It’s our fourth time celebrating Chinese New Year in Binondo. As usual it was fun as ever, the streets were filled with a lot of vendors, tourists, dragon dancers, fortune tellers, Chinese foods and a lot of interesting activities. It was past seven in the evening when we got to the streets of Binondo, we started walking from Binondo Church and headed our way to Sta. Cruz. Every street was packed not only with Chinese and Fil-Chinese people but even pure Filipinos like us who were there to experience the traditional lion and dragon dances, fireworks. One can almost forget that they are still in the Philippines when they are in Binondo and so much more when you become a part of this celebration.
It is believed that Binondo is the world’s oldest Chinatown and today this is where most of the successful Fil-Chinese trace their humble beginnings. This is also the place where most of the Filipinos have learned to embrace Chinese Culture.
During this time, businesses in Binondo have taken advantage of increasing sales, since a few weeks before new year many have been visiting the place to buy some Feng Shui trinkets which they believe will bring luck to them for the Year of the Water Snake.
Dragon dances are everywhere and participants can go as young as eight years old. This tradition is believed to shoo away bad spirits and gives goodluck to any business.
After the scenes on the streets our hungry tummy led us to the “estero”, this place is a stretch of chinese fastfood restaurants seated right at the side of an estero. And of course not to our surprise, the place was jampacked! We waited for our turn to be seated for I think, almost 25 mins and was advised by the waitress if it is ok to wait for another 30 minutes to 1 hour before our order to be served. Expect this when your there to experience the celebration. My tip is don’t go there without eating anything or else you’ll find yourself starving looking for a place to eat or rather waiting for your turn to be served. We decided not to wait but instead walked our way to Benevidez street hoping to find a restaurant that is not so full. Fortunately, we found one 🙂
For some Filipinos, celebrating Chinese New Year has left an impact to them in effect of being intrigued by the wealth customs and traditions of a typical Chinese family. The reason why there are more and more Filipinos joining and celebrating Chinese New Year in Binondo.
Whatever your purpose is, this kind of celebrations bring us the knowledge of learning others cultures and traditions.
Found a place in Binondo that is not crowded 🙂
Here’s a tip, if you are planning to bring your car going there, please don’t! I mean you can :), if you are patient enough to park your car far from China Town (which what we did). Park your car in Lucky China Mall, you’ll get more chance of parking there, it’s actually one of the newest mall in Binondo. First 5 hours would cost you around 50 pesos, not bad! Because if you insist to find parking within China Town, you will miss the fun and will burn lots of gas before you even arrive at your destination.
Have a Blessed Year of the Water Snake! 🙂