Last week was a kind of hell for us. We held a seminar, done plenty of meetings, practices, and lots of paperworks. So Hanna and I decided to go to Hidalgo for some break before our sanity can take a break on us.
For some of you who are not familiar with, Hidalgo street in the Quiapo district of Manila is a long stretch of photography stores, selling items ranging from original to pre-owned cameras and accessories. Vintage articles can also be found around the area. I took the pleasure to ask for some items for my camera (coming this February) finding myself some cheap finds. I hope they get cheaper in one month’s time though. /kuripot
We were there to find Hanna a handycam lens filter for a friend; one which we didn’t accomplish. (If some of you know a store which has a 0.35mm lens filter, please do advise.) Having the rest of our free day in the middle of bustling Manila, we went to Chinatown.
My grandmom used to bring me here as a child to procure items for our now defunct sari-sari store in Bulacan. We always eat at granddad’s favorite restaurant, Ongpin Manosa, which is actually a hole in the wall establishment that serves honest-to-goodness Chinese fare, and where we ate lunch. However, I would really just want to extend that they need to improve some sanitation conditions. Anyway, it was a reel of memory for me and a new one for Hanna. Tummies were well filled and satisfied though. I have been craving for Chinatown-style food!
We really are unprepared, I wish I brought my Tsuper maiden issue to guide us. Tsuper put a really hard work on presenting and eliciting appreciation of old Manila. Manila is indeed loveable with all the history and culture going on. Imagine, the Quiapo district alone houses the very popular Quiapo church, a Mosque with a Muslim community around, and Chinatown. Not to mention the conglomerate of ancestral houses that stood up since the Spanish era. Manila deserves a second chance to shine. Note to the government: if you’re really damn serious about tourism, drop the lousy campaign ads, leave it to those who really knows their craft, and get started with Manila. It is the capital, after all.
So there we were, kind of lost in a middle of a somewhat foreign land. It actually feels alien when you pass through the gates.
Given the limited knowledge of Chinatown, we went looking for Eng Bee Tin Hopia Bakery instead. It is popular and Hanna has quite a thing for hopia. Eng Bee Tin has four branches around Chinatown. Why do you need so much hopia in Chinatown, anyway?
The spontaneity didn’t stop at Chinatown when we headed straight to the National Museum, something we should have done in our Humanities class. It’s kinda creepy there na pala. (Following photos were legal and taken with supervision with phone camera.)
Nothing is more fitting but to cap the day with our all-time favorite drink – milk tea. We were planning to get Easy Way in Ongpin, but we opted for Happy Fanshu instead.
Can you remember the last time you said you love Manila?