The last Araw ng Maynila was an occasion to formally inaugurate the new Manila Chinatown arch located in Plaza Moraga at the foot of Jones Bridge in Binondo, Manila. It is said to be the world’s largest Chinatown arch at 63.8 feet high and 74 feet wide (1.62 meters high and 1.88 meters wide if you prefer the metric system) and was installed as part of an effort for tourism and the revitalization of Chinatown and the city in general, which has been the cornerstone of the administration of former president turned city mayor Joseph Estrada.
Nevertheless, not everyone is thrilled to have it, even the Filipino-Chinese community in the city, mainly because of the inscription in the arch. The Chinese characters on the arch are rendered in Pinyin as “zhong guo zheng“, meaning literally “China Town.” Take note, China Town and not Chinatown, so this part of Manila is being implied in this inscription as an outpost of China. And we all know how cordial the relations are right now between the Philippines and China. Continue reading