FFCCCII nominates Chan for National Artist
Music icon and top sugar businessman Jose Mari L. Chan was awarded the “FFCCCII Lifetime Achievement Award” on Dec. 14 at Pandesal Forum of Kamuning Bakery Cafe in Quezon City.
Awarded by the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII)—with special guests China Ambassador Huang Xilian and Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama—the FFCCCII was led by President Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong, Vice-President Cecilio Pedro, Vice-President & Adviser of FFCCCII Public Information Committee Jeffrey Ng, and FFCCCII Public Information Committee Chairman Wilson Lee Flores.
Ambassador Huang was accompanied by China Embassy diplomats led by Counsellor Ji Lingpeng. Also present at the awarding were Association for Philippines China Understanding (APCU) Executive Vice-President Peter Laviña, FFCCCII Public Information Committee vice-chairmen Dr. Lily Lim, Wanzen David and Calixto Sy.
The FFCCCII Lifetime Award for singer-songwriter Jose Mari Chan was given in the form of a big Plaque of Honor and a special Medallion. Dr.
Lim also announced that the FFCCCII had officially written a letter to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) to endorse and nominate Jose Mari Chan as National Artist due to his rich contribution to Philippine arts and culture.
Ambassador Huang Xilian thanked Jose Mari Chan for performing in the June 9 Philippines China Friendship Day celebration hosted by the FFCCCII and for supporting better bilateral friendship and cooperation. Ambassador Huang said he likes to sing Jose Mari Chan’s holiday song “Christmas in our Hearts.”
Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama said he and Cebuanos admire Jose Mari Chan. They support better relations between the Philippines and China (adding that Cebu City has been sister city of progressive Xiamen City in south China for 25 years already) and they thank the socio-civic advocacies of the FFCCCII.
Mayor Rama invited Jose Mari Chan, Ambassador Huang XiLian and FFCCCII to visit Cebu during their annual Sinulog festival on Jan. 15, 2023. Mayor Mile Rama also sang a song at the Pandesal Forum.
A special surprise of this Pandesal Forum was the Barangay Kamuning Senior Citizens choir singing three Christmas songs for the “Father of Filipino Christmas music,” Jose Mari Chan.
Aside from singing several of his original compositions and answering media questions at the Pandesal Forum, Jose Mari Chan thanked the FFCCCII for giving him the FFCCCII Lifetime Achivement Award, expressing gratitude to China Ambassador Huang Xilian and Cebu City Mayor Mke Rama.
Chan said that music is a gift from God. He added that he owes his wife and family for their support for his half-century music career, and he also paid tribute to his late father the self-made sugar business leader Antonio Chan who had migrated at age 13 from Fujian province to Iloilo.
He noted that the secret of maintaining his singing voice is no smoking and no vaping, and daily exercise of walking to keep fit. Chan also said that love of singing is one way to keep young and that he has no plans to retire from what he loves to do.