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Thursday

A Walk in Binondo, Manila

                                  Manila, Chinatown

Binondo, in Manila, is the Chinatown of the Philippines because ever since, it had been a Filipino-Chinese community. If you are in Binondo, it seems that you are in China. You will see signages written in Mandarin. Wherever you go, you will see also many dragon designs and statues, a symbol of prosperity for the Chinese people. You will be overwhelmed by the Chinese culture. Of course, even non-Chinese are welcome to their beloved town. As a matter of fact, Binondo Catholic Church was built here.

Binondo Catholic Church

Chinese Fountain

The popular destination in Binondo is the Ongpin St. The street was named after Don Ramon Ongpin (1847-1912), a patriotic Filipino-Chinese who helped the Katipunan during the Spanish revolution. Ongpin gave financial assistance to the group. Even during the American Revolution, he continued to support the revolutionary movement. According to history, there was an instance when he burned his own house to get an insurance. Then, the money he collected from it, he gave to the Filipino freedom fighters. To honor him, the community built a statue to remind the community of his greatness and his significant contributions for our country. Even if Don Ramon Ongpin is not a pure Filipino, he has a genuine concern for us.
 

Ongpin Street

The Chinese are known for being good businessmen, that is why Ongpin Street became a commercial or business complex. Women should really love this place because they will find here many jewelry stores. So, if you are a guy and plans to buy a gift for your loved one, you will find something here. It is said that the gold here has high quality. Well, follow my advice if you can afford to buy. If not, all you can do is to window shop like what you do in the malls.



Ongpin Gold Center

 
You will also find some Chinese restaurants and hotels here like the Binondo Suites. By the way, one of the old restaurants here is The Palace Restaurant. If you are in Ongpin, do not forget to buy tikoy and hopia. You may buy it at Eng Bee Tin, a famous brand of Chinese hopia in the country.
 


Binondo Suites
President palace Restaurant
Eng BeeTin


The Chinese, like the Filipinos, are very superstitious that is why they also sell many lucky charms and crystals, Buddha figurines and others. Aside from that, their favorite color, which is red, is present everywhere as shown in their street lanterns. Well, it is up to you if you will believe in luck. But one thing is sure, the Chinese believes not in luck alone but they blend it with hard work. 


Ongpin
From this tour of mine, I realized that you do not have to go to China just to learn the about Chinese culture and lifestyle. It is near; Binondo is at the back of Quiapo. Visit also this place for you to see what I had seen. Don’t worry, this is not Spratly Island nor Bajo de Masinloc so there is no territorial dispute nor tension there.
Chinese statue



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