My First Lunar Year in Binondo

10:41 AM

The Lunar year, or Chinese New Year to some marks the beginning of the lunar calendar. In the spirit of ELI5 (Clearly, I spend too much time on Reddit) January 1 is based on the sun, this one is based on the moon.

If you think you had bad luck the previous year (I'm talking to you Jax) here are a few suggestions that could help make your year more pleasant this year.

One of the traditions in ushering the year in is hitting  ringing a gong. Now, being exposed to Disney's Mulan at a young age and many Stephen Chow films, I naturally assumed that you had to hit the gong as loud as you can --the louder the better. Apparently, I wasn't correct when two guards came rushing in, gently reminding us not to hit it too loud. "dahan-dahan lang po"

No gong pictures for me :|

Next time, I drive

"you guys look yummy" Subtle ad: buy Jade, it's lucky.

Wishes for a prosperous year

NOISE plays an important year in welcoming the lunar year. It is said that loud noises drive away Nian from wreaking havoc every spring--which incidentally falls on--well that this day. Nian in Chinese mythology is a water/mountain beast that is said to attack people and prefers children.

Because it is sensitive to noise, firecrackers are one of the stars of the evening. Also, they have a fear for the color red.
I was really trying to save the children when I rang that gong. Really
Getting my shoulder nibbled by this guy was kind of awkward...and fun.
Oh, and congratulations to the cute couple behind me <3
I'm a big wuss when it comes to firecrackers. Getting to watch it this close was both amazing and heart-wrenching.

It wouldn't be a celebration without good food. I have been holding back on eating all day just to prepare myself for a huge dinner.

It didn't come as a surprise that almost everywhere was full. It took us about 20 minutes of walking before we were able to secure a table for 10 in Ying Ying. I struggle to keep my jaw from hanging as I watched my  Fred's friends converse in fluent (don't kill me if I got it wrong) Cantonese. I always thought there was this invisible handshake that people have when they share the same language (kind of like that scene in Babe with the sheep)

Steamed To perfection Siomai
Radish Cake

Beancurd Roll

Ham Suy Gok/Deep Fried Pork Dumplings

Beef Curry

Beef Wanton

I'm very happy to say that the food didn't disappoint. We were glad to have locals who picked out must-try's.
The beef mami's broth had a good sweet-salty balance.
The beancurd roll's edges were crisp but had a juicy and tender core.
The ham suy gok's soft shell reminded me of fried mantou but sweeter.
and the milk tea! O__O Just try it. no i mean it. try it.

Good food, great company

One of the happiest moment in my life. /tears
Many thanks for everyone who made our night fun, crazy and worth remembering :)

Photo credits to Beverly Maddul, Jun Danganan and Mark Garchitorena

Ying Ying Tea House Sta. Cruz

Dasmarinas St cor Yuchengo St Binondo, Manila (02) 710-3856

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