Binondo Chinatown: A Photo Diary

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I had free time in my hands so I grabbed Chace the camera and did a little stroll in downtown Manila. I haven’t set foot in the capital for quite a while after I graduated from college. Manila City for me is a chaotic place but it has its charms – and most of it lies in the old nooks. The charm of this urban hyperreality is when it transports you back to its heydays.

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DSC_0006Most of the streets have crisscrosses of electric wires. 

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DSC_0009Life as they know it

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DSC_0011I think I have overdosed on old Hong Kong films. Thanks, VSCO hehe.

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Binondo is the oldest Chinatown outside the mainland. In this little cramped neighborhood, your senses will be entertained by the sights, smells, and sounds of a bustling neighborhood. Business looks good and every street features a distinct feel of being in another place aside from Manila as we have known it. Honestly, though it could use a more precise urban planning. In the same time, the chaos here seems part of the daily life. Everyone looks so used to it.

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DSC_0016I’m amazed they do their coffee in siphons!

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What is a trip to Chinatown without dimsum! Everytime I think of Chinatown, all I could ever think is dimsum and tea, dimsum and tea, and repeat! I’ve had a bad case of craving for dimsum for a month now so this is a much-needed part of my trip. I just wished Wai Ying had beancurd rolls then, because in my book it’s the best dimsum!

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IMG_4906*burp!*

IMG_4907The narrower streets harbor the best food in town!

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IMG_4908I needed to do a little more walking, but first – I had to buy hopia for my friends!

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DSC_0030That TXTFIRE firetruck! 

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DSC_0035One of the oldest church in Quiapo district

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I spent a rather short time in the area and I walked back to the train station to go back to Makati. I’d love to spend more time in Chinatown though y’know and maybe explore more of Manila. The old city has so much to offer if you let her.

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Quick note: to get to Binondo, one can simply ride LRT-1 to Carriedo station. Head towards the direction of the old BPI building and you can see Escolta. Walk straight through and turn right at Yuchengco/Nueva street. When you see Ying Ying teahouse – it’s definitely time to slow down for some tea and dimsum… and many more will ensue if you’ll walk some more! From there, you can get to Divisoria, U-belt, or Ermita (for the National Museum and Intramuros!) I have yet to walk some more, though.

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Jeez how much longer til the weekend, eh?

I made some art prints you can order from Society6. Let me know what you think!

Chatuchak Weekend Market, Bangkok

If there is one singular entity that made Bangkok a shopping paradise and had put itself on the radar of shoppers worldwide, it’s not even the malls – though they are beautiful and grandiose – it’s the hectares and hectares wide of a shopping space called Chatuchak Weekend Market. The guidebooks weren’t joking when they said this will be a test of endurance. The largest weekend shopping market also boasts of all buys – from your fancy shoes to exotic pets!

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Since it is open only on weekends, a lot of locals were also on the train to go there. What we did was to take the BTS Skytrain to Mo Chit and this brought us a stone’s throw away from the main thoroughfare. You can never miss it – because the shopping begins right after you go down the train!

 

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The maze starts here — just right after going down the train station. It is wild, I tell you! Hats, toys, clothes, food, and little trinkets are sold on the streets. Filipinos know how Divisoria looks like — girl, Chatuchak is like on steroids!

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IMG_3792When in Chatuchak: remember that authenticity is not its biggest game…

IMG_3794But, fancy may be its middle name (that rhymes, hehe!)

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IMG_3797God, just thinking how to ship this back home – if it gets past through the airport X-ray!

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May I just say that when in Chatuchak, learn to follow your senses. Or at least trust where your feet leads you. It would help if you and your mates are in roaming because it is easy to get lost here. Find a common meetup point, because it might just get ugly. Follow the locals – they know their way around.

IMG_3799This big wok of paella, jeez

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I brought home a lot of these decals because I couldn’t resist. But I had to buy an extra bag because I kinda overestimated the baggage I brought with me. I think I got each for 300 baht each! Such a steal! As I type, my Darth Vader decal by Keetat Sitthiket is forcing me to the dark side.

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After half a day (not enough though) at Chatuchak, and a dozen cans of Thai milk tea, our feet were tired and our shoulders are aching. It was time to go back to the hotel for some well-deserved pool time (*hint, hint*)

Photos taken using an iPhone 5

Saturdays: Football and Social Media for Social Good

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I have my weekend pretty free and (even if still at work) I’m thinking what to do or where to go this lovely Saturday morning. Good thing, there’s the Adobo Cup where some of my friends from some agencies (Hello Patty [and Dom and Clarence but are in HK!]) and Globe will play! They’re prolly at the field now at the Gatorade – Chelsea FC Blue Pitch in Circuit Makati to stretch and get their game on already (and me still typing away and talking to clients. Meh.) I can’t get enough of World Cup 2014, so this is a pretty good fuel to the fire!

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Football has gained traction in the country over the years and it’s good ’cause it’s helping communities as well — think of it like basketball in the 90’s. “We want to capitalize on the sport of football as an intervention tool for children in underserved communities. Sports is a way to develop the children’s well-being and may also open doors for them to a better life,” said Fernando Esguerra, Globe OIC for Corporate Social Responsibility. Globe invests on these communities by means of football, as spearheaded by Azkals Team Captain and Globe Ambassador Chieffy Caligdong.

Now only if I have been sporty myself. I just fancy watching so might as well support it!

P.S. I don’t get basketball and boxing though. Can we focus on football instead? HAHA!

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Then there’s the Social Media Day happening in the afternoon! Where we are celebrating the Best of Online Media #boomPH! For the past three years (four if we count in Twestival as a prototype!) we have been celebrating social media in the country and this year, we will come together and be ONE community of online communities! It’s overwhelming how there are a LOT of online communities for such a small country! We are a social media capital after all – we’re kinda known for that!

You’ll be amazed how many are going to this event: IGers Manila, Tumblr Philippines, Mozilla Philippines, Windows Phone Users, Google Business Groups (GBG), Google Student Assistants (GSA), Google Education Group (GEG), Google Developers Group (GDG), Hootsuite Ambassadors, Soundcloud Philippines, istorya.net, iVolunteer.ph, Tradeschool Manila, Philippine Web Designers Organization, Filipino Freethinkers, Change.org PH, Youth Act Now and labor advocacy group EILER Inc.

Thanks to the sponsors as well, for helping make this happen: SM Cares, SM Supermalls, Globe Telecom, BPI, Asia Brewery, Nestle, ATI, Solid Mac, Picture City, Smart, Google, Hootsuite, Beyond the Box, ThoughtBuzz, Team Manila, Oishi, Echostore, Commune, Bayani Brew, Puto Flan, Burger Company, Croque, Bronuts, Moon Leaf, Philippine Coffee Board, Binalot.

So if you got a free Saturday and wanna meet people and learn more about the social media landscape in the country, register here FOR FREE!

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