Binondo, Philippines

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Binondo, Philippines

Region: Manila

Geographic Coordinates: 14.600000, 120.967000
Climate: Climate and weather patterns in Binondo, Philippines?
Population: 20491
Language: Filipino

Binondo, Located in the heart of Manila, Is a vibrant and historic district that boasts a rich cultural heritage. Known as the world’s oldest Chinatown, It is a melting pot of Chinese and Filipino cultures. Binondo offers visitors an enchanting glimpse into its fascinating past while immersing them in its bustling present. Stepping into Binondo feels like entering a different world altogether. The streets are lined with traditional Chinese shops, Adorned with red lanterns and filled with the captivating aromas of authentic Chinese cuisine wafting from street food stalls.

The district’s architecture reflects its history, With buildings showcasing a unique blend of Spanish colonial and Chinese influences. One of Binondo’s most iconic landmarks is the Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz, Also known as Binondo Church. This magnificent church was built in 1596 and has become an important pilgrimage site for Catholics in the Philippines. Its intricate façade and stunning interior make it worth exploring for both religious devotees and architectural enthusiasts. Food lovers will find themselves in paradise when visiting Binondo.

The district is renowned for its culinary delights, Offering an array of mouthwatering dishes that fuse Filipino flavors with traditional Chinese techniques. From savory dumplings to delectable noodle soups and exotic delicacies like fried frogs’ legs or century eggs, There is something to satisfy every palate. A visit to Ongpin Street should be on every traveler’s itinerary when exploring Binondo. This bustling thoroughfare serves as the main commercial hub where one can find countless shops selling everything from imported goods to herbal medicines or traditional Chinese attire known as cheongsams or ao dais.

For those seeking a deeper understanding of Chinatown’s history, A visit to Bahay Tsinoy Museum is highly recommended. This museum showcases artifacts that highlight the contributions made by Filipino-Chinese communities throughout history while shedding light on their struggles during times of conflict or discrimination. Binondo also offers a unique shopping experience at the famous Divisoria Market. This sprawling marketplace is a paradise for bargain hunters, With endless stalls selling everything from clothing and accessories to home goods and electronics. It’s a bustling hive of activity where one can test their bargaining skills and score incredible deals.

Binondo is an enchanting district that seamlessly blends Chinese and Filipino cultures. Its rich history, Vibrant streets, Delectable cuisine, And unique shopping experiences make it a must-visit destination in Manila. Whether you’re exploring its historic landmarks or indulging in its culinary delights, Binondo offers an immersive experience that will leave visitors captivated by its charm and cultural significance.

Important Landmarks

  1. Binondo Church (Minor Basilica of St. Lorenzo Ruiz): This historic church is one of the oldest in Manila and a popular pilgrimage site for Catholics.
  2. Escolta Street: Once considered the Queen of Manila’s Streets, Escolta Street is lined with well-preserved buildings showcasing various architectural styles from the Spanish colonial era to Art Deco.
  3. Chinatown Arch: Known as Welcome to Binondo, this iconic arch marks the entrance to Chinatown and serves as a symbol of friendship between China and the Philippines.
  4. Seng Guan Temple: Also known as Kuang Kong Temple, it is one of the oldest Taoist temples in Manila’s Chinatown, dedicated to Guan Yu, a Chinese deity worshipped by many Chinese-Filipinos.
  5. Plaza San Lorenzo Ruiz: Located near Binondo Church, this public square honors San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila, the first Filipino saint canonized by Pope John Paul II.
  6. Ongpin Street: The main street running through Chinatown offers a bustling atmosphere filled with shops selling traditional Chinese goods like herbs, tea leaves, lanterns, and authentic Chinese cuisine.
  7. Divisoria Market: A shopping haven where locals and tourists flock to buy affordable items such as clothes accessories toys household goods at bargain prices.
  8. Bahay Tsinoy Museum: Showcasing Filipino-Chinese heritage through artifacts and exhibits that depict significant contributions made by ethnic Chinese communities throughout Philippine history.
  9. Roman Ongpin Monument: This monument pays tribute to Roman Ongpin—a prominent businessman who played a vital role during the Philippine Revolution against Spanish colonization—located along Salazar Street near Quintin Paredes Road intersection.
  10. Binondo Food Trip: Binondo is renowned for its vibrant food scene. Visitors can indulge in authentic Chinese cuisine such as dim sum dumplings noodles and exotic street food like kikiam and squid balls.

These landmarks and attractions provide a glimpse into the rich cultural tapestry of Binondo, making it a must-visit destination for history buffs, food enthusiasts, and those interested in exploring the Filipino-Chinese heritage.

Primary Industries

  1. Retail: Binondo is renowned for its vibrant retail sector, particularly in wholesale and retail trade. Numerous shops and stores offer a wide array of goods such as textiles, clothing, accessories, electronics, home furnishings, Chinese medicines, herbs, food products (including dried goods), and various other items.
  2. Food and Beverage: Binondo is famous for its culinary scene that offers an extensive selection of Chinese cuisine. Restaurants serving traditional Chinese dishes like dim sum (steamed dumplings), noodles (pancit), roasted meats (lechon), hot pot (shabu-shabu), and many more can be found throughout the area.
  3. Banking and Finance: Several banks have branches or headquarters in Binondo due to its historical significance as a financial hub since Spanish colonial times. Many financial institutions cater to both local residents and businesses.
  4. Jewelry Trade: Binondo has a thriving jewelry industry with numerous goldsmiths’ shops offering high-quality gold jewelry at competitive prices. The area is also known for selling precious gemstones such as diamonds.
  5. Traditional Chinese Medicine: A significant number of traditional Chinese medicine stores can be found in Binondo offering various herbal remedies, medicinal plants, acupuncture services, massage therapy clinics specializing in traditional techniques like tuina or reflexology.
  6. Real Estate: As one of Manila’s prime locations with historical buildings mixed with modern developments such as shopping malls or high-rise condominiums; real estate development companies play a prominent role in transforming the skyline of this district.
  7. Logistics Services: Given its status as a commercial hub attracting traders from all over Metro Manila; logistics companies providing warehousing facilities or transportation services are vital to support smooth business operations in Binondo.
  8. Import and Export: Binondo serves as a gateway for international trade, with numerous import and export businesses facilitating the movement of goods between the Philippines and other countries.
  9. Tourism: Binondo’s rich cultural heritage, historical landmarks, temples, and unique culinary offerings attract both local and foreign tourists. As a result, tourism-related businesses such as hotels, tour operators, souvenir shops thrive in the area.

These industries collectively contribute to Binondo’s vibrant economy while preserving its cultural heritage as one of Manila’s most iconic districts.

Noteable History


Historical Events in Binondo

  1. Founding of Binondo

    Binondo is the oldest Chinatown in the world, founded in 1594 by Spanish Governor-General Luis Pérez Dasmariñas. It was established as a settlement for Chinese immigrants.

  2. British Occupation

    During the British occupation of Manila from 1762 to 1764, Binondo played a significant role. The British used it as their base and headquarters during their control over Manila.

  3. Gomburza Execution

    In 1872, three Filipino priests known as Gomburza (Padre Mariano Gomez, Padre José Burgos, and Padre Jacinto Zamora) were executed at Bagumbayan (now Rizal Park). Their deaths sparked nationalist sentiments among Filipinos against Spanish colonial rule.

  4. Philippine Revolution

    Binondo became an important location during the Philippine Revolution against Spain (1896-1898). It served as a center for revolutionary activities led by Filipino nationalists such as Andrés Bonifacio and Emilio Aguinaldo.

  5. Battle of Manila

    During World War II in February 1945, the Battle of Manila took place between American forces and Japanese troops occupying the city. Binondo suffered heavy damage during this battle.

Notable People Associated with Binondo

  1. Carlos Palanca Sr.

    A prominent businessman who founded La Tondeña Distillers Inc., one of the largest distilleries in the Philippines located in Binondo.

  2. Teresita Ang-See

    A Chinese-Filipino activist known for her advocacy work on human rights issues within the Chinese-Filipino community.

  3. Ramon Ongpin

    A business tycoon who was born and raised in Binondo; he became one of the wealthiest individuals in the Philippines.

  4. Henry Sy Sr.

    The late business magnate and founder of SM Group, one of the largest conglomerates in the Philippines. He was born in Binondo and started his first business there.

These are just a few examples of notable historical events and people associated with Binondo, showcasing its significance in Philippine history and culture.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Bahay Tsinoy Museum: This museum showcases the rich history and culture of the Chinese-Filipino community in the Philippines.
  2. Binondo Church: Also known as Minor Basilica of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, this historic church is one of the oldest in Manila and features beautiful architecture.
  3. Escolta Street: Once considered as Manila’s premier commercial district, Escolta Street is now a cultural hub with restored buildings that house art galleries, cafes, and shops.
  4. Seng Guan Temple: This Taoist temple is a serene place for meditation and offers a glimpse into Binondo’s Chinese heritage.
  5. Plaza San Lorenzo Ruiz: Located near Binondo Church, this plaza honors San Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino saint. It’s a great spot to relax and people-watch.
  6. 168 Shopping Mall: A popular destination for bargain shopping, this mall offers a wide range of products at affordable prices.
  7. Chinatown Arch (Welcome Arch): The iconic arch marks the entrance to Binondo’s Chinatown area and serves as a symbol of its vibrant culture and heritage.
  8. Lucky Chinatown Mall: A modern shopping complex within Chinatown that offers various retail outlets, food stalls, and entertainment options.
  9. Ongpin Street: Known as the heart of Binondo’s Chinatown district, Ongpin Street is lined with traditional Chinese stores selling herbs, delicacies, jewelry, antiques, and more.
  10. Sta Cruz Parish Church (Minor Basilica of Our Lady of The Most Holy Rosary): Located just outside Binondo but still nearby in Santa Cruz district; it is one of Manila’s oldest churches with stunning architectural details to admire inside.

These are just some highlights among many attractions in Binondo that offer visitors an opportunity to explore its rich cultural heritage while enjoying delicious food from countless eateries along its streets.

Sports Teams

  1. Binondo Football Club: Founded in 2014, Binondo FC is a community-based football (soccer) club that aims to promote the sport among the youth in Binondo and neighboring areas. The club organizes training sessions, friendly matches, and tournaments for players of all ages.
  2. Tsinoy Basketball Association (TBA): TBA is an organization that brings together Filipino-Chinese basketball enthusiasts from Binondo and other parts of Manila. They regularly organize basketball leagues and tournaments catering to different age groups.
  3. Chinatown Badminton Club: This badminton club has been operating in Binondo for many years, providing opportunities for badminton enthusiasts to play competitively or recreationally.
  4. Dragon Boat Teams: Dragon boat racing is popular among Filipino-Chinese communities across the country, including those residing in Binondo. While not specific to one team or organization, various dragon boat teams from Binondo have participated in local competitions representing their respective communities.

It’s important to note that these teams may not have long-standing histories as professional franchises but rather serve as platforms for promoting sports participation within the local community of Binondo.

Cultural Events

  1. Chinese New Year: Binondo is known as the Chinatown of Manila, and the Chinese New Year celebration here is one of the most vibrant and colorful in the country. The streets are decorated with lanterns, dragon dances are performed, and there are various cultural activities throughout the area.
  2. Mid-Autumn Festival: Also known as the Mooncake Festival or Lantern Festival, this event celebrates family reunions and harvest time. Binondo hosts a variety of activities during this festival, including lantern parades, mooncake tasting events, and traditional performances.
  3. Feast Day of St. Lorenzo Ruiz: As Binondo is home to several Catholic churches, the feast day of St. Lorenzo Ruiz (the first Filipino saint) is celebrated with religious processions, masses, and cultural presentations.
  4. Spring Film Festival: Organized by the Ateneo de Manila University’s Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies in partnership with local cinemas in Binondo’s Lucky Chinatown Mall, this festival showcases contemporary Chinese films to promote cultural exchange between China and the Philippines.
  5. Pahiyas Festival: While not directly held in Binondo itself (it takes place in Lucban town), many residents from Binondo participate in this colorful harvest festival where houses are adorned with rice decorations called kiping. It celebrates gratitude for a bountiful harvest.
  6. Philippine-Chinese Friendship Day: This event aims to strengthen ties between Filipinos and Chinese communities through cultural exhibitions showcasing traditional dances like lion dance performances or martial arts demonstrations.

These events showcase both Filipino-Chinese heritage as well as a blend of cultures found within Binondo’s diverse community.


  1. Sincerity Cafe and Restaurant: Known for their famous fried chicken, Sincerity offers classic Chinese dishes like Oyster Cake, Kikiam (Chinese sausage), and Fried Rice.
  2. Wai Ying Fast Food: A go-to spot for dim sum lovers, Wai Ying serves a variety of dumplings, siomai (steamed dumplings), noodles, and rice toppings.
  3. Dong Bei Dumpling: This small eatery is renowned for its handmade dumplings filled with different ingredients like pork and chives or pork and cabbage.
  4. New Po Heng Lumpia House: A must-visit place for lumpia (spring rolls) enthusiasts. They serve fresh lumpia filled with vegetables, meat, peanuts, and homemade sauce.
  5. Masuki Mami House: Known for their mami soup (noodle soup), Masuki offers both traditional beef mami as well as other noodle variations like chicken mami or wanton mami.
  6. President Tea House: Famous for their authentic Chinese delicacies such as hopia (flaky pastries with various fillings) and mooncakes during the Mid-Autumn Festival.
  7. Eng Bee Tin Chinese Deli: A beloved establishment that specializes in traditional Chinese pastries like tikoy (sticky rice cake), hopia variants, mooncakes, and other sweet treats.
  8. Estero Fast Food Center: Located along Estero de Binondo canal street food stalls offer an array of local street food including kwek-kwek(deep-fried quail eggs), fish balls on skewers with dipping sauces barbecued meats on sticks called ihaw-ihaw among others.

These are just a few examples of the many fantastic culinary options available in Binondo. Exploring the area will surely lead to discovering more hidden gems and delightful local cuisine.

Parks and Recreation

  1. Plaza San Lorenzo Ruiz: This small plaza is named after the first Filipino saint and serves as a peaceful spot amidst the busy streets of Binondo. It features a statue of San Lorenzo Ruiz and provides benches where you can relax and enjoy some fresh air.
  2. Escolta Street: Take a leisurely stroll along Escolta Street, which used to be one of Manila’s premier commercial districts during the early 20th century. While it may not be as bustling as before, it still retains its historic charm with beautiful architecture and vintage shops.
  3. Food Tripping: Binondo is renowned for being Manila’s Chinatown and offers an array of delicious Chinese cuisine options. Exploring the area’s food scene can be an enjoyable activity on its own.
  4. Shopping at Divisoria: Located near Binondo, Divisoria is known as one of Manila’s major shopping destinations offering various goods at affordable prices. It’s a popular spot for bargain hunters looking for clothing, accessories, toys, home decor items, and more.
  5. Visit Churches: Binondo has several historic churches that you can explore such as Minor Basilica of St. Lorenzo Ruiz (also known as Binondo Church) or Santa Cruz Church nearby.

While these activities may not focus on traditional park settings with recreational facilities like sports fields or playgrounds found in other areas of Manila city proper or nearby districts like Rizal Park or Intramuros; they provide opportunities to experience the unique cultural heritage that makes Binondo special.


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