Street tour

Enter the Water Dragon

Carriedo Fountain, which stands on Plaza Sta. Cruz, is dedicated to Don Francisco Carriedo whose obras pias or pious works included a legacy he left in his will for the funding of Manila’s water system.

It’s only been a few days since Manila’s streets has gone back to its business-as-usual pace but already, residents are combing the streets again to prepare for another important celebration: Chinese New Year, which falls on a Monday, January 23. This time, people go in and out of its stalls and shops for lucky items, foods, and fruits to attract more good fortune into their homes.
Chinatown, in the Binondo commercial and business district, is said to be the oldest Chinatown in the world, having been established in 1594. Lately, it’s become more vibrant and intense in color as red lanterns, red bells, red envelopes, and other lucky items are sold and displayed. And come Chinese New Year, the place gets more festive with dragon and lion dances, music, firecrackers and fireworks, and a lot of feasting. For those who’ve always wanted to take a glimpse of this vibrant district, take a virtual street tour through the eyes of photographer Bernard Testa and enjoy the colorful sights and rhythms of this bustling historical landmark.

Calesa or horse-drawn carriage is still a popular mode of transportation in the district.

Lido de Paris is one of the oldest hotels in Chinatown.

A local eatery takes on the Chinese motif with paper dragons and other Chinese New Year decors.

Tikoy or glutinous rice cakes are one of the common dishes served during Chinese New Year.

Browse through Ongpin and you’ll see every item to bring you luck in the New Year, including these Buddha icons, dragons, jade, and various amulets.

Salazar bakery is one of the oldest and famous establishments in Chinatown.

On Ongpin corner Tomas Pinpin streets, the faithful offer incense to an image of Jesus Christ. Here, east meets west even in matters of faith.

Binondo Church, also known as Minor Basilica of St. Lorenzo Ruiz, was founded by the Dominican priests in 1596. Despite wars and natural disasters—and many restoration works later—its original octagonal belltower has remained intact.

On Carriedo Street, China-made garments make Chinatown one of the best sources of fashionable for ladies.

A street vendor on Carriedo street keeps it fun and light.