Chinatown Manila Tour

Binondo (Chinatown Manila) is a location famous for being the center of trade and commerce for the businesses that is operated by Filipino-Chinese merchants. Even before the Spaniards came to the country, it was already a bustling hub of Chinese commerce. Since it was established in 1594, it is the oldest and one of the largest Chinatowns in the world, and found right here in Manila Philippines.

The populated Chinatown has sign boards and street signs that are sometimes in Chinese characters and the structural similarities to mainland China is pronounced in some shops and houses in the community. Even the alleyways that are full of vendors selling fruits that are considered lucky or even native to China. Chinatown Manila even celebrates Chinese New Year extravagantly with dragon shows, a sea of red because this color is said to symbolize good fortune and joy, and abundance of Tikoy, or also known as Nian Gao, that gives good luck when eating during the celebration because it is a homonym for "higher year."

Chinese Goodwill Arch

Chinatown Manila Goodwill Arch

A welcome site which is the Chinese Goodwill Arch (Arko ng Pagkakaibigang Pilipino-Tsino) is a representation of the Filipino-Chinese friendship. The arch has an apparent Chinese architecture design. This shows the harmonious trade relationship between two ethnic groups.

Binondo Church

Binondo Church in Chinatown Manila

The Binondo Church or also known as Minor Basilica of St. Lorenzo Ruiz and Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish. The church is located in Binondo, Manila which can easily be distinguished by it's old facade and the famous octagonal bell tower. The church endured war damages and natural disasters that results to its repeated renovation. The interior is a stunning sight that shows the great renovations that was done since the damages that it acquired through the years. This church was built for Chinese Catholics during Spanish Times. It is where San Lorenzo Ruiz, a Filipino-Chinese and also Philippines' first saint, served as an altar boy. To capture the church's beautiful facade, the Plaza San Lorenzo Ruiz is just in front of the church and a perfect place to take full shot of the  church.

Let's not forget one of the best part, buying Chinese Delicacies. One of it's famous shop that sells delicious Hopia and Tikoy is Eng Bee Tin Store. That offers not only best Hopias and Tikoys but also a wide a variety of Chinese delicacies that will surely be a great pasalubong from Chinatown.

Chinese Cemetery

Chinese Cemetery in Chinatown Manila

The Chinese citizens that was denied burial in Catholic Cemeteries during the Spanish period was buried in The Chinese Cemetery. It is the second oldest cemetery in Manila. During World War II many executions was done in the Chinese Cemetery and some of it's notable executions were Josefa Llanes Escoda the Girl Scouts organizer, Vicente Lim the Boy Scout of the Philippines founder and many others. The tombs are elaborately made. Chinese are known for building remarkable temples for the dead and one of the oldest Chinese temple in Manila is the Chong Hock Tong Temple which was built in the 1850's. Some notable burials was of the founder of Chinabank Dee Cheng Chuan and the Mami King Ma Mon Luk.

Bahay Tsinoy Museum

Bahay Tsinoy Museum in Chinatown Manila

The Bahay Tsinoy is located in the Cabildo st., Intramuros. The Bahay Tsinoy literally means Chinese-Filipino house which exhibits the Chinese in Philippine Life. It is within the Kaisa-Angelo King Heritage Center building. There are several sections that is intended to show how barter trade was done and what products was exchanged. Another interesting section is the Gallery of Rare Prints and Photographs that illustrates how Binondo was like during the late Spanish period and earlier American regime. The other sections are worth checking out as it gives intriguing facts and opens understanding between the Filipino and Chinese communities.

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