It was that time of the year where people from all walks of life converge upon the little street known as Binondo. Chinese New Year in this part of Manila becomes a Mecca of all things chinese. The entire stretch of Ongpin and its adjacent streets are flooded with dragon dances and fireworks.
After visiting the national museum it was just right for my friends and I to visit Binondo and experience what a Filipino-style Chinese New Year looks like. Getting off near the Carriedo fountain I was amazed at the number of people making their way inside. Lines of people on one side trying to get tikoy and ampaos of something.
As we traversed the main street heading deeper into Binondo we were astounded by the number of people inside. It felt like Divisoria during the Christmas season. Making our way around Chinatown we were greeted by a wide variety of smells, sights and sounds. The volume of people in Binondo meant that my friends and I wouldn’t be able to eat in the signature Chinese restaurants that we’ve been reading so much about.
With the sun setting it felt like there was no end to the festivities. There were live music bands and people peddling siopao and siomai in the street. There were also a number of people inside Lucky Chinatown mall, which to our dismay meant that we wouldn’t get to eat in a traditional Chinese restaurant. So we ended up eating to China’s next door neighbor, Japan, and helping ourselves to katsu.