Having lived pretty much of my time in Manila while pursuing my Masters in Foreign Service at the esteemed Lyceum of the Philippines University, I have been accustomed to visiting Ongpin in Manila, the heart of Chinatown in the Philippines. It never failed to amaze me at how Filipino-Chinese are working on their daily businesses and goings on while enjoying the festivities of the coming Chinese New Year. Such festive occasion is one that is important to all Chinese all over the world including our Filipino-Chinese friends.
Also, just recently been to China evokes a sense of patriotism for me while visiting Ongpin. I visited my favourite Four Seasons Restaurant for their famous and delicious fresh lumpia, something I will never miss when in Ongpin. I was introduced to this restaurant by a Chinese barkada Richmond Siao who lives nearby at Juan Luna in Binondo. I kept coming back when I am in Ongpin and it has been an added customary visit when in Chinatown.
I had also been to the freedom plaza near Binondo Church. I took hold of the marker dedicated to the heroes and fallen Filipino-Chinese martyrs of the Second World War. When you are nearby the vicinity, visit the plaza and take hold of the historic role of the Filipino-Chinese during the Second World War and how also, the imposing and all-spectacular presence of the blessed Saint Lorenzo Ruiz is forever remembered at the center of the plaza.
San Lorenzo Ruiz is the foremost and lone Filipino Saint canonized by the Catholic Church and has been a patron of Filipinos worldwide.
When you are in the Philippines, visit Chinatown and Ongpin. Take the historic walk through the alleyways of the old barter trade in Manila. Taste the authentic Chinese food and feel the Chinese culture in Manila.