It's the Year of the Ram or the Goat. Whatever you like. China town once again is alive with superstition and culture. There are lots of reds and mythical creatures.
There is also food and things to see.
I was early at the meeting place - Sta. Cruz Church. Many people have already gathered because I have seen many people also use this area as a meeting place for the Chinese New Year.
This is the only Church that I have seen that allows dogs to go up the altar. That is just cute and at the same time interesting. I know there are protocols that allow them not.
The Church is covered in red and Chinese decorations despite that it was Ash Wednesday yesterday. The community was allowed by the Church to use red for the Churches in the area instead of purple.
The first destination is Maki Place for an early breakfast. We have more than 50 participants in this tour. We occupied the whole restaurant.
Maki is a thick soup with meat like pork, chicken or even seafood. Sometimes they also add noodles.
Po Chuan Tim Bakery is one good store where you can taste organic hopia and niangao or tikoy.
Lucky charms abound in many forms and sizes. This is just one of them.
This is the replica of the Sto. Cristo de Longos and is a somewhat pilgrimage site in Binondo. Most don't know that it is just a replica. The original cross is in the Binondo Church.
We made our way to the Plaza de Lorenzo Ruiz named after the Chinese mestizo saint Lorenzo Ruiz, who was martyred in Japan.
Here is one of the original fountains of the Plaza which are more than a hundred years old. They have seen World War II and the destruction of Manila and now its deterioration as a city capital.
Then we make our way amazingly to a mall. This part of the tour I never did understand. The mall is nothing different from other malls.
Then off we are to Hotel Ramada for our buffet. Despite this late there are few people in Chinatown. Maybe because most of the people have work and it also started to rain a little.
Ramada Hotel is a very modern hotel with modern embellishment but still with the Chinese touch for the New Year.
We are going to have their emporo buffet. There are lots of people who also wanted their feast.
The Hotel offers an interesting view of Chinatown and nearby San Nicholas and Sta. Cruz and other areas of Manila. It also towers over the Binondo Church.
There below id the longest dragon dance with more than 100 people holding it up.
The people at Ramada welcomed us and introduced some of the good services they have.
I love their many and varied desserts. Something to die for I say.