The annual Hong Kong Chinese New Year Parade was held on the 26th of January 2009 at Tsim Sha Tsui. Sponsored by Cathay Pacific, the spectacle was dubbed as the “World’s Happiest Party.”There were local floats and performers but there were foreign participants as well. I saw representatives from Macau, mainland China, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, the United States, Russia, Latin America and even Africa! However, I was disappointed not to see one from the Philippines. I thought, since the Philippines is in the proximity of Hong Kong, someone from the Department of Tourism (DOT) or the Philippine Consulate would have thought of joining this internationally renowned parade. I bet it’s a good way to promote our country since tourists from all over the world, like the sweet Italian couple to my left, the pretty South Korean ladies to my right, the hyperactive German kids on my front, and the elderly Swiss tour group behind me, witness this parade every year. It is also a chance to somehow change the sterotypical domestic helper image of the Filipino in Hong Kong—not that there is something wrong about being a DH, but not all Filipinos who go here are domestic helpers.
I don’t know the politics and bureaucracy involved in enlisting for this parade and I am not sure if the Philippines has sent representatives in the past but we sure are passing a good opportunity by not ‘partying at the World’s Happiest’.
Here are some of the pictures I took during the parade.