Happy Chinese New Year!
What better way to celebrate the CNY than going to Binondo, Manila, savor their famous dim sums, and take part in the numerous activities held the whole day at different locations. Dragon dance, incense burning, coin tossing, and a whole lot more!
Did you know that Manila’s Chinatown in Binondo is the World’s Oldest Chinatown?
On February 8, 2016, we went to Lucky Chinatown Mall in Binondo, perhaps the most popular lifestyle mall in the whole of Chinatown since we saw on their social media sites that they have a street dedicated for activities you can take part of to celebrate the CNY together with authentic Chinese culture.
There are two convenient ways in going to Binondo. Perhaps the most popular one is by land. Click HERE to get a better view of Chinatown via google maps. And the other way of transportation is via Ferry – yes you read that right! Though not all may see this as convenient (and for some, safe) but one thing is for sure – No hellish traffic ALL DAY, everyday. Click HERE to view the fares, stations and schedule of the Pasig river ferry. AND If you are an android user, you can actually download MMDA’s application for the ferry system, complete with all the FAQ’s you need. Click HERE to download the app!
For this specific visit, we rode a free shuttle service courtesy of Resorts World Manila available for all their members. Above you see a photo of the World’s largest Chinatown arch welcoming all who wishes to enter (sorry for all the distractions, I was inside the shuttle and couldn’t get a nice angle). Below is the old arch just a few meters away from the new one.
Before reaching Lucky Chinatown Mall, you will pass by historic streets, as well as the Binondo Church, also known as Minor Basilica of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz and Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish fronting Plaza San Lorenzo Ruiz.
Binondo was the main center of commerce in the Philippines before the last World War where Spanish Filipinos, Chinese and the Chinese mestizos conducted business and finance complete with banks, insurance companies and financial institutions from the United States and Great Britain.
A few minutes after passing by the arches and the church, we arrived at the mall. After getting off the shuttle, we immediately went to the open street at the right side of the mall where the activities were held. There were already hundreds of people at the site even if its just 10 in the morning. A lot of people with different nationalities celebrating with the Chinese community!
RED all over! The flock of people were all over the place, taking selfies here and there, family pictures, and photography hobbyists were also present. It was a bright sunny day and we felt the heat at 88 °F! ha ha
Further to the end of the busy street, we found a number of food stalls serving their hungry customers, one Chinese stall was selling noodles with different variations for PHP 100.00 each. Every noodle dish is prepared per order in-front of you so you’re assured that you won’t be getting re-heated food.
We also participated in the incense burning booth where we were advised to say a Chinese phrase then recite the wish, then put the incense in place.
I took photos of each animal sign for all of you guys. If the texts below are too small, just click on the photo to open a bigger version.
The Lucky Things for “Monkeys”
- Lucky numbers: 4 and 9
- Lucky days: the 14th and 28th of any Chinese lunar calendar month
- Lucky colors: white, blue, gold
- Lucky flowers: chrysanthemum, crape-myrtle
- Lucky directions: north, northwest, west
- Lucky months: Chinese lunar months 8 and 12
The Unlucky Things That “Monkeys” Should Avoid
- Unlucky colors: red, pink
- Unlucky numbers: 2 and 7
- Unlucky directions: south, southeast
- Unlucky months: Chinese lunar months 7 and 11