I have this annual Chinese New Year tradition with my friend T. Over the past years, we have been visiting Binondo or Manila's Chinatown, which happens to be the oldest in the world. We will eat at Estero, our favorite cheapskate restaurant and shop for tikoy (nian gao) from Salazar Bakery and Eng Bee Tin. 

I forgot to take photos of our foodie indulgences. Blame the intense traffic and hunger! Although on the way to our main destination, I was able to capture a few photos of these most awaited Chinese festivity.

Most of the photos were taken in Lucky Chinatown, the lone mall in the area.

The perfect marker for any Chinatown 

Red paper lanterns, another trademark of every Chinatown 

The lucky tree and the golden sheep

This is a new attraction in Lucky Chinatown

I had mine too :) 

And a few wishes that made me smile 

Someone is wishing for his / her forever :) I say, give this person gift checks from Forever 21 :D 

Someone wants to win the lottery 

So this is the real face of Manila's Chinatown. Years ago, it was all about Chinese traders, restaurants and a myriad of business establishments. Time changed everything and much to my surprise, high rise condominium towers are starting to proliferate despite the fact that Binondo's land area is very limited. The streets could barely accommodate vehicles and the volume of people traffic. I haven't even mentioned the nasty electrical wires that ruins the view. 

The Binondo Church or the Minor Basilica of St. Lorenzo Ruiz is a famous landmark of Manila's Chinatown. I wasn't able to capture photos of the church's facade. What I have are the side to the rear view of this structure established in 1596. 

Almost a vertical garden until I realized that they are unknown climbing plants. Looks like a distraction but I somehow appreciate its presence.