Ahead of Chinese New Year, Covid hits tikoy, lucky charms sales in Binondo
MANILA, Philippines — With the lockdown restrictions, Gerik Chua of Eng Bee Tin said a “sadder” Chinese New Year will be expected in the streets of Binondo, Manila.
In an interview with the Inquirer, Chua said the Manila town is usually jam packed with Chinese New Year celebrants waiting for lion or dragon dances, parades and other festivities before the pandemic.
But since mass gathering is prohibited, Chua said fewer people meant fewer customers for vendors of lucky charms and tikoy, a Chinese sweet cake.
“Medyo malungkot konti ang tao. Ang nagpapasaya sa tao siksikan e. […] Nung wala pang pandemic, wala pang pinagbabawal, dati every hour may lion dances sa Ongpin pero dahil pandemic pinagpaliban muna nito,” said Chua.
(It’s a bit sad because there’s fewer people. Crowds what make people happy. Before the pandemic, when there were no restrictions, every hour, there are lion dances on Ongpin but because there’s a pandemic we canceled it.)
“In general kahit papaano talagang may decrease sa quantity na binebenta ngyaon. Kapag sinabi mong bisperas ng Chinese New Year, napakadaming tao dito. Punong-puno. Pero ngayon pwede ka pa maglaro ng patintero sa gitna ng kalsada,” he further pointed out.
(In general, there is a decrease in the quantity of our items we sell, when you say the day before Chinese New Year, there are lots of people. But now you can even have a hopscotch game in the street.)
Eng Bee Tin is a popular store selling hopia or moon cake and tikoy with a variety of flavors.
A day before the Chinese New Year, vendors selling lucky charms at the oldest Chinatown said they were also not lucky with their sales because of the pandemic.
“Matumal ngayon kasi walang gaanong tao,” the vendor said. (There are fewer people so our sales went down.)
The Manila government banned Chinese New Year festivities and imposed a liquor ban in Chinatown from Feb. 11 to Feb. 12 this year to prevent the chain of Covid-19 transmission among its residents.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.