Good Life Flavors of Fortune: A Grand Celebration of Chinese New Year 2016


Trinoma Activity Center, Quezon City -Philippines

Kung Xi Fa Cai , Kiong Hee Huat Chay , Kong Hei Fat Choi !

Chinese New Year is also known as the Spring Festival and is the longest and most significant celebration in the Chinese Lunar calendar .

 Chinese painting and calligraphy club together with Mr. Henry Lim Bon Liong ( executive Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce , chief executive officer of Sterling Paper Group of Companies, S.P. Properties, Inc., SL Agritech Corporation )

Ms. Lorriane Tan – Chief Operating Officer Chinoy TV

Just like the Chinese, Filipinos have strongly associated meaningful occasions with celebratory food. The author was invited by some members of the Binondo Heritage Group or BGH and Mr. Wilson Flores -who posted the event at the FB page of the group ( close site) . I saw fellow social media friends like Mr. Nathaniel Uy , Mr. Jonel Uy  ( not related to each other) and Mr. Ceasar Cheng .

Chinese style paintings

Unfortunately , We were not able to wait for them since there were some of the BGH members that were there past 12nn and have other events to attend . The event was hosted by Mr. Willord Chua and Ms. Janelle Ty of Chinoy Television.

Chinese lantern

Fly ACE Food Corporation had a complete line of  Asian food products that bring out the genuine taste and flavor of your favorite Asian dishes since the company was established in 2000.

GOOD Life -name was inspired by the Chinese’s common association of longevity with noodles like Vermicelli, Egg Noodles , Bihon, Sesame Oil , Oyster Sauce, Japanese -style bread crumbs .

Mr. Willord Chua -Chinoy Television host with the lion dancers

The event for the Chinese New Year is entitled ” Good Life Flavors of Fortune” A Celebration of Good Life which is from February 5 to 8, 2016 .

Mr. Cris Garcia ( Coordinator ) Confucius Institute

Confucius Institute coordinators gave some free basic Chinese Hookien and Mandarin lessons, Chinese chess,  paper cutting techniques . They have Basic Mandarin or Hokkien language course for beginners .

Website :

Contact information : 894-4513

 Center for Culinary Arts students

CCA students are preparing a 5 course Chinese inspired dishes 

There are several activities which coincide with the event , lectures, Chinese calligraphy lessons, Chinese Painting exhibition, games, promos, Chinese cuisine coking demonstration , competition , traditional lantern exhibit, dragon and lion dance, Chinese dances, Lingnan style paintings , Chinese paper cutting , Chinese games , Speaking Basic Hokkien and Basic Mandarin and cultural activities .

cultural presentation

 Partners includes Chinoy Television, Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc., Confucius Institute , Bahay Tsinoy , Center for Culinary Arts -Manila, Masflex, Tecnogas , Phil Sen Hua , King Chef Seafood Restaurant, Cook Magazine , FLY Ace Food Corporation among others.

Fly Ace Food Corporation -The company is the one who conducts annual Jolly University event  in which several universities and colleges compete for the title of ” Best Cook-Off Challenge”  within Metro Manila .

There is an in -house promotion where the public ( attendees) can  purchase items from the Secretariat with raffle stubs and ticket – They are entitled to free feng shui consultation among others .

Ms. Nina Daza-Puyat  and Mr. Ramon P. Daez – Fly Ace General manager

Note: I would like to ” thank” BHG group , Cook Magazine Sir Marlon Aldense and FlyACE Management for the accommodation.  we decided to leave the place  since we have a lot of commitments .

Fly Ace Corporation:

Facebook :


Year of the Wooden Goat – Starts a brand New Year with Feng Shui Paint

Chinese New Year ( Year of the Goat )  is just a few days away , In Feng Shui , the right location of walls and paint colors can promote a good flow of energy and enhance the positive feelings in a home. A challenging wall location will do the opposite – it can block, or completely stop the flow of energy , thus creating a stagnant space where not much good is happening.

Choosing a right color makes a big difference in one’s home or office. One popular way to choose a sala set is to make it compatible to its walls and other fixtures. Another important area is choosing a bedroom color is to take a look at your closet and see which colors you wear the most. While this sounds interesting and it sure can be helpful, what if you wear colors that you just can’t picture on your bedroom walls?
Here’s where feng shui comes to the rescue with really solid tips focused on your health (and you love life, too!) After all, we do spend a great deal of time in our bedrooms (hopefully not only sleeping, but also sharing beautiful moments with the loved ones). So, let’s look at feng shui and see how this ancient art can help you with the best choice of bedroom colors.
All items are available on Chinese New Year, Feb 19.
So far I have here three paint centers that will surely offer the product:
1. Bright Paint Center – 101 DMC Building, Felix Ave Cainta, Rizal ( Near Federal Hardware )
3. Fortress 8 Gen. Mdsg. – 

Mobile: 0919-466-3338

Facebook Page:

Ramada Manila Central -Emperor Lunch Buffet

Emperor’s Lunch Buffet promo

Foodies, bloggers , tourists and people who wanted to find a cool relaxing place in the heart of Manila’s Chinatown district .  Ramada Manila Central Hotel is one of the few luxury hotels that is found at the center of  Binondo district.

main lobby with prosperity trees all spruce -up for the incoming Chinese New Year

It is located at 2 important streets in Binondo- Roman Ongpin street ( principal and main street ) and Quintin Paredes ( commercial street ). Ramada Manila Central is offering a Emperor’s  Lunch Buffet starting on February 19, 2015 . We are quite fortunate to be able to book for a slot during this time of the year. Most of the restaurants and hotels around Binondo and Chinatown are are fully booked . This is one of the newest attractions of the Ramada Manila Central Attractions: As the newest and only luxury hotel in the world’s oldest and largest Chinatown, Ramada Manila Central brings you a step closer to the gastronomical adventures and cultural wonders that Binondo has to offer. Located just 11 kilometers away from Ninoy Aquino International Airport, you have an easy access to Manila’s historic spots: the walled district of Intramuros,  Fort Santiago, Manila Central Post Office, Escolta  and the Rizal Park are all within a 4-km distance. And just next door is one of Manila’s oldest and most beautiful churches – Minor Basilica of St. Lorenzo Ruiz, or more commonly known as Binondo Church. Santa Cruz church is also located a few meters away, while Manila’s shopping district of Divisoria where the famed 168 Mall , 999 Mall  , Meisic Mall , Tutuban Mall and Luckytown China Mall are located .

awards and recognition

Hurry , Book a slot now! This place is very good ambiance and great accolades were given by top consumer giving bodies. The roof deck which commands an outstanding view of the Binondo, San Nicolas and Chinatown skyline . Roof Deck venue can accommodate up to 150 people . Note : The Emperor Lunch Buffet will be available from February 19 to 22, and every Sunday starting March, 2015.

For more information and future reservations:

Ms. Hannah Paulyn Y. Co – Asst. Food and Beverage Manager Assdress: Ongpin corner Quintin Paredes street ( aka Rosario street) , Binondo , Manila Philippines .

Contact numbers: 354-41-52 , 588-66-88, 354-4151


Binondo Food Wok Tour

dragon dance beside Binondo Basilica

The oldest and most important festival in China is the Spring Festival. Better known as the Chinese New Year, it is a time for celebration for millions of Chinese all over the world. The Spring Festival celebrates the Earth coming to life and the beginning of plowing and planting.

fruits strung in wire with  red ribbons and red envelope

The Chinese use a calendar which places the festival on the first lunar day of the first lunar month.

Thus, the date of the Spring Festival changes each year. The new year in the 12-year cycle Chinese calendar is the Year of the Metal Tiger, beginning February 14, 2010.

Chinese seller of various curio stuffs in Ongpin street

Last February 15, 2010 (monday)  a day after the Chinese New Year, the group composed of Mr. George Yao , Ms. Neptune Pittman, Ms. Marilois  Estrella  , Ms. Gloria Razon, Ms. Virgie Neo, Ms. Catherine King, Ms.Leslie Kennedy ,Ms. Lina Gueco , Mr. Ray Ong and myself braced ourselves into a day of food tripping , shopping , culture and history hopping in one of the oldest Chinatown in the world.

The group immediately went into a buying spree at the Carvajal    wet and dry street market .

The planned trip was a last minute preparation, initiated by PHS dynamic lakwatsa committee head Tita Glo Razon .

We met at the PHS office at the Manila Seedling Bank Foundation at around 10:00 a.m. and as time passed by. The group finally agreed to meet at Carvajal Street near the famed Binondo church (Basilica Minore de San Lorenzo Ruiz).

The group went to find fresh produce like seaweeds, fruits, fresh flowers, vegetables, Chinese dried goods, etc…

dried Hemerocallis sp. or Day lilies

The flowers of some species are edible and are used in  Chinese and Asian  cuisine. They are sold (fresh or dried). This particular dried flower is popularly sold as ” bulaklak ng saging ”  and is used in various cuisine from Pata Tim, soup , adobo.

To the right is a wide alley of mixed shops, drugstores, jewelery shops and restaurants, but by the end is a lowly hidden shop by the name of Diao Eng Chay. It has never transferred to another building since its establishment almost 50 years ago.

Then the group went to the famous Diao Eng Chay – Chinese Deli or popularly known as DEC , the store is located at 845 to 847 Salazar Street , Binondo , Manila among its top favorite are its hopia, huat ke, heart shaped tikoy among others.

tikoy in various shapes , sizes and prices

Before , going to another convenient store, some of the tour members saw Ms. Vangie Go wearing red dress and buying some pasalubong at the nearby Shin Ton Yon store.

Shin Ton Yon store located at 825 brgy .296 Salazar Street , Binondo – this store is known for its deep friend spring rolls, lumpiang shanghai, nori squid balls,  pork asado, pork, chicken and beef floss .

New Victory Trading Store , this store is located in 754 Ongpin street and is known for  Wedding or Ting Hun items,  lucky charms, Feng Shui items,  mahjong sets, vases, trophy, glass items etc..

Suzhou Dimsum Restaurant

We walked towards Sabino Padilla Street ( formerly known as Gandara) and went to Suzhou Dimsum Restaurant . The restaurant is located at 807 Sabino Padilla street in Binondo and with the help of our gracious host Mr. Ray Ong ordered about a dozen of the restaurant specialty .

group enjoying a hearty lunch

Some of the notable dishes served  were the steamed beef with garlic, potato salad,tofu with century egg,  oyster cake, mustard fried rice, fried tomato rice ,  pancit guisado ,pancit bihon , sweet and sour mushroom soup , sauteed chicken gizzard and their service tea .

After the sumptuous lunch, the tour pack went to nearby fried siopao store in Ongpin while some of the members bought several packs of dimsums as pasalubongs.

the group also went to a nearby tofu factory

Eng Ho Bakery is located 628 to 630 Teodora Alonzo Street , Sta. Cruz Binondo , Manila and is famous for its chiffon cake, steam cake, mocha star cake, huat que, hopia and its mango flavored tikoy. Most of the group went into buying  spree after some brief introduction on the specialty of this store.

heart- shaped mango flavored- tikoy

steam cake

huat que

Marland Cake and Pastries is located at the corner of Soler street and Teodora Alonzo street  sells other popular Filipino – Chinese delicacies such as hopia, ang pao. Compared to other bakeries around Chinatown, This bakery is still not that popular compared to nearby Eng Ho bakery, however this store had some loyal clientele tucked into its name.

Marland Cakes & Pastries

a short tour in the nearby Arranque market , some members of the tour group went into panic buying  of different array of dried Chinese foods, fruits, vegetables, lotus leaves, Chinese chorizo, Taiwan squash seeds , Ho ti etc…

members of the tour group went inside a Filipino- Chinese convenient store

dried jelly fish on sale at the Arranque market

various array of meat balls, fish balls, crab sticks, kikiam, squid balls

Mr. Ray Ong holding a meat ball made to resemble a cartoon character

pet shop tour

The group went to various stores and bought several items, which included a visit to the nearby pet stalls at the corner of Claro M. Recto Avenue and Teodora Alonzo street.

Lion dance marked the first working day of the Chinese lunar New Year

New Eastern Garden Restaurant located along Ongpin street is famous of their fresh lumpia and other home cooked Filipino- Chinese cuisine. This restaurant was established in 1950. The restaurant is near the Maxim Tea House  & Restaurant

signage of New Eastern Garden Restaurant

Salazar Bakeshop– the  shop smells Chinese food all over, with it offering a variant of Chinese delicacies; from hopia, chiffon cake , tikoy , pastries and  botchi.

mungbean  with salted egg another specialty of the bakeshop

The wide range of choices for the different Hopia flavours made the decision a little difficult: Which to buy? Even Hopia Mungo are classified into Black Mongo, Black Mongo Bean, Mongo with cheese,Lotus Cream Hopia ,  Mongo with salted egg, Hopia pineapple, White Lotus ( Lao Po Pia)  and pure Mongo. But the simpler the better right?

Tikoy rolls – one of the specialties of Salazar Bakery

This bakeshop is known for its various tikoy rolls and moon cake. This bakery had a tradition of over 60 years and rivals that of Eng Bee Tin, Holland, Diao Eng Chay , Eng Ho , Chuan Kee , Monte Land etc…

different types of hopia – Holland bakery

Two blocks away from Salazar Street is the E.T. Yuchengco Street ( formerly known as Calle Nueva ) an empty alley which bans all transportation from entering. Situated along the street are towering condominiums and offices, far from the old two-storey stores that dominate Chinatown. Peeping through the modern buildings is an old big sign which says: Holland Hopia. It would probably take a while to figure out which store the sign is referring to, it being a tiny almost unrecognizable bakeshop.

This bakery is known for its hopia baboy, diced hopia , hopia buko pandan- macapuno  , hopia pu tao ko and is one of the main rival of the famous Eng Bee Tin bakery .

Group photo : L- R Tita Gloria Razon, Ms. Neptune Pittman, Ms. Lina Gueco, Ms. Marilois Estrella and Ms. Virgie Neo

Eng Bee Tin Bakery

The store is located at 628 Ongpin street coner E.T. Yuchengco street , Binondo , Manila and had 4 branches in Metro Manila. Eng Bee Tin products are also exported in a number of countries around the world.

Born in 1912, Mr. Chua Chiu Hong established Eng Bee Tin in a simple stall in the heart of Ongpin, Manila. The stall became well known for its traditional Chinese delicacies, such as hopia, tikoy and glutinous balls.

During the 1970s, Eng Bee Tin stood cloistered in a sea of similar businesses. Its popularity began to wane and its products were getting harder to sell in a competitive environment.

More than a decade passed, and there appeared to be no end to the downtrend. The stall’s hopia proved unpopular due to its consistency. Creditors, suppliers and friends were turning a cold shoulder, wary of doing business with a seemingly doomed enterprise. The business needed a miracle to survive the 1980s.

It came in the form of Mr. Gerry Chua.As the eldest among the current generation of Chua siblings at the time, it fell upon Gerry to take the reins of the business at the young age of 21. He was armed only with a sincere wish to help his father by affecting a turnaround on the family business.

The store currently have 8 branches .

La Ressureccion Chocolate- located 618 Ongpin street , Binondo , Manila

This chocolate factory is considered as one of the oldest existing chocolate factory in the country .  The store is located near the Eng Bee Tin Bakery store while the original Hispanic style building in which the store once stood in place is now a vacant lot waiting for the next building !

Chocolate  tablea products

Manila’s Chinatown, like China-towns elsewhere in the world, has colorful parades that wind around the district, capped with the Lantern Festival on the night of the first full moon which marks the end of the Chinese New Year holiday period. Good-luck items for sale abound, together with other items that have become synonymous with Chinese New Year celebration. Eating noodles is traditional and is believed to ensure long life.

People born in the Year of the Tiger are said to be intelligent, alert, courageous, honest, lucky, intense, lively, and engaging. Colorful and unpredictable, their energy and love for life are stimulating.

They are optimists who always bounce back for new and fresh challenges. Known for their ability in influencing others and swaying crowds, those born in the Year of the Tiger love life and want to live it to the fullest.

It would be a great year if people could take in the good characteristics of the Tiger who pursues life with unyielding energy. With a tiger mind for this Year of the Metal Tiger, our actions could bear fruit and make it easier for us to achieve our goals for the year 2010.

Happy Chinese New Year to one and all!

Kung Hei Fat Choi, Gong Xi Fa Chai , Kiong Hee Huat Chay !!!!!

2010 is the Year of the Tiger,
which is also known by its formal name of Geng Yin. 2010 is Year 4707 in the Chinese Calendar.

Note: The author occasionally on special request may do a Binondo Food Wok Tour

The Meaning and Symbolism of ORCHID

The most highly coveted of ornamental plants, the delicate, exotic and graceful orchid represents love, luxury, beauty and strength. In ancient Greece, orchids were associated with virility. In fact, Greek women believed that if the father of their unborn child ate large, new orchid tubers, the baby would be a boy. If the mother ate small orchid tubers, she would give birth to a girl. Ancient Chinese revered orchids as “ Lan Hua” epitome of human perfection.

a white Phalaenopsis orchid hybrid on display in an International Orchid Show

The flower symbolism associated with the orchid is love, beauty, refinement, many children, thoughtfulness and mature charm. Orchids have become a major market throughout the world. Buyers now bid hundreds of dollars on new hybrids or improved ones. Orchids are one of the most popular cut flowers on the market

During the Victorian era, orchid symbolism shifted to luxury, and today this sense of magnificence and artful splendor continues, with orchids representing rare and delicate beauty. The 14th and 28th wedding anniversary, pink orchids convey pure affection, and the popular cattleya orchid represents mature charm.  With a universal message of love, beauty, wisdom and thoughtfulness, the graceful orchid symbolizes affection and understanding.

In some Philippine tribes of Calayan islands, Manobo, Bagobo , Aeta , orchids are worshiped and revered as guardians of the forest.

Orchids is also one of the most desired plants suitable such a gift. Telling your loved ones about the special history behind these flowers can only enhance them. Orchids have been apt greeting flowers for different occasions unlike roses. Even though roses are cheaper, an orchid enjoys a higher status when compared with roses. Orchids have enduring qualities, which make it best for greeting flowers than any other. This enduring flower can hang around your affection and a sense of security for a longer period that no other floral gift can provide. Moreover the very concept of orchid can make the heir feel valuable when presented to them.


In ancient Greece it was believed that orchids were a symbol of fertility and virility. It was even believed that consuming the flower could determine the sex of an unborn child. If the father of an unborn child ate large, new orchid tubers then the woman would have a boy.

On the other hand if the mother ate small orchid tubers she would have a girl. If you are trying to have a baby this could be a meaningful gift to your spouse. Or this could be a pretty and meaningful gift for someone who is expecting a baby.

The concept of the similarity of the orchid tubers to the testicle, developing in an age when the Doctrine of Signatures was prevalent throughout Europe, endowed the orchid plant with mysterious powers to enhance the sexual prowess and fertility in man. The people of Middle Ages even believed that orchid plants came up from the drops of semen which fell to earth in meadows where animals came together to breed (Schweinfurth, 1959). Thus to the European eye, the orchid grew to be a symbol of sex.

Orchid flower meaning is love, beauty, refinement, and beautiful lady, Chinese symbol for many children, thoughtful, maturity, or charm. Cymbidium Orchids are one of the most popular and attractive orchids in the world because of the beautiful flowers


In Victorian England orchids took on the mantle of luxury. No doubt this image stems from the fact that these flowers are hard to find anywhere but tropical places. Anyone during this era who could afford to buy these exotic blooms would have to be a rich person. Orchids still have a connotation of luxury as they are still hard to find and exotic.

Perfection and Beauty

The shape of orchids has been mentioned as geometric in comparison to the curvier forms of other flowers. The straight lines that run through these flowers have led them to be a symbol of perfection and beauty. This has to do with the notion that beauty can be found in symmetry. The varied colors of these flowers will give you many choices in terms of which beautiful bloom you wish to use or present someone with.

The spots on orchids are also sometimes used to represent the blood of Christ. This symbolism would make these flowers a wonderful choice for an Easter brunch table. They would also make wonderful altar decorations on special services and occasions. Although these meanings may not be well known, everyone will be able to admire the effect of having these flowers around the altar and church.


Oriental man got enamored of the beauty and fragrance of the orchid flower and started to cultivate it .To him the orchid was the symbol of everything graceful and feminine, noble and refined. Confucius is said to have remarked that acquaintance with good men is like entering a room full of fragrant Ian. The Javanese believed that their jewel orchids were bits torn from the jeweled cloak left behind by a fairy princess when she came to visit the earth and had to take off in a hurry because of the callousness of the people (Yeoh Bok Choon, 1970). The Japanese believed their native Neofinetia falcata is Fuh-ki-ran-the flower of wealth and nobility.

Orchids are worthy gifts of flowers that awake a sense of royalty. From time, this flower has been paced as a costly gift that shows that the heir is the most valued one in one’s life. Thus the flower, Orchid can craft the occasion into royal and a different gift to your nearest ones. Many from miscellaneous walks of life and professions have impressed orchid’s mysterious appeal.


Zodiac Symbols:

Don’t be fooled by the Aquarian’s love for independence – underneath this zodiac sign’s penchant for autonomy lies a thriving romantic streak as well. An air sign with an honest, loyal, spiritual and intuitive nature, Aquarians are exceptionally committed and faithful to the people they love. And because they can usually be counted on to see the positive side of any situation, the people they love, love to be around them.

And with symbolism tied to love, beauty and strength, orchids will resonate with this birth sign’s sense of loyalty. Choose pink orchids, representing pure affection, to fuel their romantic streak or surprise them with cattleya orchids to convey mature charm. If you are born in this zodiac sign, you can choose orchids as a perfect plant.

National Flower

There are many countries of the world, Flowers particularly orchids have been chosen as symbols to represent specific geographic areas. Some countries have a countrywide floral emblem; others in addition have symbols representing subdivisions. Different processes have been used to adopt these symbols – government bodies confer some, whereas others are the result of informal public polls. The term floral emblem, which refers to flowers.

specifically, is primarily used in Australia like state of Queensland that uses Dendrobium biggibum as their floral emblem.

In the United States, Minnesota state flower is Cypripedium reginae

Countries that adapted orchids as their national flower countries like Indonesia, Singapore, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Belize, Argentina, Venezuela, Panama, Cayman Island, Guatemala, and Seychelles.

Red envelope together with paper heart valentines in a local orchid store ( Vic’s Orchid and Ornamental Plant )

New Year and New Beginning

Mandarin the official language of China, the first syllable for this sound like ‘Fu’ meaning wealth and riches. So well placed phalaenopsis, particularly the reds, pinks, and yellows would bring good fortune.

In Hong Kong where Feng Shui governs every aspect of life and especially in business, Phalaenopsis, Cymbidium and Dendrobium orchids are in great demand especially during the Chinese New Year. Great quantities of phals are produced in South China and Taiwan for the New Year. This fragrant flower has for centuries represented the virtue, moral excellence, and refinement of the superior man whose reputation precedes him like perfume. Often used as a symbol for spring,

Most Asian countries like Taiwan, China, Macau, Malaysia , Singapore , Thailand, Japan, and Korea had a practice of giving potted live orchids or having flowering orchids in their homes during this time of the year.  Chinese New Year hot item in Taiwan called “phalaenopsis.” Many people especially businessmen are sending this orchid to their clients rather than the usual hampers. The orchid, which is also considered a feng shui plant, is pretty and is believed to bring prosperity and good luck to the owner.

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