Tuesday, March 1, 2016

#FamilySundays | CHINATOWN! (PART 1)

Starting this series on Family Sundays - not that it will be as regular as I want it to be, but the kids and I have resolved that we will make it a point to explore more of the metro on Sundays. Well, I hope!

I haven't had a relaxing, no-work weekend in weeks! We didn't have catering the past weekend, so I slept my Saturday away. I needed to rest my back anyway, so who cares if I slothed around? Hehe. My friend Cai has been asking me to check out a supermarket in Ongpin for Hong Kong treats, etc. I've been wanting to go since she bought a pack of Hi-C Lemon Tea for me a few weeks back. If you follow me on social media, you would know how much I love this product!

Photo from applesanddumplings.com

So I found myself lazily planning a trip downtown on Sunday. I wasn't sure I wanted to go anywhere, but we also needed to get to Church, so I pushed myself to go after lunch.

After plotting down my destination on Waze, we made it to Masangkay Street around 2pm. Cai had advised to park along Masangkay or Salazar, since Ongpin Street would normally be full. The last time I went to Chinatown was way, way back when I was still in Sales, handling Convenience Stores for the food group. So this trip out to Binondo was a treat in itself! It was my kids' first time in that area - that is if you don't count our many trips to Divisoria.

Crossing the estero on Ongpin Street.

My kids were thrilled that the place looked and felt like another Asian country. Even Yaya J exclaimed that it felt like we were in Hong Kong (well, minus the smell, hehe).

Established in 1594, Manila's Chinatown is the oldest Chinatown in the world!

Classic Kalesa! A took this photo when we were still in the car. 

We were there with one goal: to get more Lemon Tea! So off we went to find Mandarin Supermarket on Ongpin Street.

Ah! We made it! I sent this photo to Cai and Didi right when we got to Mandarin Square!

Mandarin Supermarket is a haven for hoarders like me, especially since I really miss Hong Kong. It sells all sorts of grocery products from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and China. I was so overwhelmed that I didn't think to take more photos. Sorry! I even forgot to Snap!

Boxed Milk and Soy Milk selection.

Tea-k your pick. LOL!

What a pretty sight!

Would you? Preserved food and snacks from China. I'm talking vacuum-packed chicken wings, chicken feet, veggies, etc. 

I'm in noodle heaven!

The kids and I spent a good hour and a half in this supermarket alone. We ended up buying one huge box worth of stuff (my siblings asked me to get them Lemon Tea, too!). It was too heavy to lug back to the car, so I asked if we could leave it first then swing by for it later. It wasn't much of a problem if we wanted to explore first, because Mandarin Supermarket closes at 10pm!

Didi wanted me to post my finds, but since I didn't get to take a lot of photos inside the supermarket, I took photos of our Mandarin Supermarket loot when we got home.

Our loot!

RL's loot | From top left clockwise:
Prebiotic Drink (tastes like Yakult. Well, sorta...)
Thin Coconut Cookies (so good, but maybe because we love coconut cookies)
Hi-Chew Grape (RL ate up a lot already, so only three made it to the photo, LOL)
Woody Fan
White Rabbit Candies (the classic kind with the edible wrapper)

A's Loot | From top clockwise:
QQ Gummy Candies (P10 each!!!)
Glico Caplicocot
Meito Dessert Chocolat
Sakuma Fruit Candy Drops (Yes, like the ones in Grave of the Fireflies!)

My loot | From top left clockwise:
Serena Crackers - Seaweed, Vegetable, Green Onion, Spirulina
(My favorite cracker brand from Taiwan! Didn't think I'd find them here!)
Hi-C Lemon Tea (Our family's favorite - I bought 7 packs!!!)
Nissin Black Garlic Oil Tonkotsu Noodles
Nissin Curry Noodles
Nissin Hokkaido Tonkotsu Noodles
(the spiky kind my mom likes)

As you can see, I do not regret taking that trip to Binondo!

Mandarin Supermarket 
G/F Mandarin Square
777 Ongpin Street, Binondo, Manila

(To be continued...)

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