Friday, February 4, 2011

A trip down Manila and its Chinatown

Manila is only about 1 and ½ hour ride from our place.  Yet,  it’s been decades since my youthful stint in the area.  Quiapo is where I spent my high school and college days and Binondo, where Chinatown is located, is where I had my first office job while yet in college.  Naturally for me, Manila would always be part of my being.  A lot of beautiful memories transpired here. There were bad ones too, but I’d rather not dwell on them! 
So yesterday, I slipped on my flats and took an FX ride to Quiapo,  alone!  Yeah, alone!  Just didn’t bother anyone else to come along with me since I really wanted to explore every nook and corners of the city I used to know without worrying for someone getting tired, hungry or something. 

‘Twas an easy ride I had! I alighted from the cab right beside the pilgrimed Quiapo Church.


I went inside and prayed for a minute. then on my way out while I was taking pictures of the church's altar, I was stopped by the supposed guard standing by the door. Good thing I was done when he saw me.  Weeeeh!

The Plaza Miranda fronting the church is jam-packed with all kinds of goods being sold in push carts and and makeshift stalls. From veggies and fruits to cooked food, various foot wears , clothings and even pirated  dvd’s.

I was almost tempted to pick some fresh veggies coz they were very cheap but I remembered I still have a lot of walking to do so I brushed aside the enticement.

I went on with my trek, my cam on my hand like a genuine tourist. Ha ha!  Some vendors gladly posed while I shoot their goods but some shied away or simply ignored.  I crossed Carriedo Street and remember, a pre school girl used to be brought here by her mother to shop for shoes in a little shoe store called ShoeMart.  Now, many decades past, that little girl is now an oldie mom and that shoe store is now the SM Malls Conglomerates that has grown all over the country and other parts of the world!  I still can’t believe time has truly gone that far!

Then I passed by Avenida Rizal heading to Chinatown.  As I reached Ongpin Street, I was glad to find what I expected to see.


There was a real festivity everywhere.  Sounds of drums and gongs loudly verberate all throughout the district. Fireworks abound and dragon dance were everywhere.It was indeed Chinese New Year!!

Glad I reached Binondo Church, one of the oldest church in the Philippines built in 1596. Was feeling quite nostalgic here coz I used to come here in the early 70’s (oops, revealing my age! Lol!)


Then onward to Escolta via Quintin Paredes St.  Another reflective memory here coz the building that housed my very first office job is still there. Couldn’t help reminisce some good memories of being young and carefree!  Woot!

As I turned left to Escolta, Savory Restaurant seemed to greet me! " Long time no see! Who was always with you then when you used to come here?"  Uh – oh!...  (yes, I remember the boy… but I don’t remember the feeling anymore!) ha ha!

Then along Escolta Street,  Syvel’s was a landmark.  It was once a classy store in the vicinity along with Oceanic.  Syvel’s  I’m glad is still there but didn’t notice the latter.

Heading on, I  was back to Sta Cruz Church and to Plaza Sta. Cruz.

Then back to Quiapo, I found myself grabbing the  cheap fresh veggies I was tempted to seize a while ago.  Was so excited with my cheap shopping spree that I forgot I was already carrying a very heavy load.  Oh my…

Back home, I was very tired but happy and satisfied with my trip down Manila and Chinatown and down memory lane as well!

16 Comentários:

alf said...

happy chinese new year!
thanks for bringing me back to quiapo/binondo through your pictures. i would do the same thing if i was there ngayong pang ang tagal ko nawala sa pinas.

..i remember there was hotel in quiapo that has a revolving restaurant at the top floor...forgot the name...

enjoy your weekend tita beng.

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Beng Gee, I love the places you dropped by, and the Spanish architecture.
Really breathtaking....their beautiful names too.

The Quiapo Church interior reminds me of the inside of a plane. Sure is a beautiful Church.

I too have not gone down to our Toronto Chinatown, half hour drive downtown past 10 months.
We only go when having visitors.

They allow firecrackers in Manila? Love that threw any coins in? Ha ha.
Have a great Rabbit year and stay young, keep a song in your heart. Ingat ka palagi.

Beng Gee said...

Hi Alf! Actually, it's nice to act like a genuine tourist in your own place once in a while! Lol! But in your case, in fairness,you'd really be like a tourist after being away for long.
Yes, I remember that hotel w/ revolving restaurant too. But also forgot the name.he he.. It's in Echague St. It's now the building for SM Clearance Outlet!

Thank you for your time Alf! See you again! Ingat!

Beng Gee said...

Hello Lee! These places I visited back have had so many significant changes since my time there. For one, they are mow over crowded unlike before. Yes, they allow firecrackers in Manila, which sometimes badly causes accidents. sigh! And on that fountain, no one ever threw coins in it.Lol. It's a far cry from the wishing well of Rome. ha ha.ha..!!

Am happy you got time to drop by Lee! Terima Kaseh! Ingat ka!

angsarap said...

Wow I miss Manila and its busy street! I miss those street vendors, I remember I always buy my mud crabs from them (theyre cheap). Even that Savoury restaurant I remember their grilled chicken showing infront of the restuarant window and when I was a child they were dominant in thats space, no chicken joy, Andoks or Kenny Rogers back then.

Thanks for sharing this one, I can just reminisce for now.

Beng Gee said...

Hi Raymund! Glad I rekindled some old memories of yours about these places in Manila! Yeah, Savory then had their chickens displayed while being cooked. So, you’ve already seen those vendors of Quiapo huh? Gosh, there are too many of them now! They are already clogging the streets around Quiapo and Sta. Cruz. But I enjoyed my shopping (of veggies)! Everything’s so cheap.

Salamat sa pagdalaw Raymund! See you in your site soon kahit palagi mo ako ginugutom! he he..

chubskulit said...

Wow, nakakamiss yung suman TitaB hehehe..

Sensya na po at madalang ang aking visits, medyo busy kasi.. Here I am at 12:13 am trying to bloghop lol..

Beng Gee said...

Hi Rose! So glad to find you here! Maraming thank you for the precious time. I understand you're super busy but still, puyat to the max ka just to blog hop and make it here.

Come home now para di mo na ma-miss ang suman!

Salamat ulit at ingat lang palagi!

PinayWAHM said...

Wow...dami mong napabalik down memory lane ah....not very familiar with the nooks and crannies of Quiapo...but I know some of the places kasi my Tatang 'trained' me to commute from Quiapo to St. Scho kasi the first boarding house he found for me [a friend's apt actually] was located in Quiapo. Tinuruan ako kung saan sasakay ng jeep & back. Would you believe he stayed with me in the boarding house for 2 weeks just to 'train' me? I didn't last long dun sa boarding house [3 weeks ata] kasi the moment he left I cried every single day...hehehe.

But because of that 2-week experience, eh natuto akong magpunta ng Quiapo...

Thanks for reminding us of the good 'ole days...

Have a great week ahead...


Beng Gee said...

Hello Huling! Nice to know na nakapag-stay ka rin pala sa Manila! Katuwa ka naman, sobrang Daddy's girl ka pala! Maybe that time, though much later than mine, eh, di pa kasing gulo noon sa Quiapo. Ibang iba na kasi sya ngayon! Super chaotic na! Baka di mo na kayanin ang gulo lalo na't galing ka dyan sa pananahimik sa magandang Estado ng Florida!(lalim ng tagalog ko 'no?) he he

Thanks for the shared trivia!
And for your time, as always!

Dhemz said...

wow! ang saya-saya...these photos made me miss the philippines more....:) iba talaga ang pinas....:)

thanks for sharing the pics titaBeng....:)

sensya po at ngayon lang naka landing....:) hope all is well..s.alamat po sa dalaw at comments!

Princess Sarah said...

wow, ang saya talaga dito, Phil. is indeed a beautiful place.

Bacolod and Beyond

J said...

I was transported back in time. buhay pa ang Syvels? at yung mga suman, naglaway ako. although madalang ako dyan when I was still living there, I've trekked down there enough para tumatak sa isip ko ang Quiapo. paguwi ko dyan, pasyal tayo Tita B.

hope you're having a great week and a peaceful weekend. ako dito, nangingisay na sa ginaw(lol).

Beng Gee said...

Hi Dhemz! I'm glad these photos gave you a glimpse of our country and made you not to forget. he he..

Am always happy seeing you here! Salamat din sa oras mo Dhemz!

Beng Gee said...

Hello Princess Sarah! Yes, Philippines is a beautiful place indeed. Kaya lang minsan, Pinoys don't know how ro take care of it!

Have a great day!

Beng Gee said...

Hi J! Can't believe it too na buhay pa ang Syvel's! Yes, why not? Come here na at ipapasyal kita dito sa Quaipo it'll be my pleasure to be your tour guide!

Kami naman dito non-stop ang perspiration kasi sobrang alinsangan na! Hayyys.. Ingat ka dyan and keep warm always!

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