BINONDO: REVISITING THE WORLD'S OLDEST CHINATOWN
 

MANILA, FEBRUARY 1, 2013 (PHILSTAR) By Jovan Cerda - It's considered the oldest Chinatown in the world, established in 1594 by the Spanish colonizers to control Chinese immigrants in the Philippines. But more than 400 years later, Binondo still stands as an indelible symbol of Chinese influence in the country.

Known as a commercial district at the heart of Manila, Binondo typifies a small Chinese community, complete with business centers, restaurants, apothecaries, food stalls and local feng shui shops, among others.

Binondo is a witness to the Philippines' colorful past, which includes the Chinese uprising, the brief British invasion, the Philippine Revolution and World War II.

It also served as home to famous Filipino-Chinese figures, like philanthropist Roman Ongpin, who supported the Philippine Revolution, and San Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino saint.

Today, Binondo is a bustling community of Filipino-Chinese businessmen, immigrants, and local and foreign tourists. Umbrella-covered movable stalls decorate the streets with fruits, delicacies and feng shui items on display. The wafting aroma of cooked noodles fills some of the street corners, leading people into restaurants that offer affordable yet satisfying meals. Some shops play traditional Chinese music, while some seek attention with actual drum beats.

In 2012, Cable News Network's CNNGo website (CNN Travel) included Binondo in its list of the world's best Chinatowns, alongside those in Havana, Kolkata, Bangkok, Johannesburg, Melbourne, Vancouver, San Francisco and London.

In time for the Chinese New Year, philstar.com tours world-famous Binondo and takes you to some of this Chinatown's must-go and must-see places.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

Copyright, 2012 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
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