Tikoy selling like hotcakes: Lunar New Year boosts sales of Chinese traders
Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman) - February 19, 2015 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Traditional Chinese delicacies such as tikoy and moachi have been selling out fast in local stores as the Filipino-Chinese community celebrates the Lunar New Year today.

The Chinese New Year, the most important traditional holiday in China, has long been observed in the Philippines, thanks to the centuries-old Chinese influence on Filipinos. Among other festive events that happen during the celebration, it also means business.

Philippine Retailers Association-Cebu President Robert Go said local businesses experience a sales boom during this celebration, although not that big compared to Christmas.

"[The sales boost is well very concentrated] to businesses in the downtown area such as bakeshops, hopia stores and even Chinese restaurants," Go told The FREEMAN in an interview yesterday. He is chief executive of Cebu-based Prince Retail Group.

"It's really a celebration among traditional Chinese," he said. "And I expect Chinese restaurants will be full."

While there is not much gift-giving during Chinese New Year, Go cited tikoy (a traditional sticky rice cake known as nian gao to the Chinese) as a significant symbol for the celebration. 

"It becomes a Filipino trait of eating tikoy; it's no longer just Chinese eating tikoy," he said.

Lorenzo Sy, factory in-charge at Cebu La Fortuna Bakery Inc, said sales of their tikoy and moachi (locally known as macie) has been increasing every year as both Filipinos and Chinese patronize such goods.

"These two are the most in-demand. Tikoy symbolizes for closer family ties," Sy said in Cebuano.

He said La Fortuna, known for selling Chinese goods produce around 100,000 pieces of tikoy ahead of the holiday to meet the high demand.

Moachi which symbolizes good luck also sells goods. Other best-sellers also include huat kee (sweet potato cake), red ampao (rice crispies), chubiko (rice cake with mongo) and fortune cookies.

He added the local bakery also supplies these traditional foods to grocery stores and malls. 

Roldan Supatan, selling area head of city-based Colonnade Supermarket, observed many were buying tikoy and macie yesterday. "But it is safe to say that tikoy during Filipino New Year was selling like hotcakes compared for this Chinese New Year," he said.

Rowena Tangoan, supermarket manager at Metro Gaisano, said sales for tikoy in their store has not been "too big".

PRA's Go also said Chinese lanterns and feng shui items also sell during this time.

Although the Chinese community in Cebu is not as big as that in Manila, the retail official said the Chinese market in Cebu is well significant.

Chinese immigrants and Filipino-Chinese families are increasing here, he said.

"The immigrants who are in downtown are probably the ones who celebrate. And the significant thing is that the whole downtown is mostly run by Chinese businesses," he shared.

Over time, Go said Filipinos have learned to embrace Chinese tradition to the point of buying Chinese products.

The Filipino-Chinese community in the Philippines has been growing and, in fact, many Chinese have already settled in the country. (FREEMAN)

 

ALTHOUGH THE CHINESE CEBU CEBU LA FORTUNA BAKERY INC CHINESE CHINESE NEW YEAR COLONNADE SUPERMARKET FILIPINO NEW YEAR FILIPINO-CHINESE FILIPINOS AND CHINESE TIKOY
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