2021-02-10 10:42:39 –
Manila, Philippines — The noisy dragon dance show has been banned in Manila’s Chinatown due to a pandemic, abandoning the Chinese New Year tradition that many believe will help drive away misery.
The Philippine government’s ban on large-scale rallies and street parties to fight the coronavirus has hit hundreds of dragon dancers and production crews struggling to find other sources of income.
“There would have been a lot of people trying to get rid of misery and bad luck, but this year’s street dance show was banned,” said the Philippine slum, which manages one of several dragon dance groups in Chinatown. Said Terry Sikat, who lives in the city. ..
“If I had 100% enjoyment in the past, I only feel 30% this time. It’s really depressing,” said a 31-year-old wife whose wife is pregnant with her fourth child.
The absence of dragon dance is a clear sign for many Manila residents that a pandemic crisis that has closed most of Manila’s economy and locked millions of Filipinos home has spilled over this year. .. But Sikat, his brothers, and their families are fighting to maintain Chinese traditions and their livelihoods.
After a ban on dragon dancing by the mayor of Manila, Sikat and his family instead used styrofoam, paint, and other materials that make dragon costumes to decorate miniature Chinese-style lion heads. I made. Colorful items are a hit online and fill homes along small streams with hope and joy. So far, about 200 have been sold, each priced at 1,500 pesos ($ 30), he said.
Other members of his dragon dance group, which employs about 50 dancers, have launched an online food business or are working as motorcycle food deliverymen to achieve their goals, Sicat said. It was.
Sicat’s profits from the decorative lion’s head are only a small part of the income generated by past dragon dance shows. During the busy Chinese New Year season of the last few years, the Chinatown office has paid pesos ($ 720) for a dragon and lion dance session accompanied by drummers and merrymakers for good luck.
Despite the dire economic conditions in one of Southeast Asia’s hardest-hit countries, Sicat remains optimistic. He said he was looking forward to hearing the drums again as the hope-stimulating dragon dance revived.
“There is no Chinese New Year, but we are all healthy. We can survive this pandemic,” said Sicat.
The Philippines has reported more than 540,000 COVID-19 cases, the second highest in Southeast Asia after Indonesia, with 11,296 deaths. We are in talks with seven Western and Asian pharmaceutical companies to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and the first batch will arrive next week.
About 70 million Filipinos will be vaccinated in hopes of helping Manila’s devastated economy recover.
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