One Fourth Red


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The streets were simultaneously filled with vehicles and people.

The busy streets of Binondo spelled and shouted the colour Red while saying “Kung Hei Fat Choi”,while Dragons, colorful balloons, lanterns and Chinese Merchandise were sold and were everywhere.

It is actually my first time to go to Binondo on a Chinese holiday like Chinese New Year. Reasons that I wasn’t  able to go to the place was because my parents/family would ponder about how the streets would be crowded and such, contrary on a regular day. But I asked myself and remembered, Sir Joey Alvero, our Visual Arts Elective Photography mentor was supposed to bring us to take pictures (that unfortunately did not push through). Decided, I went and experienced it myself.

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Children and parents alike take a stroll in red outfits and traditional Chinese outfits.

The different colors and the intense shades of red filled my eyes and eventually filled me with excitement. Proud parents even got their little angels dressed in traditional Chinese dresses and costumes for them to stroll around and about. Other sightings were long lines of people at my favorite Eng Bee Tin Chinese Deli Shop (made me sad because I never got to buy any to take home), the carts of Kiat Kiat (small Oranges) and good luck charms sold at bargain prices and kiddie balloons that made children rush to buy them.

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Fire dancers come in a group to perform their tricks to the public.

Of course, I wouldn’t miss the Fire Dancers’ tricks for the Chinese Deli. I was lucky to walk through a crowd and get a premium view of the happening at the plaza. Everyone was gushing and screaming, so I knew it would be awesome to see. In a few minutes, a band started to play and brought out the dancers.

They “blew” fire while they gave away Ampaos (red chinese envelopes given away usually at Chinese occasions) to get solicitations /donations from the people. This one dancer gave one to me and said “Sige na ate! 100 lang! Hati-hati na po kaming lahat.” (Please give us a donation! Hundred pesos would do! We will share it between the group.) and after that, I happily gave a few hundreds.

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Outfit malfunctions…
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“Ate, panoorin nyo ako ha!” (Watch me, okay?)

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A few street children having their own number with their homemade paraphernalia.

After the parade of the band, again, I heard people laughing and choreographing a group of dancers perhaps. To my amazement, there were street children who brought their pashminas and orange carts together and performed their own choreography together with the spectators. The tourists and the spectators found them funny and cute at the same time while clapping and laughing. Then I realized, these are one of the special things about cultural festivals/holidays, we find simple things that bring us all together.

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A number of Emas hung at the Lucky Chinatown walk wall.
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Lanterns contrast with the view of blue skies that is permeated in between buildings.
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Chinoys offer incense to statue of Buddha for prayer.
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The famous money tree with ampaos.
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My awkward photo with the dragon dancer while removing my glasses…
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A worms’ eye-view.

That’s it for my side trip! I hope you enjoyed viewing through my photos. It was sure fun to spend the afternoon at Binondo. Even though, according to my mom, I am only one fourth Chinese, I guess this time, I felt that it was true. I never knew going to these happenings were stress-free after all.

Happy Chinese New Year everyone!

May our perseverance and labor bring us to greater heights this year of the wooden horse.

Join me again in my next adventure!

S.S. signing out.