Divisoria and Binondo After Christmas

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Today was great! I had time to spare so I went to Divisoria and Binondo today and see if I could actually do a short photowalk in Manila's streets after Christmas. The last time I did this was during my D60Krew days back when we had time to do photowalks and didn't have jobs to bother. Anyway, I've been very discreet and careful about doing this because I don't know the place that much and it's been notorious for crimes (as seen on TV) so instead of lugging around my huge DSLR I just used my phone. It's been here since the dark ages, a part of Philippine history, where commerce brewed between the Tagalogs, the provinces and the Chinese. It's also the oldest Chinatown in the world and I couldn't have gone in an opportune time since the crowd has thinned out a bit. Let's start shall we?!

Betty Go - Belmonte Station

Recto Terminal Station

Recto Terminal Station stairway to exit

The short trek required me to take the MRT2 and go to the Recto station. Even if you're fresh, perfumed and all, you're going to smell like shawarma after passing this joint LOL. I took a jeep to Divisoria after that.

You won't really need to be dressed and all, so it'll be better if you're in rags so you kinda blend in and be incognito. I went to different malls like 999, 168 and a couple more just outside the buildings. It's like a complex, some are airconditioned and some are just out in the sun. I've seen a couple of foreigners carrying bags for their Filipina wives, and they looked like they were having fun. I was trying to look for a couple of things to shop for and ended up just people watching. I tried to shop but some of the things just looked cheap. I lowered my expectations of course, but if you think about it I'm the one who's going to wear the clothes and giving the gifts, the wrong grammar on the mugs and prints on the shirt were just too obvious and I might have to go there some other day and do the buying again if I find something good. I mean, I like the stuff in Greenhills and most of them come from Divisoria right? I might probably am looking at the wrong place, so that needs another visit.

I also got lost and ended up walking back from the wet market of Divisoria. I didn't know that was actually Recto too that the vendors are on. I looked at google maps and they were actual roads there. On the ground it was like Balintawak Market but only bigger, most were outside too.

So when I didn't get to buy anything, I got hungry. I went to Wai Ying, a hole in the wall Chinese fastfood restaurant in the district of Binondo. I didn't hold back ordering, as it was cheap and very good. I think it's my third time here.

This is their kitchen, there's a fryer back there and a huge steamer on the front counter. Most of their customers are Filipino Chinese which would probably vouch for their authenticity. 

Like in Hong Kong, they serve you hot tea for free before a meal. I wanted a glass of ice cold water but this will do lol.

I ordered the Hong Kong Iced Milk Tea. They have this in hot versions but I was already hot BOOM and it wouldn't make sense LOL.

I ordered these Beef Balls and should have ordered more. This was so good rather than just having Siu Mai no?

They had chili and soy sauce so ordering sharks fin (without sharks harmed on this meal) was but a good idea. It's pork and a few veggies, it was hot and amazing to have before having my main course.

There's like a 15 minute wait time for this and the shrimp dumpling, but it was so worth it. This is the Kuchai Dumpling (pork and spring onions I think?) and it was probably because of the glass like skin on them that actually deteriorates if steamed too much. Hence the wait time.

I was craving for Siopao since Christmas eve and since I was already here I said "what the heck!" so I ordered Bola Bola and Asado Siopao (2 pcs.) too. It was barbecuey, sweet and savory so I was already full even before my Mami came out of the kitchen.

For my main course (fine dining? Lol) I ordered Dumpling Mami. I know, I've been ordering too much of it but hey I like it. I don't like the gamey smell of carabeef  so I opted for the lighter more neutral Mami instead. I ate it all, yes! It's not impossible, you just have to put your mind into it. I'll be going back to Divisoria very soon and I'll be eating at some more Binondo restaurants, I'll post more as Kumagcow eats more of the streets next year. This was just fun not to repeat!

Merry Christmas by the way and ciao! Thanks to Smart's 3G and LTE connection I was posting non stop from there today!

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