Royal Postal Heritage Tour in partnership with WalkwithChan, heritage advocate group bloggers and social media influencers conducted a guided tour within the heart of the Chinatown’s Manila district.
photo collage courtesy of Ms. Lin Deres
Unlike other guided tours, The tour focus on the vast Chinatown district which encompasses part of Santa Cruz, Tondo, San Nicolas and Binondo.
Special Chinese New Year 2020 Tour
early bird participants
We met at the Carriedo fountain within Plaza Santa Cruz around past 6:00 am. Ms. Melody Abuan was the early bird and won 2 gift certificate from Yakikai restaurant worth Php 1,000. followed by Mr. Ray Ong, Philip Reyes and Ms. Lin Deres among the early participants who brace the overcast saturday morning. Slowly followed by two participants who came all the way from San Pedro, Laguna province to join the fan fare.
Kim Sha Temple
After the short tour of the Santa Cruz church, We went to have a blessing at Kim Sha Temple located at 1021 Ongpin street which is part of Santa Cruz district.
breakfast buffet selection
buffet dishes consisted of fish with tausi, noodles, fried rice, pechay, hotdog, raddish, scrambled egg, tasty bread, two kinds of soup and bottomless ice tea and brewed coffee.
Chinatown LaiLai Hotel Buffet
We arrived past 7:00 am at the Chinatown Lailai buffet area, Compared to the previous year, there were fewer dishes offered at the buffet area. While Ms. Rebecca Bucad and her companion followed.
Address: 801 Ongpin Street corner Sabino Padilla Street (aka Gandara), Santa Cruz, Manila
different kinds of ornamental and flowering plants for sale
Manila Chinatown -Welcome Arch
The mood was festive, but fewer crowd on weekend. The threat of the novel corona virus may have affected the crowd participation.
Chinese New Year revelers in costume
We spotted group of mendicants asking for cash or donations. Some are dress in ati-atihan costume and darna giving the Chinese New Year celebrations new type of entertainment.
mendicants giving some envelope
zesto cola flavored tikoy (nian kao)
The group then decided to visit the famed Salazar bakery and bought some popular pastries like hopia, lao po pia ( sweetheart pastry), mamon and tikoy at the bakery before walking along Ongpin street.
Address: 783 Ongpin St, Binondo, Manila
children imitating a dragon dance
Santo Cristo de Longos ( Popular Shrine)
Santo Cristo de Longos shrine along Nueva Street ( aka Yuchengco Street) corner Ongpin street is the most popular shrine of the holy cross. This shows how Catholicisim, Taosim, Buddhism syncretize and create a unique harmony between these major religion.
Mr. Ray Ong together with some of the participants
We went to Carvajal street also nicknamed the umbrella street alley of Chinatown and bought some hopia and pastries from Holland bakery.
home cooked meals sold in one of the stall within Carvajal street
Mr. Ray Ong gave a short talk on the interesting fruits, vegetables and food found within the street alley.
Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila
We spend about 20 minutes inside the minor basilica and pointed out the important religious images and the real Santo Cristo de Longos which was located in the baptistry of the church.
Lucky Chinatown Mall
Lucky Chinatown Mall is one of the posh mall located within the district. it is site for various event in the Chinatown Manila. It is like a one stop shop for everyone.
dragon dancers in front of Lucky Chinatown Mall
The group arrived about 10:00 am. There was a lion and dragon dancers outside the mall.
Ms. Beverly Ann Tan ( curator)
Chinatown Museum is located 4th level of the mall which showcases 18 galleries. A visit to the museum is a MUST for those keen to learn history, heritage, heroism and anything about Chinatown’s -Manila.
well-loved Chinese foods in the Philippines
The group was greeted by Ms. Beverly Ann Tan (museum administrator) who gave an interesting history behind some of the practices of the Filipino-Chinese community.
panaderia ( bakery)
For those planning to visit the museum, Do not forget to pre-reserve in advance especially in big group.
candid shot with some of the participants
A minimal entrance fee of Php 150 for the general public, Php 100 students with valid Id’s,Php 80 for senior citizens, people with disabilities.
Address: 4th Floor Lucky Chinatown Building- A, Reina Regente Street, Binondo, Manila
Operations: Everyday from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm
Contact: (632)8293-2584/ (0917-1164047)
appetizer meal which consists of kikiam ( ngo hiong), sliced century eggs, pork asado, radish cake and pickled raddish.
We ate at the famed Ilang-Ilang restaurant. Some of the famed dishes includes the appetizer meal, pata tim, shanghai fried rice, nido soup, fried buttered chicken, birthday noodles, buchi/ botchi, braise steamed fish, almond fruit cocktail.
Ilang-Ilang Restaurant is one of the oldest restaurant in the district, established in 1910. The restaurant is open daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. and closes only during Holy Week.
steamed fish fillet
buttered fried chicken
For dine-in services, the restaurant can accommodate up to 180 persons on ground floor and 400 persons on 2nd floor function hall.
Address: 551 Ilang-Ilang Street, Binondo, Manila
8:00am to 11:00 pm
(02) 241- 9297, 241-9298, 242-3266
Chinese New Year 2020
The group got a hearty Chinese lauriat style lunch and spend almost two hours at the restaurant.