A Visit to Ongpin (Chinatown)



It's been some years since I found myself traipsing along the streets of Chinatown. Nevertheless, it is one of my favorite places, partly perhaps, due to the fact that I am half-Chinese. There is just always so much to see. The place is rich with the Chinese culture, and a lot about it reminds me of Hong Kong (which I find myself missing dearly from time to time). Perhaps this is where the major difference between the Chinese and the Filipinos lie. The Filipinos adapt to whatever culture they are in, the Chinese bring a bit of their own for everyone to experience. They say that in every country (and perhaps major city) in the world, there is a Chinatown.
Disclaimer: Picture are mine, taken by a myPhone. Please forgive the low quality as it is not the best of phones, or the best of cameras.

The arch, welcoming travelers to Chinatown. Once you step through, you can
see the shops and vendors lined along the sidewalk, selling things from trinkets
to jewelry to fruit and various Chinese medicines.

Ongpin Arch, leading to the Ongpin Bridge.

Ongpin Bridge

At a Buddhist temple nearby, people were lighting candles and offering
a prayer or perhaps a wish for prosperity in the new year.

Tiny pineapples wrapped in a wreath of dalandan.
I'm not sure what they signify, but, judging from the red ampaoenvelope, I think they are supposed to bring wealth.

Several shops sell candied fruits. I've tried out some of this, specifically
the cherries, the plums, and the hawthorne. They're really good!

Sungsong—peanuts that have been dried—is a favorite snack.

Various wines are also soled, such as those from the goji berry.

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