Known as the “Mayor of Xiamen” Jose Noel Halili Antivola, better known as Bong Ants shares his experience of living in Xiamen and China at large!
Jose Noel Halili Antivola（被称为“厦门市长”和 Bong Ants）分享了他在厦门及整个中国的生活经历！
Name : Jose Noel Halili Antivola(otherwise known as Bong Ants)
姓名：Jose Noel Halili Antivola（也被称为Bong Ants）
Country of Origin : Republic of the Philippines
Occupation : Creator of B.A.D. Lab for Landy International
Years in China : 14 years, 5 months and 24 days
在华居住时间：14 年 5 个月 24 天
How did your journey in China begin?
On November 9th 2006, I met two Americans in Manila, Philippines named Stevens Vaughn and Rodney Cone. They were on vacation that time and were looking for a personal assistant for Stevens. I was then working as Executive Assistant to the President at Folded and Hung. When they offered me the job at Golden Bears Design Studio, I accepted it and came to Xiamen on December 2, 2006… and the rest is history.
2006 年 11 月 9 日，我在菲律宾马尼拉遇到了两位美国人，分别是史蒂文斯·沃恩（Stevens Vaughn）和罗德尼·科恩（Rodney Cone）。他们当时正在度假，并且想为史蒂文斯寻找一位私人助理。那时我担任Folded and Hung总裁的行政助理。我接受了他们给我的金熊设计工作室的工作机会，并于 2006 年 12 月 2 日来到厦门……之后开始了我的中国之旅。
What do you like most about your city and China as a whole?
Xiamen is my Paradise – my place of contentment and fulfillment. The weather is similar to that of the Philippines though a bit colder in winter. The people are welcoming and the community is generally helpful to each other. I also love getting involved with various art projects at the Nordic Contemporary Art Center and Xiatenwei Wetland Park. And last but not the least… PARTIES!
What fascinated you the most about living in China?
The most fascinating thing for me is how the Chinese government handled the COVID-19 pandemic. At the onset of the situation, they acted swiftly and made drastic decisions to close the borders. The system of contact tracing, preventive measures, distribution of vaccines are things other countries can definitely learn from.
What is your unique China story?
I guess being called by most people in the city as “The Mayor of Xiamen” is the most unique for me. I’m also elated to be given recognition from fellow expat creative JQNation as the “2020 Artist of the Year”, Gold Awardee from the Asia Pacific Youth Performing Art Championship 2020 (Malaysia) together with Celine, Hanna and team.
对我而言，被大多数人称为“厦门市长”是最独特的事。此外，我也很高兴能与 Celine、Hanna 和团队一起获得 2020 年亚太青年文化艺术锦标赛（马来西亚）金奖，并获得外籍创意公司 JQNation 授予的“2020 年度艺术家”称号。
Some background on his home country.
Originally from Bacolod City, Negros Island this town is known as “The City of Smiles”. It is famous for sugar – probably why people are sweet and happy. Every October, locals and visitors alike celebrate the Masskara Festival where revelers adorn themselves in creative masks and costumes.
内格罗斯岛的巴科洛德市，以“微笑之城”而闻名。这里的糖果十分出名——也许这就能解释为什么这里的人都是甜蜜幸福的。每年 10 月，当地人和游客都会戴上富有创意的面具和服装，一起狂欢庆祝面具节。
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