Last month, Xavier School Nuvali students celebrated The Mid-Autumn Festival, which is also known as the Mooncake Festival. Many grade 7 students, all of whom are new to XSN, have never heard of this before and have never played the popular dice game associated with this festival.
Leanne Celis of Gr. 7A – St. Pedro Calungsod had this to say of her experience:
Here in XSN we all celebrated The Moon Cake Festival. It is the time of the year that the moon is at it’s brightest. It is also known as Mid-Autumn Festival. On the day before we all celebrated the festival, our class got to know what the Moon Cake Festival is all about. We learned about the different versions of the legend of the moon cake. Our Chinese teacher also showed us the different types of moon cakes and then she announced that there will be a game the next day.
In our Chinese period the next day we all arranged the tables into one big one and gathered around it. The game had simple mechanics: throw the dice and wait. We all were obviously very excited and happy. After that period we all were happily eating the Hopias that we won from the game. It was the first time that we played this game and we are definitely excited for next year.
Some students, like Terence Ng of Gr. 7B – St. Anna Wang, who is also a former XSSJ student, had previous experience with the festival and the dice game. When asked about how he felt about playing the game with new classmates, Terence said,
“Honestly, I felt right at home. Like I didn’t even move to Xavier School Nuvali. Everyone was excited in winning the grand prize, which was a huge hopia that can probably feed an entire family. As always, the person who won the grand prize was always being asked by the other classmates for some even if the winner won’t give any away. One change is that most of my classmates call the hopia ‘mooncake,’ and I understand why because it’s called the ‘Mooncake Fastival.’ People say it’s another way to call it “mooncake” or that “mooncake” is another name for the hopia, but I didn’t think for the 6-7 years of my Chinese life that hopia is the same as mooncake.
Most of my classmates probably have never done the dice game, and I bet that they were pretty excited about it. I never knew the rules of the dice game except that you need to roll six dice, and if you get four fours, you win the game and get the grand prize. I got the third prize and of course, some people asked me if I can give some but no. I felt that my classmates already knew how to play because of the sheer luck that they got from rolling the dice around.”
The faculty and staff had their own dice game a few days after the students had theirs, and it was as fun can be expected. Shrieks of delight or groans of disappointment could be heard with every roll of the dice. In the end, the winners walked away with their giant hopias and the hope of luck in their way.
Despite being a Chinese-Filipino school, the Chinese-Filipino community is actually currently the minority population. However, this did not stop the rest of the community from enjoying a Chinese culture game, and, as Leanne said, everyone is excited for the next year.