October 15, 2011

The Big Binondo Food Wok - Rainy Edition PART 1

At last! After 2 years of planning since I saw this on the net I was able to finally get a taste of the lost city of Binondo and what else could be better than eating my way through the streets with a friend, and even better, for FREE thanks to our school publication where I write for the Features department.

We were running low on stories to feature for our August issue when the thought finally came out of my "Travel dream chest", I suggested it and surprisingly they gave the go signal but I didn't want to go alone so I grabbed my fellow feature writer Nikki who also wanted to go.

So I called Ivan Man Dy, the travel guide and co-owner (correct me if I'm mistaken) of "Old Manila Walks Travel and Tours" and asked for a weekend eating spree slot and he said yes there were available slots for 2 young college students hungry for culture and cuisine.

August 27, 2011: 6:00AM - Oh my God I said after just waking up, it was raining hard and I couldn't believe what I was seeing outside my window. I reached for my cellphone and saw Nikki's message "Is the tour going to push through, it's raining hard here" - Like clockwork I automatically called Ivan Man Dy and asked about it and he said "Rain or Shine, it'll push through" - Yeah that's right! I hope.

So at 7AM I met with Nikki at the ancient walls of Intramuros where we took the shortest Jeepney ride of our lives to Binondo Church, just across the bridge. Upon entering the old Binondo church that was built for Chinese-Catholics, I felt its serenity and history flowing into me, ah! It's been a long time since I felt the presence of peace while Nikki looks at the paintings on the ceiling.

Binondo Church, built in the 16th century still has its original stone walls. It is where the first Filipino Saint, Lorenzo Ruiz started as an altar boy.

9AM and Ivan Man Dy is on time as well as the others and I felt out of place for a moment when I saw that our other co-travelers were mostly Chinese and foreigners, some were a clan of Filipino-Italians and I would call them as Illustrados - For I am born of a simple life but don't worry, no regrets here! :)

The first stop was Eng Bee Tin and if you like the Filipino local music band "Parokya Ni Edgar", the song "Pangarap Lang Kita" was shot here. Take a look:

Above Eng Bee Tin is the Mezzanine where it is an air-conditioned room and where the mighty proud Binondo Fire Rescue is well acquainted with. The Mezzanine shows the history of Binondo's first fire fighters which is still in service today. It has a collection of the Helmets used from the start to the modern day. And we got to play with it, Cosplay in anime terms.

Nikki and I playing with the Helmets and taking photos before we eat the first meal of the day.
While we have our photos taken and goofed around (Well I did, not Nikki the more conservative one) Ivan talked about the Kiampong Rice (Salted Rice) and Bola Bola (Fishball Soup) and the Iced Coffee drink about to be served and said that so fully taste the food is that to put 1-2 tablespoonfuls of soup and put it in the rice and then push it down with the Iced Coffee.

Kiampong Rice, Bola Bola and Iced Coffee
Kiampong Rice: 9/10 - Excellent! I had 2 bowls and it is tasty!

Bola Bola : 7/10 - Good! Authentic but I'd like it if it had more flavor to it.

Iced Brewed Coffee: 5/10 - I'm a coffee drinker and I think this one's a so-so, needs more sweetness in it and I think it's better if it was Iced Tea or Hot Tea to go with the food. Coffee isn't so "Chinese" right?

But nevertheless! Eng Bee Tin-Mezzanine is a great way to start the day! Ivan also told us to go to the comfort rooms now for as we go on with the tour, the places we'd go would go smaller and literally have no restrooms especially for our group of 32!


1 comment:

Clarice Ting said...

Haha! I enjoyed reading this. U write so enthusiastically. anyway, grabe! rain or shine ka talaga.you're a natural cowboy!