.

The group, accompanied by Councilor Numero Lim who chairs the committee on international relations at the Manila City Council, presented to both Mayor Isko Moreno and Vice Mayor, now Mayor-Elect Honey Lacuna, a clear picture of how the said arch will look like once they are done with it.

For the said project, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was entered into by Moreno in behalf of the city and then the FCYBAI represented the group’s founding president and chairman Peter Zhuang; president Andrew Ong; Executive Vice President Jackie Chan; vice president Jerry See; Vice president Willy Chua; vice president Dick Go and architect Jacky Yi.

The MOU was the result of a resolution authored by Councilor Lim. With it, the project may be undertaken wherein the FCYBAI will shoulder the expenses while the city government will provide the necessary manpower.

Moreno thanked the group and said Lacuna is lucky since the completion of the said arch will be in a couple of months, by which time she is already the mayor. From there, the group also paid a courtesy visit to Lacuna and then also showed her the future look of the said arch and the incoming mayor said she is impressed by it, as she thanked the FCYBAI for volunteering to help Manila have another instagrammable spot.

Secretary to the Mayor Bernie Ang, with whom the FYCBAI first discussed the plan, said that the arch is a donation from Mr. Chan Chau To of Shanghai, China and that under the MOU, all that the city government will provide is the manpower that would be needed which he said is very minimal.

In his resolution ratifying the MOU, Councilor Lim stated that the city of Manila is mandated to maintain and provide for tourism facilities and other tourist attractions under Republic Act 7160.

“The Filipino-Chinese Friendship Arch, which is known to be one of the tourist attractions in the City of Manila, for being the tallest and biggest arch in the world, is located at the entrance of Chinatown in Binondo, Manila… the FCYBAI, recognizing the glory and pride it brings to the city and the Filipino-Chinese community wishes to maintain, preserve and further beautify the symbolic arch all on its account,” Lim added.

The Filipino-Chinese Friendship Arch was erected in 2015 at a time when Philippine-China relations were being strained by claims of ownership of the South China sea or the West Philippine Sea.

“The bridge was built when our country’s relations with China was at its worst, as a way of showing that the friendship between the two countries remains steadfast and that mutual respect will always be there,” Ang said. A

Ang added that the MOU came as a commemoration of the Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day which was celebrated last June 9 since former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo designated the said date for the said purpose in a proclamation order.

The Filipino-Chinese Friendship Arch, Ang said, will serve as a symbol and testament of the Philippines-China relations that dates back to over 2,000 years already.

By the way, the new arch will be lighted up with 800 bulbs and will cost at least a couple of millions. The lights to be installed, I was told, will last for at least three to five years.

The Chinese business group would like to prove to one and all that there is no basis to the common perception that all things made in China are of inferior quality, not durable or do not last for very long.

(Joke from Connie Pedroso of Bataan)

PEDRO: Miss, pabili nga ng bolpen.

SALESGIRL: Sorry po Sir, wala po kaming bolpen
(Inis na lumabas si Pedro sa tindahan) PEDRO: My gosh! Penshoppe, walang bolpen?!? Haler!

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