Chinese New Year is just about to make its way, and this 2018 sees the fruitful Year of the Dog. Around this time of the year is always an exciting occasion in Metro Manila.
Whether you are staying at one of the many serviced apartments in Manila or if you are a pure local, there are definitely many places and activities to seek out to really get the full Chinese New Year experience.
With the rich Chinese heritage ingrained in Filipino culture, it’s no wonder that the streets of Manila are always so filled with a distinct kind of celebratory cheer for life and change.
Even the many luxury hotels in Manila have dedicated this time of year for heartwarmingly catering specifically touched flavors of oriental splendor.
Here are some great places to partake in the collective Filipino festivities that fill one’s heart with Chinese New Year joy:
Metro Manila’s iconic Chinatown is hailed as one of the world’s best tourist travel spots when looking to get a taste of Chinese culture. It is stated that Binondo is the world’s oldest standing Chinatown.
Binondo is home to the world’s largest Chinatown arch. Walking through the streets of Binondo definitely gives you the sense of strong friendship and ties between the Chinese and Filipino people—an interconnected sharing of cultures. Besides the many Churches and Temples that are strong historical landmarks to have a stroll around, there’s a sea of restaurants and food stalls that no other Chinese flavor in the country can compare to.
You’ll be completely mesmerized by watching the Dragon and Lion dances. You also certainly won’t leave empty handed when you wander through the alleys of Ongpin street, finding yourself in the many gift shops filled with wonderful souvenirs, gifts, lucky charms, authentic jewelry, and snack time treats, like the Eng Bee Tin from the bakeries.
A must-do activity on Chinese New Year is to go shopping. The spirit of haggling is alive and well in some of Metro Manila’s most reputable shopping hubs. Visiting the diversity of these shopping centers also gives you the feeling of the Chinese-Filipino interplay going on.
Divisoria is arguably the most famous shopping complex that is a go-to place for every local in need of item of utmost frugality. What also makes this place so interesting is the exoticism, unusual finds, and notoriety of what some of the black market shops offer—a definite adventure every visit.
Greenhills is definitely the least crowded of these. Price ranges may also be a bit higher, but you get the luxuries of comfort in both shopping and convenient dining.
Baclaran is a less boisterous version of Divisoria, and is located on the more southern areas of Manila (close to Mall of Asia). It’s always provides an interesting shopping experience, the variety may not be as wild as Divisoria, but right by Baclaran shopping center is the constantly flocked monument of Baclaran Church.
If you are looking to celebrate the incoming Chinese New Year with a nice dinner gathering. Located along Ongpin street in Binondo is the esteemed President Grand Palace. An amazing place to experience the greatness of Chinese cuisine in an environment of utter authenticity.
The food is spectacular, they have been using the same legendary recipes since opening many, many years ago. A definite feast in Chinese fashion, their iconic seafood is of utmost Cantonese delight. The 700-seat restaurant breathes tradition with a variety in specialties, which include shark.
If you are a local or have close friends or relatives, a brilliant idea is to celebrate Chinese New Year at home. Spending time with your loved ones, cooking meals together definitely makes for the most incomparable memories.
Gathering around and snacking on the ubiquitous Tikoy, is a tradition that even the quaintest of abodes partake in. Finally, the best way to wrap up the celebration of togetherness is to light up some Chinese fireworks, as you bask in the beautifully colored night sky and feel the Good Luck shower over you and the people closest to you.
Last but not least, a go-to option that can never go wrong is to spend this holiday in the beautiful interiors of I’M Hotel. The Onsen Spa, The Infinity Pool, The I’M Hotel Club Lounge is the perfect place to spend the Chine New Year along with I’M Hotel’s famous dining experience and signature dim sum plates made by some of the country’s most sought after chefs, and served with complete gusto. Feel the Chinese New Year love wash over you as you overlook the gorgeous Makati skylines.
If you are from the provinces, far away regions or from another country, there are many serviced apartments in Manila that you can book a few nights stay at in order to really get the full splendor of Chinese New Year around the streets of Metro Manila.
If you are thinking about celebrating Chinese New Year at one of the many luxury hotels in Manila, I’M Hotel is definitely an establishment in the heart of Makati that elevates any inkling of a festive spirit—perfect for ringing in the Lunar Year; in celebratory style.