DISCOVER BINONDO: Chinese New Year + Ramada Hotel + 168 Shopping

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We celebrated Raphael’s third birthday in Binondo because his birth date, February 10, coincided with the Chinese New Year of the Water Snake this year 2013.

It was a different kind of gimmick because we now have Ramada Hotel, an international standard hotel in the heart of Binondo, where you can stay overnight, enjoy the yummy treats of Binondo, and take advantage of the shopping deals at Divisoria in a more leisurely manner.

The Hotel was also the best place to experience the Chinese New Year countdown, watch the fireworks and feel the authentic vibe of the new year around the oldest Chinatown in the world. 

Here’s a photo essay of our Discover Binondo Birthday Gimmik with the Family: 

Related Blog PostCALDERON: Raphael’s Spanish Birthday Dinner


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    RAMADA Manila Central is located at the corner of the busiest streets of Binondo Ongpin and Quintin Paredes, just literally across the Binondo Church.

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    We celebrated Chinese New Year at Ramada Hotel with our Ultimate Philippines buddies, Ivan Man Dy of Old Manila Walks fame and  Ivan Henares of Ivan About Town travel blog.

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    We stayed at a Ramada Suite (room 1206) which is the biggest room (48sqm) for a family.

    There’s only one suite per floor and it’s located in the corner of the floor with view of the Binondo Church and the Plaza. 

    (Tip: Make sure to reserve the rooms at the 12th floor which has the highest room view of Binondo)

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    The kids had fun with the animal shape towel origami. We were welcomed with tikoy and peanut cake since it was Chinese New Year.

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    The suite has a sala area with TV and free High Speed Internet Access around the room.

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    The Hotel does not have a swimming pool for kids but our kids were happy with the bath tub in the suite.

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    The toiletries are provided by Hydro Basics.

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    We set up an extra bed near the study table…

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    … with an awesome view of the Binondo Church dome 🙂

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    You’ll wake up with the sunrise view of the Binondo Church dome.



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    We celebrated the Chinese New Year Countdown at LUNA, named after the Filipino general, Antonio Luna, located at the roof deck — the topmost floor of Ramada Hotel.

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    The signature drink for the night was RAMADA Sling 🙂

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    LUNA has an al fresco area with an awesome skyline view of Binondo.

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    Here’s the top view of the Binondo Plaza.

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    It’s the perfect spot to witness the grand Chinese New Year fireworks of Lucky Chinatown and surrounding Binondo Area.

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    For photographers, this is a good spot to set up their tripods and take the shots of the Binondo fireworks. 

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    You can also go down and walk along Ongpin to feel the loud sounds made by fireworks along the streets of Binondo.

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    You can also view the fireworks in the comfort of your rooms without smelling the smoke.



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    Room accommodations come with the Ramada Hotel’s signature breakfast experience called Ramada Mornings at the News Cafe.

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    The breakfast buffet spread is decent with a mix of Chinese and Western breakfast favorites.

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    We like their sweet longganisa version,

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    Chinese congee with toppings,

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    Breakfast cereal for the kids, and

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    Dimsum and siopao breakfast option. The Ramada Morning Breakfast was just OK.

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    All-Day Breakfast, Soups & Salads, Entree, Sandwiches and Pizzas, Desserts | Hot & Cold Drinks

    We go to Binondo for really good Chinese Food and Ramada Hotel should be able to provide that even in their All-Day dining menu. Their Western menu line-up needs a lot of improvement in their all-day dining menu.

    We can feel the dilemma of the Hotel if they will provide a really good Chinese food and compete with the surrounding Chinese restaurants or offer a really good Western menu option.



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    If you are staying over the weekend, don’t miss to receive Sunday Mass blessings at the Binondo Church.

    (Ramada Hotel is at the back, right side, and literally across the Church along Ongpin St.)

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    Here is the Mass Schedule of the Binondo Church. 

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    The Church is newly renovated with beautiful ceiling paintings.

    (TIP: The Church acoustic is very bad because they put a speaker right in the middle of the dome which creates a very annoying echo and you can’t understand what the priest is saying. Make sure to get a seat in the front pews.)

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    Binondo Church provides a special blessing to all mass goers after the mass.

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    There are a lot of pilgrims and devotees (even of the Mother of Perpetual Help) who visit Binondo Church.

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    Also, this is a place to pray for devotees of San Lorenzo Ruiz.



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    It was fun to see the festivities and catching the dragons around Binondo.

    Related Blog Post: Binondo Chinese New Year

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    You can get a Discover Binondo Map to guide you around the yummy treats, heritage spots and great bargains around Chinatown.

    (TIP: You can get treats or special volume discounts with their partner establishments.)

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    Dong Bei Dumplings, 642 Yuchengco St.

    We don’t miss to visit Dong Bei for the best dumplings in town. 

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    They make their dumplings from scratch and you can taste the difference of theirs from other dimsum makers.

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    You might even meet Ivan Man Dy of Old Manila Walks who made Dong Bei and other Binondo Food spots famous because of his Big Binondo Food Wok Tour.

    Related Blog Post: [BigBinondoBowl2] Culinary Secrets of Binondo! 

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    Sto. Cristo de Longos Shrine, Ongpin corner Pinpin Sts.

    A famous heritage spot is the open street corner shrine that combines both Catholic and Chinese faiths where you can offer prayers and wishes by lighting incense instead of candles.

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    There are places to get trinkets and lucky charms like Evergreat Enterprise (Mahjongg Sets) along Ongpin St.

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    Make sure to get your Chinese New Year lucky charm.

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    We always have fun catching the dragons around Binondo during Chinese New Year.

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    The dragons usually go from one establishment to another to bring good luck and to eat the ampao.

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    There were “Ati-Atihan” festival goers in Binondo, those folks in costumes who paint their bodies black which the Chinese community considered “bad luck” because they look like bad elements.

    I do hope the Chinese community can regulate the people who participate in the parade.

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    We like this group of Monks singing, dancing and providing good cheer around the streets of Binondo.



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    Most people love to shop in Divisoria for really good deals if you know where to find them.

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    The Fish Ball in Divisoria is very good with their yummy sauce and vinegar.

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    It’s a bit dirty though. You need to leave your jewelry behind and keep your wallet safe at all times.

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    A favorite place to go is the street selling all different kinds of clothing materials.


    168 SHOPPING

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    The best place to shop for good quality products and best bargains is the air-conditioned 168 Shopping Mall.

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    You can literally get lost around the biggest tiangge for really good bargains in Manila.

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    You can buy custom-made silver, and

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    good quality fashion merchandise.

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    The best part of 168 Mall is the Food Court in the topmost floor.

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    Where you can taste authentic Chinese cuisine for a reasonable price like in Kim Liong Tin Cuisine which enjoys the longest queue in the food court.

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    My wife’s favorite is Chopsticks & Spoon…

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    … for their yummy Takoyaki balls for merienda or for “to  go” as you shop in 168.



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    After a whole day of shopping, you can have a relaxing foot spa reflexology for only P360, good for 60 minutes, at Seri Asia Spa, the in-house spa of Ramada Hotel.

    Check out the other Spa Services: Seri Asia Services

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    Overall, it was fun to finally have a safe place to stay overnight in Binondo to celebrate special Chinese occasions like Chinese New Year and for us to celebrate syoti Raphael’s birthday.

    Make sure that you allot more shopping time for your wife and girl friends at Divisoria, 168 Shopping Mall or in Lucky Chinatown Mall. 

    Best of all, you can organize a food trip with your family to enjoy Binondo over the weekend.

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    Thanks to Ramada Manila Central Hotel for an awesome Chinese New Year weekend!

    Ongpin corner Quintin Paredes Streets, Binondo, Manila, Philippines 1006 
    Telephone: (+632) 588-6688
    Direct Line: (+632) 354-4151 


    • SUPERIOR ROOM (21-25 sqm): P5,500 +13.5% government tax +5% service charge
    • DELUXE (25-27 sqm): P6,500 +13.5% government tax +5% service charge
    • EXECUTIVE (27-33 sqm): P7,800 +13.5% government tax +5% service charge
    • RAMADA SUITE (48 sqm): P9,000 +13.5% government tax +5% service charge

    Rooms can accommodate a maximum of two (2) persons. Extra bed fee of P700++ per person>
    Children 12 years old below and sharing room with designated companions are free of charge. 

    Inclusive of:
    – Ramada Mornings breakfast for two (2) at News Cafe
    – High-speed Internet Connection
    – Daily replenishment of two (2) bottles of water
    – Local Newspaper
    – Access to fitness facilities
    – Scheduled shuttle service  

    Related Blog Posts about Binondo:

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    Full Disclosure: Our Binondo overnight stay was courtesy of Hospitality International who manages the Ramada Manila Central Hotel.

    I wrote this blog post myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I have no business relationship with any company mentioned in this post or any organization promoting it. As a policy, I don’t receive compensation from food and travel places we feature in the blog. 

    P.S. Chinese families usually celebrate Chinese New Year in the same way we celebrate New Year. We usually have a Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner with my wife’s family. Happy New Year!

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