I have this annual Chinese New Year tradition with my few workplace friends. 

Days before the Chinese New Year, we braved the narrow and crowded streets of Binondo (Manila's China Town) for our most awaited dinner in Estero.

There are no parking spaces fronting our favorite cheap restaurant. Public transportation likewise doesn't pass in the area. Hence, we have to do a little exercise by walking a few blocks. Quite favorable because as soon as we reach Estero, we are the hungriest. Food therefore tastes way better with our tired legs and empty stomach ;)

Aside from gaining more appreciation for food, we love walking in Binondo because of the red lanterns and decors that never fail to amaze us.

Did I mention that Manila's Chinatown is the oldest the world? Long before the Spanish government colonized my country, we were already trading with Chinese businessmen since 1500s. 

I have to admit something. I thought one visit to Binondo will suffice. Turns out, I was able to visit Binondo twice this week. This happened despite the fact that I leave work late. Aside from our traditional dinner at Estero, my dearest friend CC treated us for dinner in another restaurant. Heehee

On the way home, we happened to drop by the nearby Lucky Chinatown Mall to check out the festivities. This is what we saw instead.

And you know what happens next,
 Me and CC, with our obligatory feeling-like-a- tourist photo 

Prior to visiting Lucky Chinatown Mall, the employees of Ramada Hotel in Binondo allowed us to take photos of their own version of the money tree

Cherry Blossoms and Money Tree!

  I went home with a few of these Chinese goodies.

Till our next Chinese New Year escapade :)