Cebuanos had the opportunity to experience and enjoy the distinctive charm of Beijing Opera, with esteemed artists from China’s Zhejiang Peking Opera and Kunqu Opera Art Center performing some of the most classic opera repertoires at Centerstage, SM Seaside last October 26.
The Cebu Event of the Chinese Cultural Courier @ the Philippines was a moment of a lifetime made possible through the collaboration of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of the Philippines, the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Cebu, the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism of China, and the United Community of Cebu Filipino-Chinese Associations.
Friends from all walks of life, the Chinese community in Cebu and the Visayas region were treated to a form of art rarely seen in Cebu. The opera is considered by many to be the most complete art form. The Beijing Opera, in particular, is one of China’s great art forms and a modern-day cultural tradition. It represents the finest combination of literature, music, dance, martial arts, fine arts, acrobatics and many other forms of art.
In a video message, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian said that as a brand name for people-to-people exchanges, the Chinese Cultural Courier @ the Philippines has attracted widespread attention from both countries with its themed cultural activities and opened another window for the Filipinos to better understand Chinese culture and modern China.
Consul General Zhang Zhen, for her part, emphasized that China and the Philippines are close neighbors. They have a long-standing relationship of kinship and friendship.
“Through people-to-people contacts and cultural exchanges, we have learned to understand each other, to respect each other and to live together in harmony,” she said.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said the relationship between China and Cebu dates back beyond 1521 (arrival of Magellan in Cebu). He reiterated that Cebu City and the entire Cebu Province are one big China town, a testament to the two governments’ strong and long-standing ties.
Li Jiaxing, representing the United Community of Cebu-Filipino Chinese Associations, expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to offer a preview of Chinese culture with the Cebu audience through the Peking Opera and the Cebu Event of the Chinese Cultural Courier @ the Philippines.
The Zheijiang Peking Opera and Kunqu Opera Art Center gave the audience a glimpse of China’s traditional and classical opera. Heavenly Maiden Scattering Flowers, Sanchakou (a pantomime), Slow Voices, Farewell My Concubine/Deep Night (sword dance), Sizhou City (martial arts drama), The Matchmaker (Peking Opera classic), Wu Jia Slope (a popular opera song), Peony Pavillion, Ode to the Pear Blossom, and Monkey King were among the Chinese traditional and classical operas performed. The audience greeted the performers with enthusiastic applause and admiration.
Consul General Zhang Zhen described the entire performance as a festival of colors, music, dance, literature, fine arts, martial arts, acrobatics, and, most significantly, the Chinese and Filipinos’ shared ideals and goals.
Maintaining the “people-oriented” philosophy, China’s Consulate General in Cebu is devoted to promoting friendship and cooperation with local partners in order to offer concrete advantages to the local people, according to Consul General Zhang.
The Chinese Embassy in Manila launched the cultural show in 2022, and it has since hosted 8 events showcasing cultural performances from all throughout China and the Philippines. The event was hosted outside of Manila for the first time.