My Google Page Rank

Palace spokesperson is Manila’s face in China TV’s worldwide feature of “Spring Festival”


Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, born a Tiger in Chinese astrology, will be the face and voice of the Filipino people when Beijing’s China Central Television (CCTV) presents its international feature on how the Chinese New Year or “Spring Festival” is celebrated worldwide in the year of the Dragon on January 23.

Lacierda was interviewed at his office in Malacanang last week by the bureau chief of the CCTV in the Philippines, Ms. Lulu Wang, who had set up its operations here a year ago with chief producer/cameraman and husband, Zhang Chen.

In the Philippines, this year’s celebrations of the Chinese New Year is special in that for the first time it will be a “non-working holiday,” as mandated in Presidential Proclamation 295 signed by President Benigno Simeon Aquino III.

Lacierda would not say, however, what role he possibly played in shaping the decision to declare the Chinese New Year a legal holiday, which was first announced just weeks after Aquino’s State Visit to China in September last year.

Lacierda, 50 years old this year, is a second-generation Filipino-Chinese whose father migrated to the Philippines at age 11 from the Chinese southern port province of Fujian (capital city: Xiamen). He said he has been studying Chinese at grade school.

(Not even Aquino’s predecessor, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who pursued Manila-Beijing relations in the purview of a “golden friendship,” did not come out with such a holiday during her nine-year presidency.)

In the interview, which will be among those to be broadcast out of CCTV’s main headquarters in Beijing, Lacierda ends his segment by greeting viewers both in China and abroad with the Mandarin equivalent of “Happy New Year and May You Earn More Money.” Even if CCTV has a media exchange program with the governmental People’s Television 4 (PTV4), it is not clear if the feature would be seen in the Philippines.

Surprisingly, though, despite his being used to the limelight and before a TV camera practically every day, Lacierda fidgeted about speaking in Mandarin to a world audience. His lingua franca at work is English, which he handles with much ease. And so he practiced his Mandarin lines a few times before going on-camera with CCTV.

That Lacierda has a working knowledge of “putonghua” (spoken standard Chinese or Mandarin) was not generally known to the public until he sat in at an interview of President Aquino by Manila-based Chinese journalists just before the Chief Executive went to China.

As Aquino’s spokesperson in China, Lacierda thought it wise to brush up on his Mandarin. He enrolled in a one-one-one conversation class at the Confucius Institute at the H. V. dela Costa campus of the Ateneo de Manila University. His teacher at Confucius vouches for his facility with the language.

The Ateneo law graduate and former university professor is possibly the only one in the inner circle of President Benigno C. Aquino III who speaks and writes Chinese, and he would also refer to International Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares and politician Jocelyn Limkaichong as other “Tsinoys” (Filipinos of Chinese ancestry) in government service who could make the Filipino community in the Philippines proud of their origin. Of course, there is Lacierda’s principal, President Aquino, who’s ancestral ties with China is well-documented.

Wang was at the Aquino interview and chancing on Lacierda conversed with him briefly. Wang later told friends that she was impressed by the Palace man’s “quite fluent” Mandarin. “He was so good,” she expressed. Thus, it was easy for CCTV to decide on getting Lacierda to represent the Philippines for the “spring” feature.

Proclamation 295 described the Chinese New Year -- which is a movable date -- as “one of the most revered and festive events celebrated not only in China but also in the Philippines by both Chinese Filipinos and ordinary Filipinos as well.”
”The joint celebration is a manifestation of our solidarity with our Chinese Filipino brethren who have been part of our lives in many respects as a country and as a people,” it said.

Commenting on the the Proclamation, Lacierda told Wang that ”personally, I am pleased that it has been declared a special holiday, and hopefully it will go on for a long time.”

It is said that every Filipino has some Chinese blood in him, said Lacierda, noting that though this may be anecdotal, the fact remains that the Philippines is one country “that has a tolerant attitude toward Chinese people...and precisely our histories show that we have common concerns.”

He did not elucidate, simply mentioned the Western Philippine Sea in passing, but pointed out that the Philippines will sorely miss Beijing’s latest ambassador to Manila, Liu Jianchao, “as one of the most-loved ambassadors” Manila ever had -- “a good diplomat” and a “good communicator.”

Liu left the Philippines quietly in December, after being conferred the “Order of Sikatuna” by Aquino. Along with Lacierda, Liu was a prominent face on Philippine TV when Aquino visited China

Filipinos of Chinese ancestry compose the largest ethnic group in the Philippines. Their communities all over the country is considered “a strong and stable presence,” contributing to the enhancement of Filipino culture and bringing pride to society because of their many high-level successes in all fields including business, fashion, banking, entrepreneurship and retailing.

The Chinese Spring Festival is a time for family reunions and delicious feasts, thus fostering a strong sense of family and loyalty. Among the many visitors expected in the Philippines during the Spring Festival are mainland Chinese with relatives here, mostly residing in famous Chinatowns and districts such as Binondo and Greenhills.

Common Chinese greetings in the New Year include “gong xi fat cai,” and “xin nian kuai le” (both wishes for prosperity and happiness). Children prefer “gong xi fa cái, hóng bao ná lái" or "Happy New Year, now give me a red envelope.”) Red envelopes signify money, and, indeed, cash goes with the envelope.

Nowadays, even non-Chinese events where gift-giving is part of the ritual, such “hong ba” or red envelopes are used.
And when the interview indeed, off-camera, Lacierda did his turn with Wang and Zhang, who happen to be a married couple, and asked: “Don’t you plan to have children?”

Wang responded: “Since we are both the only child of our parents, we can have two children.”
A quick but relevant lesson in Chinese family system.

By Gloria Jane Baylon

Related news items:
Newer news items:
Older news items:

Add comment

Security code


15 Oct 2017 Hits:92 Be the first to comment!

Del Octubre 6, 2017 ya hace el opening del La Hermosa Invitational Volleyball Tournament na Zamboanga Trade School . Este el primer torneo de volleyball ya hace na Ciudad de Zamboanga na esfuerzo di Allan Escudero , Presidente del ZCVA Zamboanga City Volleyball Association .Personalmente ya anda si Allan na 5 Ciudad y provincia para invita con el maga participantes /teams bene na Zamboanga para con el competicion .Ya hace el competicion del Men Volleyball na Trade School y Women Volleyball na Sta Maria Central School . Closing y awarding ya hace na Sta Maria Central School . Si Allan tambien el ya hace el manera para na preparacion del torneo y el fellowship . Ya queda este posible na [...] Read more

Prev Next Page:


14 Oct 2017 Hits:71 Be the first to comment!

Oct. 7-8 2017 UZ IHK Campus,  Veterans , Zamboanga City GIRLS/WOMEN 12 yrs old & below 1ST PLACE  - RAMOS, ROSE JEAN        Mampang WC 2ND PLACE - HIPOLITO, JEANETH      [...] Read more


08 Oct 2017 Hits:143 Be the first to comment!

Este si Abdulbasir Yasin Tamsilani, 50 años de edad , 5’11” el altor, residente de Campo Islam , Ciudad de Zamboanga. Su tata si Hji Tamsilani Mahamud . Su esposa [...] Read more


07 Oct 2017 Hits:127 Be the first to comment!

Este si Mark Salcedo Capuy, su palayao “Duduy”, 29 años de edad, 6 ft el altor, residente de Luyahan , Ciudad de Zamboanga . Su mayores si Almario Alejandro Capuy [...] Read more


01 Oct 2017 Hits:217 Be the first to comment!

Este el Resulta del  Private Schools of Zamboanga City Athletic Association (PSZCAA) swimming competition del September 9, 2017. El maga ganador del competition ay representa con el  PSZCAA na Triangular [...] Read more

DOST, NAST call for 2018 award nominations

30 Sep 2017 Hits:147 Be the first to comment!

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and The National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) are actively searching for possible nominees for various DOST and NAST awards. NAST, the highest [...] Read more

WMSU researches intensify promotion of rubber production in Zambo Peninsula

29 Sep 2017 Hits:213 Be the first to comment!

The region’s economic growth created greater capacity for consumption for different sections of the population. This has stimulated the demand for various products especially agricultural products, thus, generating the need [...] Read more


29 Sep 2017 Hits:179 Be the first to comment!

Este el istoria del persona que ya contribui su talento y tiempo para na maga swimmers de Zamboanga . Este si Rene Sta Teresa, head coach de Aqua Force , [...] Read more

Religious leaders renew call for peace education amid Marawi crisis

28 Sep 2017 Hits:296 Be the first to comment!

Filipino Religious leaders who attended the annual peace gathering in Rome, have vowed to advance the spread of peace education in all educational institutions to reach a common understanding and [...] Read more


28 Sep 2017 Hits:167 Be the first to comment!

Este el nuevo officers del ZCASA (Zamboanga City Amateur swimming Association) del September 15, 2017, President- Rustum Villanueva, Vice President- Dr. Omar Aranan jr, Secretary- Sherry Pengson, Treasurer- Kharen Bandolis [...] Read more

1,300 personnel to secure Zamboanga Hermosa Festival

27 Sep 2017 Hits:193 Be the first to comment!

Roughly around 1,300 security personnel are expected to be deployed all over Zamboanga City for the celebration of the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival in October. Acting City Police Director, PSSupt. Neri Vincent [...] Read more


27 Sep 2017 Hits:163 Be the first to comment!

Este istoria ya revela canaton el coach Ednie Morones del dos teams que ya gana na torneo reciente lang ,el varsity team del Baby Bulldogs ya gana na torneo del [...] Read more


25 Sep 2017 Hits:196 Be the first to comment!

Este si Jowie J. Natak , 44 años de edad , 5’ 9 el altor , anak di Nasal Natak y Remedios Jamie Natak que ta esta na Malayal Sibuco [...] Read more


24 Sep 2017 Hits:162 Be the first to comment!

Este el istoria porcaosa del nuevo posicion que ya dale con Rev. Fr. Jonathan Duka y Omar Bowon, el dos cabesa pensante, que ya delega canila cuando ya atende sila [...] Read more


22 Sep 2017 Hits:159 Be the first to comment!

Este clase de desportes el Motor Sports – Autocross /Drifting                               El presidente del organizacion si [...] Read more

Mini-grocery loses P.5M to robbers

20 Sep 2017 Hits:204 Be the first to comment!

The Sta. Maria Police (Police Station 7) is now conducting a deeper probe on the robbery of a mini-grocery in Barangay Tumaga, this city, where the sum of P500,000 was [...] Read more

Three hurt including a minor in vehicular incident

20 Sep 2017 Hits:213 Be the first to comment!

Three persons including a minor were injured after they were hit by a motorcycle along MCLL Highway, Barangay Quiniput, this city, last Saturday. Police identified the injured victims as Floribel Perez [...] Read more


20 Sep 2017 Hits:167 Be the first to comment!

Este si Flora May S. Ceno, ta llama conele Flora , 20 años de edad, residente de Poblacion, Lakewood Zamboanga Del Sur . Su mayores si Rolando M. Ceno y [...] Read more


17 Sep 2017 Hits:181 Be the first to comment!

Este si Ghen Yhan Cabayaruz Berdon , su palayao “yan Yan”, 15 años de edad 5’4” el altor, anak di Agbayani D. Berdon y Genalyn Cabayacruz Berdon , hermano  si [...] Read more