Thursday, March 4, 2010
it was not all about eating, we too were there to witness the usual Chinese traditions of visiting and praying in the temples. with a big community of Chinese in Manila, one won't be surprised to see temples around Binondo.but not all these temples, which are mostly on top of buildings, are open to visitors. it was good that through Ivan Man Dy, we learned that Te Ya Kong Temple just along Ongpin street is open to guests.knowing how devoted most Filipinos are to Christian traditions, it seemed that there's not much difference with the Tsinoys or the Chinoys - Filipino Chinese. the way of worshiping and the rituals may differ but not much on how they would flock a temple on a special religious day.it was my first time to be in Binondo on a Chinese new year and it was so noticeable that most of the Chinese wore red shirt on that day. it symbolizes good luck to them. funny that Filipinos without Chinese roots would sometimes follow some of their traditions.the Chinese traders who for long occupied certain parts of area in the country has influenced the Filipinos in many ways. in fact Filipino-Chinese is one of the largest ethnic Filipino groups in the country.during the Chinese new year, they offer flowers, prayers and even burning these sheets of papers. this is believed that through burning, they can offer prayers and wishes to their dead ancestors.while i was taking a photo of the hanging plastic chips with Chinese characters, a Chinese lady approached me and explained that those are actually money offerings. on each chip, they wrote the amount and the names of the donors for them to receive prayers the whole year round.it was a great experience to actually trace some of the Chinese traditions that greatly influenced the Filipinos but it was also great seeing some of the unique traditions that they still do.