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To Infinity and Beyond. "Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Binondo scenes.

PHILIPPINES | Friday, 1 August 2008 | Views [1321]

Binondo, according to Nick Joaquin in “Manila, My Manila,” was the name given by the early settlers of Manila to one of two delta isles—the other being Tondo—which they discovered when they arrived into what is now known as Manila Bay. Both names, he said, referred to tallness. He further described Binondo as a land grant given to the Christian Chinese colony during the 1630s, as an effort to absorb the Chinese into Philippine culture. Two famous Chinese-Filipinos then came from this small barrio: Don Roman Ongpin, who helped finance the Propaganda and the Revolution; and Lorenzo Ruiz, who became the first Filipino to be canonized as a saint by the Catholic Church. Then during the mid-1800s, Binondo was even referred to as “the most important and opulent town of the Philippines and its true commercial capital.”

In the streets of this old arrabal was where I, along with some of my friends and cousins, decided to walk one Sunday afternoon to rediscover one part of old Manila. During my childhood I had feared of going around Binondo, especially during the Good Fridays when my father piously took the family around Manila’s old churches to do our visitation, because of a fear of getting kicked by the horses drawing calesas—a fear that I am ashamed to admit that still has a bit of grip on me even now. I guess bringing a camera and having a picturesque location can be a powerful motivation to drive old phobias away, even if temporarily.

Anyway, rather than let words describe what I've seen, this time let me take you to a visual tour of scenes through some photos I took during our walk around some parts of Binondo, Manila. (click photo to follow link)

Tags: culture, manila, philippines, photography, street life



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