Once upon a time, there were three hungry princesses who were bored
and tired of the usual food they could buy on the street sides of their Gastambide kingdom. All they could eat everyday were the regular fried kwek-kwek, fishballs, eggballs, one-day old chick, burgers and fries with the additional cloying taste.
One of them named Kia, remembered that Queen Serafica once told her about this place called ‘Binondo,’ where there are mouthful of delicious delicacies and other chow that no human could ever resist.
Out of curiosity, hunger and cravings, the princesses decided to temporarily leave their castle and make a voyage to that place.
LOOKING BACK (Historical Richness)
From their kingdom, the princesses rode a vehicle called jeepney bound tiDivisoria. Then there, they discovered that Binondo is the world’s oldest Chinatown as it was established by the Spaniards in 1594.
The name ‘Binondo’ was derived from the archaic Tagalog term ‘binondoc’ which means mountainous (referring to the district’s originally hilly terrain).
They also found out that it was known as the center of trade and commerce for all types of business in the Metropolitan which run by Filipino-Chinese merchants dating back to the Ice Age when tribes from Southern China had reached the Philippines through the land
During the Spanish period, it was created for the ‘Sangleys’ (Spanish term for the Chinese derived from the Hookien “siong-tay” which literally means “often comes”) and converted Chinese immigrants, across the Pasig River from Intramuros where the Spaniards lived. That was also the time in past when
Chinese blood united to the Filipino roots making the Filipino-Chinese (a.k.a. Chinoy/ Tsinoy) the most assimilated Chinese community in Southeast Asia.
The three princesses were amused on how the buildings and establishments they were passing by as all of them were designed in
traditional Chinese architecture which would really make anyone feel that as if you’re in China.
They first stopped in one of the food business of the Eng Been Tin Chinese Deli along Ongpin street, which offers special hopia ube and other flavors like mongo, baboy, and other products like tikoy in variant sizes, colors and shapes; purple yam cake (ube cake); almond cake; Chinese noodles, dried seafoods like adobong pusit, puto, breads and candies with prices range from P9 to P300.
With its purple theme, ambient store and most especially good-natured people accompanying every customer with their warm smile, visitors will definitely leave the shop without any bags on their hands.
Seemingly unaware to their next destination, they were still wandering along the Ongpin street, when their sight were captured by the colorful fruits that aren’t usually available in the market such as dragon fruit (the one with some sort of spikes), big version of balimbing, red-colored pears, big red tomatoes and other Chinese-related fruits that they believed to bring luck
While still imagining the uncommon fruits, their eyes were soon enticed to the castaňas vendor as they never seen something similar to their empire. (See pictures)
MORE THAN JUST A FOOD
The clock was ticking so fast as the princesses ran out of time to visit more food establishments and stalls in Binondo.
still satisfied to see historical places such as the Plaza San Lorenzo Ruiz (the first Filipino saint); the Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz; the Binondo Church (San Lorenzo Ruiz Church) where our hero Bonifacio and his wife held their wedding; Santo Cristo de Longos, just on the corner of Onpin and San Nicolas street where a cross is adorned by garlands of Sampaguita and a jar where incense sticks are burned by devotees; the ‘Filipino Chinese Friendship Arch and the Manila-
Beijing Friendship bridge.
All of this historical palces made Binondo as one of the living proof of the tight bond between Filipinos and Chinese culture.
REASONSSSSSS TO GO BACK
After the journey, the princesses realized that it is important to know first the place you’ll want to go and not be easy forced by desperation and mere curiosity. They
researched more about Binondo and they somehow thought that there are some food places they failed to visit like the ‘Shanghai Fried Siopao’ which locaed still along Ongpin Street and offers the best siopao ever made in universe for only P16.
There is also the ‘Wai Ying Fastfod’ along Benavidez Street which serves awesome milk tea (P50), dimsums, Roasted duck congee, mouthwatering Shrimp Chong Fan, Curry beef and Century egg that according to food bloggers will definitely tickle your taste buds.
Another famous restaurant also along Benavidez Street is ‘Masuki’ which is known for selling the biggest siopao and siomai in Binondo. They also have Beef wanton noodles in big serving for only P55, a not-so-heavy price to satisfy your cravings for tasteful noodles.
And when it comes to dumplings, ‘Tasty Dumplings’ is the place to
go in Binondo for its flavorful dumplings and they as well offers variety of yummy Chinese noodles like Pork chop
noodles for only P99.
Nevertheless, the princesses were quiet satisfied with their first time food tripping in the kingdom of Binondo. As they went back home to their palace, they left the goody place with yummy treats, happy and satisfied.