Bayanihan Republic :
Manila Chinatown is really not a new place to me. In my college days, we always passed that route going to some of our classmates’ houses. When I worked in First Metro, where its Binondo branch is just beside the San Lorenzo Ruiz basilica, I also managed to frequent the place when I need to fix our company’s web content or attend meetings. And ironically, though I had many opportunities in the past, I never took the chance of knowing the famous place by heart. And I even got to explore offshore Chinese spots first (HK, Shenzhen, Sanya City and Shanghai) before knowing our very own Chinese heritage right at the heart of Manila. Well, nothing’s too late in exploring. Thanks to the Manila Chinatown trip organized by our Confucius class, I had the chance to know the place, and the Chinese characters, better. =)
Our first stop is lunch at Golden Fortune Seafood Restaurant. We felt so bloated after eating steamed lapu-lapu, shrimp, Mandarin chicken, spinach, dimsum, hot and sour soup and yang chow fried rice!
Omar Laoshi was our official tour guide and Lin Na, being the class valedictorian, was able to read Chinese characters easily. Right photo shows Lin Na reading the name of a Kung Fu school.
Then, we found out Mang Inasal has Chinese version! =)
A newspaper stand which we normally see in HK / China. Meron din pala nito sa Binondo! =)
After the long walk, we stopped at DVD and book shops.
We just can't stop Romel Yisheng from buying Mandarin books at the Xinhua Bookstore! Go go Yisheng!
Yisheng and Ni Ca enjoying a Mandarin book for first graders. =)
Lin Na, Ni Ca, Laoshi and Yisheng. I'm holding the cam! =)
I finally found the famous kainan (eating and "drinking" place) called Estero. Literally, it's just beside the estero but I heard the food is good here.
Omar Laoshi brought us to Ho-Land. Ho-Land is popular for flaky hopia.
We were introduced to Wong Lo Kat herbal tea, a healthy drink that tastes like sago't gulaman! =P
The violet fire truck sponsored by Eng Bee Tin.
From another long walk, we finally landed in Seng Guan Buddhist Temple.
Lin Na doing a Mano Po scene at the temple. Which character could it be, Kris' or Ara Mina's? =)
And since I'm still craving for dumplings, we were brought to Tasty Dumplings! =)
A few steps before we got back to the car park, we saw a long line of karitela roaming the streets. Tourists who can't do the long walk may opt to tour Chinatown using this traditional mode of transportation.
It was a long tiring walk but we had fun and learned a lot (and ate a lot too)! I hope we can do this again. Do I hear Beijing, China? Paging Ma Dawei, Ma Dakaw, Ma Danda and the rest! =)