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This Week in Metro Manila (January 23 to 29, 2017)

Metro Manila welcomes the Chinese New Year!

By: Karen Grace Libao | January 23, 2017
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Binondo New Year celebration Manila 2017

Chinese New Year’s Eve in Binondo Manila (Image: Leandro Ferrer)

The Filipino-Chinese community in Manila is celebrating the Chinese New Year on January 28, welcoming the Year of the Fire Rooster. Most Filipinos, even those with no Chinese blood, join the much anticipated event at The Manila Chinatown, Binondo, Manila. The celebration comes with dragon or lion dance parades, red lanterns, fireworks display, and more red decorations as these are considered “lucky” in the Chinese tradition.

January 28 is special non-working holiday

Binondo New Year celebration Manila 2017

The longer the dance, the more luck it brings. (Image: Angelo Mangahas)

January 28 is declared as special non-working holiday throughout the country in observance of the Chinese New Year. With 20% of the Philippine population being composed of Chinese and Filipino-Chinese, a day is allocated in respect to and in celebration of the Chinese tradition.

Affordable Chinese eats

Binondo New Year celebration Manila 2017

Dumpling or “wonton” means “swallowing clouds” in Chinese. (Image: Dong Bei Dumpling)

Binondo, one of the best food crawl destinations in Metro Manila, is an ideal venue to discover authentic Chinese dishes that are worth trying.

Dong Bei Dumpling is one of the most visited hole-in-the wall restaurants in the area which has been earning praises in social media for their affordable freshly made dumplings. Meanwhile, those who are looking for a sip of hot soup can go to Benavidez Street, where Lan Zhou La Mien is located. They are notable for serving a wide selection of sumptuous Cantonese-style noodles.

Where to stay

Hotels in Binondo still have available rooms for stay for those who are looking forward to celebrate the Chinese New Year near the Chinatown. However, everyone is advised to book early as rooms might get fully booked on the Lunar New Year’s Day.

Several hotels in different parts of Metro Manila are also offering promos and discounts in celebration of the Chinese New Year. Marco Polo Hotel Ortigas is giving a 50% discount on the second room for guests who will book one regularly priced room. Promo includes buffet breakfast for two.

Binondo New Year celebration Manila 2017

F1 Hotel will hold a Dragon Dance on the Chinese New Year 2017. (Image: F1 Hotel Manila)

F1 Hotel in Bonifacio Global City is welcoming the Year of the Fire Rooster with the traditional dragon dance. The festivity will start at 8:00 AM at the Ground Lobby. It will be followed by a buffet feast featuring the bests of Chinese cuisine.

Binondo New Year celebration Manila 2017

The spacious dining area of Conrad Manila (Image: Conrad Manila)

The Conrad Manila will hold dragon and lion dance performances on the night of January 27, and during the lunchtime of January 28. Guests can have a feast on cuisines prepared by Executive Chinese Chef Eng Yew Khor. Their Chinese New Year menu will be available until February 2, 2017.

Binondo Tour

Binondo New Year celebration Manila 2017

The largest Chinatown Arch in the world can be found in Binondo, Manila. (Image: Michael Ocampo)

Those who are looking for additional trips can go cultural by taking a peek at the World’s Largest Chinatown Arch which was inaugurated by Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada in 2015. Seated at the foot of Jones Bridge, the arch is a combination of modern and traditional design with three pagodas.

Binondo New Year celebration Manila 2017

The historic Binondo Church (Image: Philippine Pride)

A few minute walk will take you to Binondo Church also known as Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz. One of the oldest Christian worship places in the country, the church is maintained and funded by the Catholic Chinese Community. Although the church has undergone two renovations because of natural disasters, its old and fascinating architectural design is still well-preserved.

Shopping galore

Binondo New Year celebration Manila 2017

Traditional delicacies at Binondo (Image: Eng Bee Tin Chinese Deli Facebook page)

A Binondo tour will not be complete without shopping. While there are malls within the area, there are also small shops waiting for visitors to notice what they offer. One such shop is Eng Bee Tin Chinese Deli, who claims to have the best traditional Chinese delicacies in Chinatown such as hopia, tikoy, and ube pao.

Binondo New Year celebration Manila 2017

Lucky charms and home displays for different zodiac animals are available at Yin and Yang Charms and Feng Shui Store. (Image: Yin and Yang Charms and Feng Shui Store)

Consulting a feng shui expert is a good idea after shopping! Yin Yang Charms and Feng Shui Store sells home charms and give advice where to display them in homes and offices. They also offer other gems that are said to attract good luck this year of the fire metal Rooster.

Afternoon rains can be expected

Binondo New Year celebration Manila 2017

Cloudy weather throughout the week

The whole week will be mostly cloudy with periods of shower. A little afternoon rain on the Chinese New Year is in the forecast. Those who will watch entertainment shows and attend the celebration in Binondo are advised to bring an umbrella and wear comfortable clothes.

UBE Express Manila Route

Those who are going to Manila from all three airport terminals can now take the premium airport bus service, UBE Express. The 24-hour shuttle service recently launched its Manila route with stops at Robinsons Place Manila, Heritage Hotel, Pan Pacific Hotel, Hotel Jen, Luneta Hotel, Bayview Hotel, Bayleaf Hotel, and New World Hotel. Robinsons Place Manila, the last drop off point is just 20 to 30 minutes away from Binondo, Chinatown. UBE Express daily trips start at 6:00 AM until 11:00 PM.
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About Karen Grace Libao
Karen writes for a living and for fun. She started her writing career in 2014 when she worked as Content Manager for a women’s website and never looked back since. On her free time, she tries to catch up on her current reads, seeing independently-produced films, watching theatre plays, and attending live music and open mic gigs. She dreams of becoming a published writer and film producer in the future.
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