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Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Day in Binondo

Hello readers!! My lovely readers!! *Just assume that I am screaming for excitement!* Finally, after a month or two I am finally back for good on blogging again! I can't contain the happiness I am feeling right now, and I can't wait to share with you the good and unforgettable things I did since last December of 2013! I know, a lot of people were wondering, perhaps waiting for another entry, and I am extremely sorry for being away that long. I will truly try my best to never leave you and this blog behind. *Cross fingers*. So anyway, going back to the entry post today, and since it is still Chinese New Year! For those of you who doesn't know, Chinese New Year is celebrated for 15 days starting of from January 21 - February 21. Last December, before Christmas, my good friends and I went to Binondo. Binondo is the oldest Chinatown in the world which was established during 1594. Binondo is the "Chinatown" district which is located in Manila, Philippines. It became the center of commerce and every business you could imagine! It is the home of almost 90% of Chinese people, or Filipino-Chinese who are chose to reside in Manila for too long now. Aside from Binondo, we also stopped by at Quiapo but we didn't stay for too long since it was a Friday, and little did I know, every Friday is so-called Quiapo Day which thousands of people gathered inside and outside the place. It was way too crowded that you can't barely move. Plus, your belongings should always be on safe. We'll talk about that later. That day, we went to a church called Sta. Cruz Parish, and for the record, I made a wish hoping it'll come true! *Winks* More exciting stuff and photos below so continue reading! 

Sta. Cruz Parish from far
It could be so beautiful if those electric wires were in place! 
Here we go, to famous Ongpin Street! 
Ongpin Street is home of different Chinese herbal stores, restaurants, groceries and everything Chinese!  
Eng Bee Tin Chinese delicacies and cakes store
Eng Bee Tin is so famous in the country. They make the best of the best Hopia, and my favorite, Moon cake. There are a lot of cakes in there and unfortunately, I can't memorize them all. But as far as I know, they are number one! My friend and her mom bought all the flavors of hopia and packs of moon cake! They even treated me a pack! 
My family loves Eng Bee Tin ever since it became famous to almost every one. They told me, before I got to Binondo, to visit and try out some of their food which was really delicious and worth it. Sadly, Eng Bee Tin is super rare here in Davao! I wish they'd purchase branches in Davao too.
Tikoy or Nian Gao| It is made up of glutinous rice and consumed in Chinese cuisine. It comes in different colors too! You should try it. 
Went inside of a mini but jam-packed Chinese store and found some spices in a jar.
We were roaming around Binondo and saw these exotic kind of food. I don't know what exactly they're called but I don't have a single gut to try them! 
What's Binondo if you don't get to try out some legit dimsum and Chinese foodies! 
The famous restaurant in Binondo is David's Tea House. It is located at Tomas Mapua St., Manila.
Visit their Website: David's Tea House
This Binondo trip has been one of my most unforgettable experience during my stay in Manila. I never imagined going through those kind of crowds ever! I know, Binondo and Quiapo are just one of the busiest location in the heart of Manila. People are so busy and the business is massively tight. Before I got to Manila, Binondo and Quiapo is already on my Bucket list. I am immensely curious what the place looked like, though I can just Google it. But nevertheless, the place that really captivates me the moment I step out was The Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene or simply known as Quiapo Church. It's really beautiful. I din't dare to take out my camera and phone to take a picture of it since bad elements are just around the corner. Lol! But anyway, the church is simply amazing and stunning. You can see thousands, or maybe hundred thousands of people there, praying. As much as we wanted to go inside, we haven't since you need to fall in the longest line before you can enter the church because it WAS Friday when we went there. So a quick advice, don't go during Fridays! And oh, it was one of my unforgettable because just RIGHT AFTER we left Quiapo (that was past 7 in the evening), I had the worst one-day fever that got me to 39.5 in temperature! That was a long story and I was so scared but thank God, it got back during dawn! Finally! I was able to go to two of the places I've always wanted to and really curious about. 

TIPS ON HOW TO SURVIVE THE CHAOS

1.) Never wear something that is too dressy or the so-called "fashionista stuff". I swear, you'll end up crying or whining all the time. Just wear the simplest clothes like shirt, jeans and closed shoes. Never wear slippers or glads, it's a crowded place, people will step on your feet even if you don't want it!

2.) If possible, don't bring gadgets. Like DSLR, iPhone's, or gadgets that are too expensive. If you're clumsy, PLEASE NEVER BRING THOSE GADGETS or you'll end up crying again! In short, there are a lot of bad elements just around the corner so always be mindful and alert!

3.) Bring lite bags and really safe bags with a lot of zippers on it and make sure to ALWAYS PLACE YOU BAG IN FRONT. Don't leave it open or something like that. 

4.) DON'T wear jewelries. Just because.

5.) If you're a parent, don't bring your little/infant children/child with you. It may cost hassle and they might be lost for some reason. And it's very difficult to move when you're in actual Binondo/Quiapo situation.

6.) Just bring a lite amount of money or cash when you go there. Binondo is really not that expensive. You can have Siopao for only 20 pesos and the hunger is solve!

7.) Don't be fooled. Scam stuff is really popular in that place! 

Last, but not the least...

8.) ALWAYS BE CAREFUL AND CHECK YOUR BELONGINGS ALL THE TIME!


Since it is technically still a Chinese New Year, I just want to greet each and everyone of you Kiong Hee Huat Tsai! May you and your family/loved ones will have a blast in the year of the Wooden Horse, 2014! Every year, my family and I never forgets to celebrate this yearly festivity since my Great-Grandmother is Chinese. Here in Davao, there are a lot of Chinese people who put up business or even stay here for good. We also have a lot of Chinese friends who are really good to us! Nevertheless, enjoy the rest of the festivity and let's eat moon cake! Kisses! :* Hope you had fun reading my blog post today.

Love,
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