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Archive for December 5th, 2011


Last October 25, 2011, I blogged about Exploring Binondo on Foot with hubby and I promised that I would upload the pictures I took of the place. Each picture has its own story to tell.

The Chinatown in Manila is considered the oldest and was established in 1594.

One’s visit to Binondo would not be complete without tasting their delicious and tasty pork dumplings called siomai. They are served hot from those bamboo  racks.

The Calesa or Kalesa, others call it karetela. It’s the 18th century Rolls Royce of the Philippines . It’s a horse-driven carriage that you can still see plying the streets of Binondo.

Have you ever tasted Durian?  Known in Southeast Asia as the “king of fruits”, the durian is distinctive for its unique odor, large size and formidable thorn-covered husk. It is largely cultivated and grown in Davao City.

A busy street corner around Ongpin.

Chinese drug stores abound in  all corners of Ongpin St. I bought a bottle of White Flower (an essence used for headache, muscle pains etc.) and it was slightly cheaper than at Mercury Drug Store.

At the place where we had our lunch, hot green tea was offered for free.

Castanas or roasted chestnuts are sold by the kilo.  We often see lots of people selling these during the Christmas season.

Side by side with modern transport are these Kalesa and tri-bike.

A colorful Chinese store in Ongpin selling everything from Chinese lantern and figurines and other Chinese ornaments which they say are for “good luck”.

One of the famous bakeshops in Ongpin is the Salazar Bakery. They sell all kinds of sweets from hopia to tikoy, machang , mooncakes and other exotic baked goodies.

I was delighted to see this array of a childhood favorite, Haw flakes. They are Chinese sweets made from the fruit of Chinese hawthorn.

Hopia baboy, hopia black monggo, hopia monggo, you name it, they have everything cleverly arranged in shelves – so tempting.

Ah, sugar cane! Another childhood favorite, we used to munch on those sugar canes back in the province. Now they have a more convenient way of extracting the juice without  biting on those hard canes.

The North Bridge of Ongpin – another landmark which would take you to the various small eateries around the place.

Another bakeshop famous for different flavors of hopia is the Eng Bee Tin. They are packed in colorful tin foils and are simply tasty.

These are different fruit preserves and sticky rice cakes called Tikoy.

This is Binondo Church, one of the famous landmarks of Binondo and is known as the Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz, our first Filipino saint.

It was founded by the Dominican priests in 1596.

This is Plaza San Lorenzo Ruiz, right in front of Binondo Church.

Hopia galore – the things I bought in Binondo.

And Tikoy too!

Would these be left behind? I want to go back there and buy some more.

I had a lovely time taking shots of these stones. That’s me holding the camera!

Look how old the buildings are, but not far from these are some highrise buildings which are mainly banks.

They’re colorful, aren’t they?

Koi fish for good luck?

It was just lovely to see this large Buddha made of orange jade ( according to the store owner, it’s for prosperity and good luck too).

I am planning to further explore the place before Chinese New Year, that’s when you could really bargain for even lovely jewelries and accessories which the place is famous for.

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Agimus tibi gratias, omnipotens Deus, pro universis beneficiis tuis, qui vivis et regnas in saecula saeculorum. Fidelium animae, per misericordiam Dei, requiescant in pace. Amen.

(We give Thee thanks for all Thy benefits, O Almighty God, Who livest and reignest forever. And may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.)

Today marks the 4th death anniversary of my Dad. I remember him today with fondness – all the good things that he has done for us, his family and all the good values I learned from him. I do remember the times when I needed to unburden myself and he was always there to listen. I remember the times when I wanted to share  some good news and he was always there to cheer and laugh with us. I remember the times when I felt alone and he was there to  encourage me and to say, life would not be what it is without problems.

If only I could bring back the days when he was still alive, I would  – just to see him laugh, just to see him smile and just to be assured  that he is always there for me no matter what.

I offered a mass for you today Dad.  I know that you are happy with Him now. I miss you.

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