The iconic picturesque of the urban landscape with intricate archways; lengthy rows of hanging lanterns; numerous stalls of feng shui items and the like, all of which are brimming with red and gold hues, is not a strange sight to Filipinos especially during festivities. In fact, not only does the country’s capital city house a very culture-rich district, it is also home to the 'World's Oldest Chinatown'!
Besides being a must-see site for people touring around Manila, Binondo has much more to offer than meets the eye; including its wondrous stories of the Filipino-Chinese relationship which extends even before the Spanish occupation on the country.
Now, these stories are made more accessible to the public, thanks to the newly launched Chinatown Museum!
Located at the 4th floor of Building A of the Lucky Chinatown Mall, the interactive museum is an ideal go-to place for students, scholars, and anyone who got curious after a stroll at the mall. It is now the second museum of property giant Megaworld Corporation and is supported by the National Geographic Channel.
Instead of the traditional ribbon cutting, the opening of the museum had been hailed with a ceremonial banging of the Gong, done by the key figures of its rising: Head of Museums of the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts Dannie Alvarez, Alliance Global, Inc. Chief Executive Officer Kevin L. Tan, Megaworld Chief Operating Officer Lourdes Gutierrez-Alfonso, and Head of Megaworld Lifestyle Malls Graham Coates.
The Chinatown Museum offers visitors a glimpse of the past onto the present with its vast collection of memorabilia set to project the rich cultural heritage of the local Filipino-Chinese as well as to pay tribute to their community.
It features 18 galleries, each showcasing an aspect in the colorful history of the district. From their religion to their trade, to the Chinese ties to the Filipino revolution.
Besides the history, the museum will also pay tribute to the highly-respected Chinese families, whose great contributions to the community have paved the way for the prospering progress and development of the Binondo district.
"We conducted thorough research and consultations for this project, and we collaborated with members of the academe, respected historians and prominent figures in the community in order to provide an accurate and comprehensive representation of Binondo's rich history," says Kevin L. Tan.
To make the visitors' tour more immersive and engaging, Megaworld also introduced the Chinatown Museum App, available on Google Play for android users and on the Apple Store for iOS users. It aims to provide an easier access to the information available at the galleries.
Admission rates for regular visitors are priced at P150, while discounted prices are available for senior citizens (P120) and students (P100).
The Chinatown Museum is located at the 4th floor, Building A of Lucky Chinatown Mall, Reina Regente St. corner Dela Reina St., Binondo, Manila. It is open from Tuesday to Sunday 10AM to 6PM.
For more information, you can visit their website at www.chinatownmuseum.org.