Have you heard that song by Sting? “I'm an alien, I'm a legal alien. I’m an Englishman in New York.” Yes that song you are humming right now. That was totally the feeling I got when I was invited to welcome the Year of the Rooster at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Lahug. So in my case, that would be “I’m an alien, I’m a legal alien. I’m a Filipino man in China…” Hahaha

Before the event, I did not set any expectations as this was the first time I am celebrating Chinese New Year. But I told myself to enjoy the event, to pretend to be Chinese for a night (even though I got big eyes and dark skin), and to observe how our Chinese brothers welcome the New Year. Of course I had to wear red. That was the closest I can get to playing Chinese for a night. Hahaha After all, red is a lucky color for the Chinese. Anyway, everybody was all smiles greeting each other “Kung Hei Fat Choi!” or “Gong Xi Fa Cai!” We were also greeted with traditional Chinese performances, a Wu Shu exhibition, and everybody’s favorite the Dragon Dance. There was also a huge wak of Pancit prepared by Chef Linda Hou, the Executive Chef of Waterfront Hotel and Casino that was shared amongst the guests. 


After the program, we had dinner at Cafe Uno - Waterfront’s in-house restaurant. We thoroughly enjoyed the food, shared jokes and caught up with other bloggers. After a sumptuous dinner, we headed out the hotel and waited for the fireworks display by Pyroworks. Everyone was in awe as we took pictures and videos of the colorful lights in the night sky. It was the perfect start of the Year of the Rooster and the perfect culmination of my first ever celebration of Chinese New Year. Now was I really an alien that night? Hmmmmm I didn’t think so. I realized that there was nothing different from how Filipinos and Chinese celebrate New Year. We both celebrate it with family and friends over great food and human connection. Irregardless of race, New Year is New Year! And our Chinese brothers and Waterfront Hotel and Casino definitely know how to celebrate it with a bang!  Kung Hei Fat Choi! I wish everybody a prosperous new year and a life that is full of hope and happiness.