How I Celebrate CNY at Ongpin Street in Binondo Manila

How I Celebrate CNY at Ongpin Street in Binondo Manila

Hello Beautiful!

Yup it’s a gorgeous picture, flaming in red tassels and gold ornaments.

This wasn’t captured in Hong Kong – but can be found in a busy streets of Binondo, particularly in Ongpin Street.

It was the 28th of January when I visited the Ongpin Street for the first time of my life, to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year. I’ve heard many stories about this street, especially how busy the people are, the community and cultures, and what does we can expect when we visit this place.

However, it was an adventurous solo trip for me that day. It was a spontaneous one and my sole agenda is to witness how they celebrate the Chinese New Year and of course to capture souvenir photographs.


How I Celebrate CNY at Ongpin Street in Binondo Manila


So started my journey at around 11:20AM where I took a bus from Market Market Mall to Ayala BGC bus station and paid Php12.00 flat rate fare. Then at 11:46AM I took a MRT train from Ayala Station to Taft Station and paid Php13.00 and another LRT train from EDSA Station to Carriedo Station and paid Php20.00 fare.

I honestly felt a bit confused because it’s been awhile since I did this kind of commuting, usually I hire a GRABCAR to ease the stress during my trips. But that day was different so I took a shot.

It wasn’t that bad actually, just like what most locals are saying about MRT and LRT trains. Or maybe because its Saturday and holiday so there are quite few passengers using the train.

Anyway, lucky me then!


How I Celebrate CNY at Ongpin Street in Binondo Manila


So from Carriedo Station, I’ve used my Google map on my phone to track the way to Ongpin Street, and luckily I made it to the infamous Binondo fountain. Yes it was crowded that day, I realized there are many non-Chinese does celebrates CNY in Binondo.


How I Celebrate CNY at Ongpin Street in Binondo Manila


After taking some few shots (I guess it me more than 30x just to get this arch photo, lol) I braced myself and headed inside the busy street of Ongpin.

My Mom used to tell me that Ongpin street is where you can buy those gold jewelries and Chinese medicines, and yes all of these are lined-up on both sides of the streets.


How I Celebrate CNY at Ongpin Street in Binondo Manila


My agenda was to indulge for a food trip in Ongpin, but I guess that trip needs to reschedule in other days. I underestimate the crowd and I decided to cancel my food trip (as there is no restaurant available, or some are fully booked which is not an option for me either).

So I enjoyed doing a photo walk instead. Well, at least my camera is well fed, lol


How I Celebrate CNY at Ongpin Street in Binondo Manila


Binondo is the oldest Chinatown here in Manila. It has a very unique charm and without these crowd – I guess it would be a different place, definitely not the known Chinatown. Though the best part to get to know this place through food hopping (which is sadly I didn’t make it – such a total bummer).
So that means there is a second part awaiting juts dedicated for the food hopping journey at Binondo coming soon!


How I Celebrate CNY at Ongpin Street in Binondo Manila


How I Celebrate CNY at Ongpin Street in Binondo Manila


During Chinese New Year, it is a familiar sight to see there numerous stalls of vendors selling various kind of lucky charms. From au naturals to something high-end (think about a gold charm bracelets from one of the Ongpin Jewelry shop), each of these charms represents good luck, and prevents you from bad chi leading you to unluckiness for the whole year.


How I Celebrate CNY at Ongpin Street in Binondo Manila


And also watching the dragon dances is one of the exciting activities during Chinese New Year. Each business stores are arranged to be visited by a group of performers of dragon and lion dance, which brings good luck to the business for the whole year.


How I Celebrate CNY at Ongpin Street in Binondo Manila


There wasn’t any restaurant opened that day (I saw a few - some are fully booked, and others are closed for CNY) so I enjoyed picking with some street foods (and hope that I won’t go home with tummy ache, lol). So far its still a good one and also cheap – just like this stick of delight for just Php15.00 (Php3.00 each). But I didn’t gamble to try those street drinks, because that I find a bit scary.


How I Celebrate CNY at Ongpin Street in Binondo Manila


If New Year is something kids enjoys the most like Christmas, here in Binondo I saw kids enjoying the New Year but in a more profitable way. Just like this kid patiently manning his grilled corn business, while his Mom is manning the fruit business next to him.


How I Celebrate CNY at Ongpin Street in Binondo Manila


Because of too much crowd, I didn’t have a chance to explore the adjacent streets along Ongpin. But definitely I will explore it next time during ordinary weekend. And I guess it will be exciting.


How I Celebrate CNY at Ongpin Street in Binondo Manila


This local vendor happily pose for me for a picture with his goods. He sells rooster figures as lucky charms.


How I Celebrate CNY at Ongpin Street in Binondo Manila


He sells these Rooster figurines from Php20.00 up to Php150.00 depending to its designs and sizes.

These could be an awesome paper weight for your office or just a little charm for your desks.


How I Celebrate CNY at Ongpin Street in Binondo Manila


This is the one occasion where you could see grains and root crops with red ribbons, signifying good luck charm. Those grains you could place hanging on your door, and also those root crops (I wonder if you could cook it immediately after the CNY).


How I Celebrate CNY at Ongpin Street in Binondo Manila


More round fruits that signifies good luck charm! And I noticed that fruits and vegetables here are quite cheaper, so it’s hard to ignore it. I bought some to bring home and also some broccolis which are truly cheap! I’ve got 3 huge stalks for only Php120.00.


How I Celebrate CNY at Ongpin Street in Binondo Manila


How I Celebrate CNY at Ongpin Street in Binondo Manila


And when you are in Binondo, you could visit this altar where you can pray, thank the greatest chi for your blessings (and asking for more blessings) and you can light red candles and charms. Am not sure if they have assigned temples in Binondo (if you know somewhere please let me know!).


How I Celebrate CNY at Ongpin Street in Binondo Manila
Then I saw these vendor selling live dyed chicks! As much as they are looked so cute, I couldn’t help but feel pity with these chicks. I mean, are those dyes safe???!!!

How I Celebrate CNY at Ongpin Street in Binondo Manila


As when I thought I’ve already get over with my uptight feeling for those poor dyed chicks, I saw these much poor fishes enclosed tight inside these plastic bags, and I feel that cringed of annoyance. I’ll let you my lovely readers’ judge about it.


How I Celebrate CNY at Ongpin Street in Binondo Manila


More charms for your home, or charms that you could wear on your wrist or an accessories to your bags.


How I Celebrate CNY at Ongpin Street in Binondo Manila


If this picture could talk, this sight adds to my annoyance. Who has in its correct mind to throw garbage in this fountain??!!! I admit that our local people needs more education and discipline and sense of responsibility for this kind of matter. It is really shameful to admit that most of our local people doesn’t appreciate cleanliness, but keeps on whining that their place is filthy. Tsk tsk tsk.


How I Celebrate CNY at Ongpin Street in Binondo Manila


Overall, it was a lovely experience for me visiting Binondo, and definitely I will come back for my scheduled food trip. Maybe I’ll tag my girlfriends with me so we could visit more foodie places to share with you guys!



xoxo, Blair





For more local travel tends here in Manila, follow me on Facebook and Instagram


108 LOVES AND COMMENTS:

  1. It look amazing! I would like to go there too! Lovely photos ◡‿◡✿

    * Yadah Vitalizing Mask Pack *

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Gabrielle! Does your place also have a Chinese community?

      Delete
  2. I've never seen CNY celebrations, but will be happy to see it next year in London.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When there is a Chinese community, am sure there will be fun and colorful festivals. You should try to experience it :)

      Delete
  3. so colourful and red! can feel the festivities. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know Isaac! How's the Chinese New Year in your place? I bet it is more fantastic!

      Delete
  4. I would love checking this out! It's so interesting seeing everything that people sell. I feel like I need one of those fish, ha.

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    Replies
    1. Most of them are little gold fish, but I felt pity on them.. if only the vendor placed it in a more convenient aquarium. The plastic is air tight!

      Delete
  5. What an adventure! I am a huge fan of Chinese culture and frequent our local Chinatown all the time for delicious food and food shopping of all sorts of exotic fruits and vegetables! I would feel right at home here!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Ivonne, and this place is always feel merry. And the foods in most Chinatown are very affordable. Feels like you Mom cooked for you :)

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  6. Looking like a genuine tourist! hehe. the street is so happening!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Aww such a pretty town! I didn't know people in Manila celebrate CNY as well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh the oldest Chinatown in the Philippines is located in Manila.

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  8. If I can, I always try to visit Chinatown wherever I go. Looks olike Ongpin will be on my itinerary should I find myself in Manila. It's an easy enough name to remember.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah and its a place for cheaper shopping... I've got my vegetables for a cheaper price!

      Delete
  9. It looks like you had an awesome time! I feel bad for the dyed chicks and goldfish too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know right.. I don't understand why they need to dyed those chicks???!!!

      Delete
  10. Wow it looks amazing and so vibrant and full of people and things to see! I love street markets and just window shopping in new places - so this looks right up my alley!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is very tempting to buy many Chinese souvenirs and amulets, but I tried my best not too (because it might end up as a clutter). But I did shopped for veggies and fruits for home coz its very cheap!

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  11. Hi Blair, These photos are amazing! It looks like quite a celebration. You look to be having a wonderful time!

    Beth || www.TheStyleBouquet.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Beth! It was my first time to celebrate Chinese New Year here in Chinatown and it was a very amazing experience. I think this will be the start of creating new tradition :)

      Delete
  12. I love visiting Chinatowns in different cities when I travel, there's always something interesting to explore! Too bad you didn't get to do your food trip but at least you have an great excuse to go back!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed Nellwyn, next time it will be a straight foodtrip alone in Chinatown. I've heard many interesting foods and I would like to taste it!

      Delete
  13. You have captured the beauty of Manilla. Beautiful pictures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! But I believe it will be more beautiful if the local people are discipline enough not to litter. I felt disappointed to see such scenarios.

      Delete
  14. Looks awesome. I have never been there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Meagan,

      If you have a chance to visit Manila, add Ongpin to your itinerary :)

      Delete
  15. Looks like a fun and successful trip! Chinatowns are always fun to walk through! The food, the trinkets, the unique gifts... it's all fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. and always won't hurt your wallet.. well just be careful with your wallet for pickpockets, hahaha

      Delete
  16. I'm glad you had a great time there! It looks amazing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Krystal! I haven't visited the nearby streets, but am planning to have it on my next itinerary :)

      Delete
  17. Looks like you had an amazing day! I love all the fresh food and herbs; looks like a foodies heaven:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh that is just a street food and many more when I visit next time :)

      Delete
  18. This is a very informative post. I hope one day I can visit and experience CNY at Ongpin Street.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is always next time Tasheena! Or you can celebrate in other Chinatowns near you :)

      Delete
  19. You went through a lot to get there, wow! I was laughing at the chicks, I use to get those fro spring when I was little.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha, it is quite far from my place, but I got so spontaneous and I want to experience different celebration. Yeah I felt pity for the chicks..

      Delete
  20. What a great trip. I love all the photos you took and the way you described exploring around. I felt myself completely transformed to all those colors. Thank you for sharing this!

    Wendy
    https://sisterlyserendipity.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for visiting dear! There will be more exploration coming to this blog. Sometimes I think I was like Dora The Explorer, LOL

      Delete
  21. What a great feeling of warm and community during the Chinese New Year. It looks like its an amazing tradition and so much fun for everyone of all ages!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, everyone is having fun and celebrating :)

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  22. What a great post with incredible pictures! Some of those foods look so amazing. Aw, I definitely feel for those poor fish :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just lucky there is a foodsticks available! Because I might end up eating in the fastfood chain which is not my option that time. I was planning to eat authentic Chinese foods in Binondo.

      Delete
  23. Looks like such a wonderful and vibrant place! Glad you had such a great time!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I like it that I think all Chinatown in all over the world has the same look and always as busy all year round. When I first look at the arch in your pic, I thought that was in Malaysia. Hehe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I see, I would love to visit Malaysia soon!

      Delete
  25. it seems so happening there. would love to visit Manila one day

    ReplyDelete
  26. I feel sad for the chicks, too. Great post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know what's in the mind of the vendors that they need to color the chicks!

      Delete
  27. Oooh so many people! For a second I thought you were in Thailand instead of in Manila. Anyway, hope you have a great CNY celebration!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ohh hahaha I think when you are in Asian countries, it is quite normal that you feel you are in the same country. However Thailand is way different in Manila. I would love to visit it one day and celebrate the water festival!

      Delete
  28. Wow~ Don't know Philippine celebrate CNY too! =D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes we are! Most of Filipinos have mixed Chinese blood and we acknowledge this kind of celebration. So in the Philippines, we also have two new year's eve :)

      Delete
  29. This is cool. Being born in raised in the province, I've never got the chance to visit Binondo. I've heard about it being the China Town in Manila, so no doubt that their celebration for Chinese New Year is extravagant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I actually missed the other parts of celebration because am already exhausted (and lack of planning, lol) Next time I will cover more!

      Delete
  30. What an experience! I'd love to visit an area that celebrates Chinese New Year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Shelby, come and visit Manila and the whole Philippines!

      Delete
  31. Manila China town is so happening. So many lovely gift to buy and eat too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree.. those amulets and trinkets are so tempting :)

      Delete
  32. Hey Blair, thanks for sharing this post! Its really cool to see photos of how other celebrate chinese new year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you DOTT! You can also explore my blog for more travel posts :)

      Delete
  33. I love exploring little markets like that. You find so many cool and random things. Also that food looks amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Nina! Keep on browsing our pages :)

      Delete
  34. I like the emphasis you put on photography to tell the story. Looks great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Christopher! Yeah sometimes you have to give more emphasis just like when you are telling a story to a friend.

      Delete
  35. Love these Asian markets bursting with color, fresh fruit andthe smell of street food stalls. Very interesting place - maybe with the exception of the crowds that might make the walk a bit difficult ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah luckily I was wearing my sneakers and wear comfortable clothes because its a bit humid then :)

      Delete
  36. The entire street looks like a shopper's paradise! However, the died chicks and the fish in bags are simply cruel... I have seen similar in Hong Kong and wished to buy them all and release them in the harbour.... :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah it is so cruel I don't know why this are not pursuit by the authorities. That is obvious a animal cruelty, of especially those chicks.

      Delete
  37. The Chinese New Year always brings such joy to people around the world. The markets look like a lot of fun. WOuld love to explore for hours in places like this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes and they celebrate it with family and close friends. I love it!

      Delete
  38. Binodo looks like such a lovely place, I love spontaneous trips they are always the best and you look great too

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Anosa,

      I always enjoy spontaneous trips and learn the place by myself alone, and get encounter with locals, and discover things... even when am overseas, I also love to get lost :)

      Delete
  39. Oh, how vivid are the colours of those chicks! And yes, I feel sad for the fishes in the plastic bags, but I respect the customs of different cultures as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well selling a colored chicks is not in our customs! It only shows how selfish these vendors are and doing everything just to earn money.

      Delete
  40. seems great! am looking for other place to visit this seems like a good one!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Such a diverse range of market stalls with goodies and treats. Looks like a once in a lifetime event!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Shane,

      Hhmmm not really because Chinese New Year happens every year, but this is my first time to celebrate at Chinatown :)

      Delete
  42. Wow, the place looks super busy! But hey I'm not surprised. Chinatown where I'm from is SUPER crowded during CNY too. Glad you made your first visit there, and hopefully not your last.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello dear,

      I guess it will be the start of my new tradition, and I'm glad and fell blessed :)

      Delete
  43. Loving all the colour in the photographs! That skewer looks scrumptious, too!

    ReplyDelete
  44. What a fun solo trip you had! Those dragon dances looks spectacular! The Chinese New Year celebration looks so colorful

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, and pity I missed the acrobat dancing lion - that is more fan because the lion seems flying while dancing :)

      Delete
  45. Wow I love solo trip! Glad you were able to make it! Haven't been to Quiapo for years. Now I'm craving for Chinese noodles and siopao. Lols.

    Mhaan <3 | Mommy Rockin' In Style - Beauty and Mommy Blog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh is Binondo in Quiapo? or Binondo is Quiapo? Wow now am confused! LOL

      Delete
  46. One of the photo look like Petaling street in KL. will be back to Manila soon to explore Palawan and vlogging.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And hope you'll get many adventures here in Manila :)

      Delete
  47. Bit of a bummer you didn't get to go on a food tour, but it looks like you had a great time without it! Your camera was definitely well fed haha love all of the pictures, makes me feel like I was there too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha thanks Tara. Next time when I visit Ongpin, it will be more on foodtrip!

      Delete
  48. This looks like such a nice area. Perfect for shopping and exploring. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes and more of foodtrip if only the restaurants are open. But very soon I will share that moment!

      Delete
  49. Wow! Looks interesting though extremely crowded. I'm kinda allergic to crowded places!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha me too, but I dared myself, and I succeeded :)

      Delete
  50. I think doing a photo walk through the old Town is a great way of capturing the festivities of a place. I can see how much fun you and your camera had. It seems so lively and vibrant... :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha yes and I would do it again in Ongping and in other places of Manila that I've never been :)

      Delete
  51. Waa it looks like CNY at Ongpin Street is so happening! I wondering like they are still going during CNY too, the crowds looks crowded too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Free performances and affordable to cheap shopping makes it a super crowded celebration :)

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  52. so colorful and interesting. glad you share this post, I didn't know of this until I see here :D

    ReplyDelete
  53. Some great photos here! I have never been to a festival like this but I really should since I now work in the International District in Seattle. They always have the best foods and things to check out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh you must participate to these festivals because its really happening and good for international learning :)

      Delete
  54. There is so much to click and see on ongpin street. I am big fan of souvenirs and here I could buy plenty of Lucky Charms for me. But this street seems to be too crowdy too. I really feel pity seeing those dyed chicks and trapped fishes. I wish I could free them all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Suruchi and thank you for sharing your thoughts, especially about those chicks. My friends find them cute, but to be honest I hate that photo. It irks me seeing these selfishness just to earn a living.

      Delete

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