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.
The gateway arch.
Street signage under the Gateway Arch of Goodwill.
A Lion Statue.
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.
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.
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.
Vendors selling fruits.
Guy selling Castanas (roasted chestnuts).
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.
Solar-powered fanning Buddhas.
Penjing trees, also known as Bonsai.
Now that’s a pretty nice offer!
Fruits with what appears to ampaos, being sold along the streets.
Fried Siopao anyone? 🙂
colorful chicks are being sold too.
Smiling or laughing charms.
At last! There comes the dancers. Getting prepared and all.
Dancers…I’m not sure if they are dragon or lion dancers.
Preparing the dragon.
A truck with “sleeping lions”
Taking pictures with the dragon before the dance.
The exhausted horse and the peeking lion.
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 knows he’s in the right place.
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!
Dragons and Lions!
Here’s the first one for the day
Getting a close-up
When I thought only cats and dogs have issues with balls.
Just follow the bouncing ball…and dance with it.
I am fire…oops! wrong dragon.
Even the lions are here!
No lion nor dragon can interfere with a passing Jeepney.
Lion, up close and personal.
A Judas’ belt firecracker laid along the road.
There it goes!
The firecracker pops loudly between two lion dancers.
Other ‘lions’ came out as well.
The one at the back looks exhausted.
Here’s comes another dragon. A longer one.
A dragon in a sea of people.
The Dragon and the…photographer.
A reporter from GMA-7 and her…err…partner.
A reporter from CNN.
A dragon with its ball again.
It was great! Til’ next year!
By the way, I was born in the year of the tiger 🙂