ANGELES CITY: Jessa Leigh Bugarin of the Confucius Institute at Angeles University Foundation (CI-AUF) emerged best among 15 Filipino college students who competed in the 19th Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students in the Philippines held on Saturday here.
The event, sponsored by the Chinese Embassy and organized by the Confucius Institute at Angeles University Foundation was held virtually for the first time because of continuous threat from the coronavirus pandemic.
The participants were given the opportunity to showcase their Chinese language skills and Chinese cultural talents in the competition’s four parts — Quiz Bee Round, Impromptu Speech Round, Talent Round and Freestyle Final Message.
Fourteen judges, which included representatives from the Chinese Embassy, media, academe, business sector and the Filipino-Chinese community voted unanimously for Bugarin (Chinese name: Bi Yuechen) to be this year’s overall champion, and her coach, Su Juan, as the outstanding coach.
“Chinese Bridge served as a platform of showcasing my talent,” Bugarin said, adding that she is hopeful in using the Chinese language in the future to communicate with more people who love China.
During the opening ceremony, Ambassador Huang Xilian of the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines said this year’s Chinese Bridge competition was held in the context of the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the Philippines, which according to him, is of extraordinary significance.
China and the Philippines, according to the ambassador, are closely related by blood and people, and are neighboring countries with thousands of years of friendly exchanges.
He said during the pandemic, both China and the Philippines had watched each other and helped each other, continuously introducing new meaning into the partnership between these two countries.
“I hope that all Filipinos who are interested in learning Chinese can take the Chinese language as a bridge to better understand China and strive to promote the friendship between the two countries,” the ambassador added.
AUF President Joseph Angeles said the Chinese Bridge competition was a fruit of the combined efforts of the Chinese Embassy and the Confucius Institutes in the promotion of the Chinese language and culture in the mainstream society of the Philippines.
“I am hopeful that our combined efforts will aid in ensuring that our countries reap greater benefits from our long bilateral relations,” he added.