The Tiger and the Search for the Dancing Dragon

I woke up 5:00 in the morning to witness the Chinese New Year in a place considered the oldest Chinatown in the world, Binondo, Manila

It was a 2-hour trip to Manila from my hometown and I arrived there thinking that I am the only guy with a camera. I was wrong.

People gathered around the fountain that is in front of the gateway arch of Binondo

People gathered around the fountain that is in front of the gateway arch of Binondo.

 

The gateway arch

The gateway arch.

 

Street signage under the Gateway Arch of Goodwill

Street signage under the Gateway Arch of Goodwill.

 

A Lion Statue

A Lion Statue.

 

Got myself some 'Taho' for breakfast

Got myself some ‘Taho’ for breakfast.

 

The group of people in yellow appears to be from IamNikonPhilippines. There are also random people with their cameras

The group of people in yellow appears to be from IamNikonPhilippines. There are also random people with their cameras.

 

Church door having decors in accordance with the Chinese New Year

Church door having decors in accordance with the Chinese New Year.

 

Beggars and Homeless people gather and form a line in front of the church in the other side of the  fountain. The taho vendor said that the church offer free Arroz Caldo (porridge with chicken meat, known food here in the Philippines) to the homeless every friday, saturday and on holidays

Beggars and Homeless people gather and form a line in front of the church in the other side of the fountain. The taho vendor said that the church offer free Arroz Caldo (porridge with chicken meat, known food here in the Philippines) to the homeless every friday, saturday and on holidays.

 

It seems the fountain becomes operational when the clock strikes 8

It seems the fountain becomes operational when the clock strikes 8.

 

It took another two hours until all the shops opened and the people have gathered. And my hunt for the dancing dragon began. I started walking along Ongpin Street and took pictures along the way.

an event stage in front of a hotel

An event stage in front of a hotel.

 

Vendors selling fruits

Vendors selling fruits.

 

Guy selling Castanas (roasted chestnuts)

Guy selling Castanas (roasted chestnuts).

 

Persimmon

Persimmons.

 

Castanas

Castanas.

 

Chinese New Year's cake or Tikoy, as we call it, is very popular among tourists here in Binondo.

Chinese New Year’s cake or Tikoy, as we call it, is very popular among tourists here in Binondo.

 

Goat, Sheep, and Ram figures being sold along the streets

Goat, Sheep, and Ram figures being sold along the streets.

 

solar-powered fanning Buddhas.

Solar-powered fanning Buddhas.

 

Lucky charms

Lucky charms.

 

Penjing trees, also known as Bonsai

Penjing trees, also known as Bonsai.

 

Now that's a pretty nice offer!

Now that’s a pretty nice offer!

 

Fruits with what appears to ampaos, being sold along the streets

Fruits with what appears to ampaos, being sold along the streets.

 

Fried siopao anyone? :)

Fried Siopao anyone? 🙂

 

colorful chicks are being sold too.

colorful chicks are being sold too.

 

Smiling charms

Smiling or laughing charms.

 

Happy cats

Happy cats.

 

Lion cubs?

Lion cubs?

 

At last! There comes the dancers. Getting prepared and all.

Dancers hanging...or preparing

Dancers…I’m not sure if they are dragon or lion dancers.

 

Preparing the dragon.

Preparing the dragon.

 

A truck with "sleeping lions"

A truck with “sleeping lions”

 

Taking pictures with the dragon before the dance.

Taking pictures with the dragon before the dance.

 

The exhausted horse and the peeking lion.

The exhausted horse and the peeking lion.

 

There it goes...er...they go...

There it goes…er…they go…

 

If you’re there you will know when the show will start as you hear the drums beating. And there goes the starting line-up.

I'm not sure if he's in the right place.

I’m not sure if he knows he’s in the right place.

Dragons breathe fire...This guy eats it. Kids, don't try this at home...also anywhere else.

Dragons breathe fire…This guy eats it. Kids, don’t try this at home…also anywhere else.

 

uhhmm...not a good idea. Kids DON'T ever try this!

Uhhmm…not a good idea. Kids DON’T ever try this!

 

Dragons and Lions!

Here's the first one for the day

Here’s the first one for the day

 

Roar!

Roar!

 

Getting a close-up

Getting a close-up

 

Looking around.

Looking around.

 

When I thought only cats and dogs have issues with balls

When I thought only cats and dogs have issues with balls.

 

Just follow the bouncing ball...and dance with

Just follow the bouncing ball…and dance with it.

 

I am fire...oops! wrong dragon.

I am fire…oops! wrong dragon.

 

Even the lions are here!

Even the lions are here!

Lion dance?

Lion dance?

 

No lion nor dragon can interfere with a passing Jeepney

No lion nor dragon can interfere with a passing Jeepney.

 

Lion, up close and personal.

Lion, up close and personal.

 

A judas' belt firecracker laid along the road.

A Judas’ belt firecracker laid along the road.

 

There it goes!

There it goes!

The firecracker pops loudly between two lion dancers

The firecracker pops loudly between two lion dancers.

 

other 'lions' came out as well.

Other ‘lions’ came out as well.

 

IMG_1755

The one at the back looks exhausted.

 

lavander-ish lion

lavender-ish lion.

Here's comes another dragon. A longer one.

Here’s comes another dragon. A longer one.

 

A dragon in a sea of people.

A dragon in a sea of people.

 

The Dragon and the...photographer.

The Dragon and the…photographer.

 

A reporter from GMA-7 and her...err...partner.

A reporter from GMA-7 and her…err…partner.

A reporter from CNN.

A reporter from CNN.

 

A dragon with its ball again.

A dragon with its ball again.

 

High five!

High five!

 

Vamanos! :D

Vamanos! 😀

 

It was great! Til’ next year!

By the way, I was born in the year of the tiger 🙂

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