CHINATOWN PHOTOWALK 2017: Shooting the streets of Manila's "Little China"

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CHINATOWN PHOTOWALK 2017: Shooting the streets of Manila's "Little China"
If there’s a trick to enjoying the Chinese New Year, it's by doing a photowalk along the streets of the Manila Chinatown.

This year, the Fire Rooster takes the limelight.

Probably as old as Manila itself, the Chinatown in the Binondo district has been the center of Chinese life and culture in the Philippines since precolonial times. Perennially popular, it’s both a legitimate dining destination and a wonderland of interesting sights.

All the restaurants, shops, streets and alleyways radiates that "Little China" look, enough to attract revelers from all parts of the metropolis to come marching in and celebrate.

Parades, dragon dances, fireworks and marvelous food are a staple. Merrymaking on the streets and dining at the finest Chinese restaurants.

Here's what we saw during the celebration of the 2017 Chinese New Year - the Year of the Fire Rooster. Kung Hei Fat Choi!


Ongpin Street

The entrance of the Manila Chinatown is Ongpin Street which is just across Plaza Sta. Cruz and the Binondo Church. You'll know you're there when you see the "Arch of Goodwill." Ongpin is a busy street with all its vendors and fruit hawkers.

The Arch of Goodwill in front of Plaza Sta. Cruz
The Arch of Goodwill in front of Plaza Sta. Cruz

The Arch of Goodwill, Ongpin Street
The Arch of Goodwill, Ongpin Street

Ongpin street sign
Ongpin street sign

Revelers along Ongpin Street
Revelers along Ongpin Street


Lucky Charms

Peddlers selling all kinds of lucky charms, fruits and Chinese decors are all over Ongpin Street. They're a tad pricey compared to Carriedo and Quiapo so you may want to possess good negotiating skills before you venture into shopping.

Buying for souvenirs and lucky charms
Buying for souvenirs and lucky charms

A young girl looks at me as I take a shot of her mother's merchandise
A young girl looks at me as I take a shot of her mother's merchandise

A man buying his lucky charms along Ongpin Street.
 A man buying his lucky charms along Ongpin Street.

Lucky fruit loops for sale
Lucky fruit loops for sale


Food

Chinatown is definitely a delicious paradise. If you're craving for good food, you're absolutely in the right place. This New Year's day, we opted dining in one of Chinatown's oldest tea houses and got us the original Cantonese noodles in beef wanton soup paired with traditional dimsum siopaos.

Cantonese Noodles in beef and wanton soup
Cantonese Noodles in beef and wanton soup

Cantonese Noodles in beef and wanton soup
Cantonese Noodles in beef and wanton soup

Cantonese Noodles in beef and wanton soup
Cantonese Noodles in beef and wanton soup

Cantonese Noodles in beef and wanton soup
Cantonese Noodles in beef and wanton soup

Castanias
Castanias

Dragon Dances

The Chinese New Year celebration is never complete without the traditional dragon dance. Men and women carrying long rods support the longest dragon costume ever. And people reach out for their cameras to take snapshots. Be quick in shooting those photos, the dragon moves faster than it looks.

Shooting with a camera phone
Shooting with a camera phone

Dragon Dance
Dragon Dance

Dragon Dance
Dragon Dance

Dragon Dance
Dragon Dance

Dragon Dance
Dragon Dance


Lucky charms, figurines

These merchandise are always the bestsellers. They come in all forms: standees and hanging chimes, plastic, metal and wood, clay figurines and vases, feng shui crystals and anti-bad luck charms.

Old man of prosperity
Old man of prosperity

Rooster figurines
Rooster figurines

Deity and rooster figurines
Deity and rooster figurines

Lucky Charms
Lucky Charms

Lucky Charms
Lucky Charms

Lucky palay grains
Lucky palay grains

Lucky charms for hanging

Lucky fruit loop
Lucky fruit loop


Parades, floats and the City Mayor

The parades traditionally start in the early afternoon. Participants in the parades are usually the establishment owners and students within the Binondo district. The city government, represented by the city Mayor Joseph Estrada, has his own float and distributed lucky ang pao's to the onlookers.

Parade watchers
Parade watchers

Rescue truck goes on parade
Rescue truck goes on parade

Models on board a parade float
Models on board a parade float

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada
Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada
Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada

Ati-Atihan dancers
Ati-Atihan dancers

Cosplayer
Cosplayer 

Cosplayer
Cosplayer 

Happy Chinese New Year
Happy Chinese New Year


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