MANILA -- The Chinese capital Beijing attracts overseas Chinese with its irresistible charm as both an ancient oriental city and a modern metropolitan, a well-known publisher in the Filipino-Chinese community has said.
After three decades of development, Beijing has emerged as a political, economic and cultural hub in China, Florencio Mallare said in a recent interview with Xinhua.
"I think Beijing is the most livable place in the world. While its urban development is truly remarkable, the restoration and preservation of ancient Chinese culture worth more applause," said Mallare, president of the World News, the largest Chinese-language newspaper in the Philippines.
Modern cities have appeared all over China since the reforms and opening-up, but highways, skyscrapers, and shopping malls did not bulldoze the ancient culture of China.
"The cultural life of Beijing is second to none among all major cities in the world," Mallare said as he shared with this Xinhua reporter the memories of his recent trips to Beijing.
Mallare, 76, was born and grew up in a Chinese family in Quezon province in northeastern Philippines.
He became a newsboy of a major Philippine Chinese-language newspaper during World War II when he was 10. Mallare co-founded the World News in 1981 and has nurtured it into the best Chinese newspaper in the Philippines in terms of circulation and professionalism.
Mallare said Beijing is a city that needs to be appreciated bit by bit with a caring heart.
He said he enjoyed melting in the daily life of the locals, hearing them playing traditional music and watching them practicing Taiji, or shadow boxing.
Beijing has the convenience of a modern metropolitan and unique richness of cultural elements, Mallare said.
"The cultural elements have been preserved so well that they take roots and grow in every corner of the city."
The publisher said after returning to the Philippines he had, for many times, shared his memories in Beijing with friends and relatives and had encouraged more Filipino-Chinese to visit Beijing to taste what he had experienced and marveled.
He is planning to run a story of his Beijing visit and a review of Tea House in his newspaper.
"It is the feeling of returning home, to all us overseas Chinese," Mallare said, adding that he and his family loved Beijing so much that they would probably go to the city next April for a long vocation.