A Walk Through Ongpin Street in the Oldest Chinatown in the World

Tony Nievera photographs a day in Manila's biggest and oldest community.
by | August 07, 2015

Entering China Town is like being transported to a different part of the world without the need of a plane ticket. Its contrast with other parts of manila is striking, and one will notice is it as soon as one sees its famous arch.

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It’s as busy as the other districts in the metro, but it exudes Chinese culture in every corner.

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Being the oldest Chinatown in the world, its decades of wisdom and experience is apparent in how its buildings, streets and walls look like.

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It’s an interesting sight how modern businesses merge with preserved Chinese symbols and the old, almost distressed, character of the buildings.

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Very true to its essence and utilization back in 1592, Chinatown is where Chinese and Filipino culture meet.

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It’s also known to be home of authentic Chinese cuisine.

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You can find, or better yet taste, the famous Estero eatery. The ambiance (or name) may not be as impressive, but the quality and taste will not disappoint.

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It doesn’t have to be the Chinese New Year for there to be a high supply of tikoy.

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The same is true for lucky charms.

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Here you’ll find a good example of how Chinese culture, Filipino culture, and history are represented in Chinatown very well: a kalesa amidst a street decorated with Chinese lanterns and filled with Filipinos, Chinese and Chinoys.

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Chinatown is not exempted from the harsh realities of society.

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The community provides a background that’s rich in culture and history for mundane tasks of labor. The place is a photographer’s playground.

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Manila’s Chinatown is a very important and representative branch from Pinoy roots. It’s definitely not only a sight to see, but also an inspiring trip-back-in-time experience.


Tony Nievera loves to travel and he's passionate with his photography hobby. He also loves food, astronomy, painting and listening to vinyl records. He Tweets and he has a Facebook page where he shares technology trends, astronomy events, his travels, cooking, vinyl record finds and photography.


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