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It’s that time of the year again when the streets of Binondo in the city of Manila celebrate the start of the Lunar New Year, most commonly known as Chinese New Year.

This year, the Filipino and Filipino-Chinese (Fil-Chi) community will mark the occasion exactly on February 5th. However, with the people here known for celebrating any given tradition ahead of time, visitors and tourists can already feel the spirit of the Chinese New Year in Binondo with various festivities lined up.

Chinatown Binondo, for starters, is the oldest Chinatown in the world — established as early as 1594. To date, with the mixture of Chinese and Filipino cultures blending together, it remains one of the few places in Manila where tourists can get a glimpse of what the Philippines used to be.

Away from the busy business districts of its neighboring towns, Chinatown Binondo is also a top tourist destination, with its sceneries, spots, and foods that you can’t find anywhere else.

Chinese New Year Food

Here, you can treat yourself to the best gastronomic experience with old and traditional restaurants known for serving authentic Chinese and Filipino dishes (or a fusion of both).

From siopao or steamed buns, to siomai and dumplings, to Filipino-Chinese dishes such as sweet and sour fish and spring rolls, Chinatown Binondo has a lot to offer. Here, you will also find two of the oldest churches in the Philippines: the Minor Basilica of St. Lorenzo Ruiz, or Binondo Church, and The Immaculate Conception Parish Church, more commonly known as Sta. Cruz Church.

dumplings in ongpin
ongpin binondo

With its lively atmosphere and fascinating heritage, a visit to Chinatown Manila is a must for anyone looking to experience the multicultural essence of Manila.