Through the Lens: World's Oldest Chinatown

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Hello every one, we would like to introduce to you our newest category here in Seventhbliss called "Through the Lens" wherein I will showcase some photographs from my photography album. In this category, we will also discuss our travels, behind the scenes of our photo-shoots and a backstage glimpse of our adventures together. Our aim is to show you the beauty of the Philippines and later the World that we don't usually see and is sometimes taken for granted due to its environment, undesirable reputations, and misunderstood culture. Through this new category, we will show you a diverse, unique and inimitable whole new world of both seen and unseen nooks of the world through the spectrum of our lenses. So come and join us in our first "Through the Lens" entry. 
WELCOME TO BINONDO. Today we will explore and rediscover Chinatown Manila or most commonly known as Binondo. A Very historical place which has been here in Manila since 1594. A hub for Chinese commerce and the center of business trade during and even before the Spanish occupation period which proudly holds its title until the present days. Due to the ever evolving and development of Manila, Binondo has also gained a reputation of a place of  insane pollution, garbage, and unbelievably over crowded community. Old structures were left to crumble, parks neglected and water systems untreated. Binondo apparently has lost its treasures through the years but the rich culture is undeniably still prevailing and continue to flourish despite of the adverse environment.
Shine and I went for a photo-walk in Binondo (I think 2 years ago) , and we told ourselves that before we travel the world, why don't we discover and explore first the surrounding community where we at. We decided to start with Manila since we both went to Mapua in Manila and we haven't really explored the outskirts of Intramuros walls that often. And so we set off, took a short jeepney ride and began our quest.
Known for its cheap goods and unorganized surroundings especially during Christmas season the whole Divisoria market are always flocked by shoppers. But only a few knew that Binondo is also a place of different religions, temples and churches. Every block has either a catholic church, a Chinese temple or a Buddhist temple. I'm fascinated how diverse Binondo is. Despite all these different races, culture, and beliefs yet it still coexists in the midst of business oriented and teeming district!
Too bad, Binondo seemed to be left in time. The clutter becomes contagious, businesses expanded, old buildings are replaced, but the saddest thing despite these developments is the sad veracity that the environment and historical significance of this place fell behind. Its beauty and history was forgotten. We should appreciate these little things before it totally disappears. Let us lend our ears to the stories of old structures, listen to the legends of the gabled streets and open our eyes to the beaming truth of every lamp-post that witnessed the beautiful past of the world's oldest Chinatown.

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