PGIN, Chinese Consulate open ‘Friendship Park’

VIGAN CITY — A “Chinese Garden,” dedicated to the Ilokano and Chinese community in the province of Ilocos Norte, and commemorating the longstanding alliance, friendship, and cooperation displayed by the province and the People’s Republic of China, was opened on March 10, 2021 at the Malacañang of the North in Paoay, Ilocos Norte.

The opening was attended by Gov Matthew Marcos Manotoc and Vice Gov Cecilia Araneta-Marcos, and the Consulate of the People’s Republic of China in Laoag represented by Consul Zhou Youbin.

Other attendees included several top Chinese officials, national and regional tourism officials, provincial board members, the Ilokano-Chinese community, and guests from the media.

Since 2002, Ilocos Norte has shared sisterhood ties with the Province of Shandong, China. It has welcomed overseas delegates from different committees for fora, discussions, partnerships, and agreements towards strengthening common sectors of the two sister provinces.

“This garden is a gift to the people of Ilocos Norte and to celebrate the 46th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between our two countries.

During the pandemic and in time of difficulties, China and the Philippines have continued to help and support each other, further strengthening the friendship among our people,” remarked
Consul Zhou.

The Chinese Garden has a towering pagoda overlooking the Paoay Lake National Park. It also has a gazebo, several cottages, a tea house, an infinity stream, small bridges, and flowing water. Chinese bamboo and fire trees also line the garden. The project was funded entirely by the Chinese Consulate in Laoag.

“I can attest to your strong and undying, perhaps excessive, support of Ilocos Norte. We are very grateful. Whenever there is a typhoon, whenever there is a crisis, you are the first to respond very generously,” Gov. Marcos Manotoc said.

“We will, in more ways than one, in however we can, always support the consulate and the PRC for we know, they have been our friends. Rest assured that so long as I am governor of Ilocos Norte, I will make sure that the consulate is taken care of and I will do everything in my capacity to bolster the consulate and the Filipino-Chinese relations.

“I thank you for this wonderful site that not only enhances the Malacañang but can stand by itself as a destination— one that is ideal in this time of COVID-19,” Manotoc ended. (with reports from PGIN-CMO)