Explore Manila’s Chinatown with Raoul Rossetti
Manila is filled with historical landmarks that are rich in culture and significance that you can see to this day. Though the Philippines is mainly known for its white sandy beaches, it also has a bustling city life. The city life is full of not just the coming and goings of commuters and tourists, but also the infrastructure and tradition that has stood the test of time.
My job as a male escort requires me to be familiar with the ins and outs of the places where my clients would want to spend their time with me. One of the many benefits of flying to different countries is getting to experience the more intimate spaces that not a lot of people are familiar with.
The Beauty of Binondo
Manila’s Chinatown, or known as Binondo, is dubbed as the ‘oldest China Town in the world,’ where it once stood as the center of commerce and trade between Filipinos and foreigners. The Chinese played a large hand in the market that the Philippines incorporated into their own. The vibrancy of Binondo reflects how it has grown and remained in the hearts of the Filipinos. Here are 5 locations that are sure to grab your attention during your stay in Binondo.
Filipinos are a religious people, and it’s no surprise that one of the entry markers for Binondo’s Chinatown is Binondo Church. From various activities such as weddings and baptisms to being a functional ‘city hall’ during calamities and emergencies, the church is a staple for every city in Manila.
Its construction can go as far as the 1500s when the earliest Dominicans arrived in the Philippines to teach Christianity to the Filipino people. It faced multiple attacks, from attacks from the British in the 1700s to being majorly damaged during World War 2. Its latest reconstruction in the 1970s, where its iconic octagonal tower and connected convent, was refurbished.
With the Chinese New Year fast approaching, preparations for celebrating the welcoming of the new lunar year in the Philippines. Among
With most of the selections among Ongpin street towards Yuchengco street, a straightforward crawl to the different alleys of establishments. These establishments serving dim sum, cold cuts, pastries, and delectable fried rice is just a few minutes away. Eng Bee Tin is home to one of the more iconic brands for Chinese delicacies. You’d see tourists from all over visiting it for a bagful of pasalubong filled with its infamous hopia and mooncake.
If sugary treats aren’t to your liking, then you might want to visit New Po Heng, where they serve Chinese-style lumpia, tofu, cabbage, carrots, and other vegetables rolled into one vegan delight.
Lucky Chinatown Mall
No trip to Chinatown would be complete without visiting the community shopping center. Next to other establishments, Lucky Chinatown mall boasts a higher level of prestige over street stalls for a bargain. Instead, a complex of establishments fit both for locals and tourists alike, from a hotel, a shopping annex, various food selections, and even Chinatown’s historical monument.
Beyond a luxurious shopping experience, the mall also has various dining and entertainment hubs with numerous restaurants. Are you feeling the need to taste a little bit of culture? The Chinatown museum located inside one of Lucky Chinatown mall’s annexes displays 18 galleries dedicated to the oldest Chinatown in the world. It contains various artistic, cultural, and historical relics. This including life-sized shophouses from back in the day and a miniature replica of Binondo Church.
Cap the night off with a lovely stroll along the newly-restored Jones bridge. Historical landmarks can only stand against the damages of time and frequently repaired and refurbished as needed. The Jones bridge’s recent reconstruction made from the generous patrons of Chinatown.
The iconic bridge is lined with beautifully sculpted lamps to light up your evening. Filled with as much history, the bridge is dedicated to William Jones, to commemorate the Philippines’ independence. Built-in the 1920s, the Jones bridge is one of the many establishments destroyed during World War 2, rebuilt in the place of the damages.
Grand Café 1919
Last on this list is one of the many locations that are also in my bucket list as a male escort. One of the sights I have yet to visit is the newly-refurbished Grand Café. With its historical building erected as early as 1922, multiple owners have come and gone with time.
Though it was left stagnant after a few years, it was eventually saved, renovated, and reused to house the Grand Café 1919. The large establishment boasts a wide variety of food choices from soups, wagyu stakes, and pasta. But it still hasn’t lost its Chinese roots of serving a selection of Chinese main course dishes along with iconic dim sum.
Visiting the right places at the right time
The trick to making the most of any travel plan is knowing when to visit a specific location. In my experience as a male escort, clients usually schedule our time together during an exciting holiday or event where they would want to meet up.
Right now is the best time to book a trip to the Philippines. Binondo is also reasonably close to Intramuros, a more Spanish colonial era district that boasts various museums and attractions in its own right. Watching the festivities, from the lion dances to the colorful parades, to the mesmerizing fireworks will be a thrill to see in Chinatown for the upcoming celebrations, and one that you shouldn’t miss out.