QUIAPO, MANILA: FAITH, FOOD AND TRADE

by - 4:24 PM

QUIAPO, MANILA: FAITH, FOOD AND TRADE

There is beauty in chaos.  The streets filled of thievery and piracy, of wares unthinkable to be peddled, cultural properties of the country harbored, contrasting religious congregations co-exist and the birthplace of varied innovative cuisine is what the Old Downtown of Manila is today.

It was a Sunday afternoon.  The weather cooperated for this street photography session with my constant weekend travel buddies.  The destination: Quiapo District of Manila.

The long walk commenced at the San Sebastian Church.  There’s so much to know about the church - from its history, architecture and its being a constant venue of weddings.  In fact, a wedding ceremony was taking place when we arrived.  San Sebastian Church, as the only all-steel temple in the Philippines and the only prefabricated steel church in the world is designated as a National Historical Landmark by the Philippine Government and included in the Tentative List for possible designation as a World Heritage Site.

QUIAPO, MANILA: FAITH, FOOD AND TRADEQUIAPO, MANILA: FAITH, FOOD AND TRADE

WHAT THE CHURCH IS MADE OF
QUIAPO, MANILA: FAITH, FOOD AND TRADE
THE MARKET
QUIAPO, MANILA: FAITH, FOOD AND TRADE
THE CEILING

QUIAPO, MANILA: FAITH, FOOD AND TRADE
SAN SEBASTIAN CHURCH FACADE
 After a few minutes, we walked towards another venue for professing religious faith.  Along the way, old ancestral houses complemented by dangling electric wires is a necessary façade.  All sorts of merchandise are peddled on the streets with varied modes of transportation competing for space on one narrow alley.  It was a chaotic scene that not all would appreciate.  It takes extra caution and vigilance when passing by the alleys that lead to the predominantly Muslim section of the Quiapo District.

QUIAPO, MANILA: FAITH, FOOD AND TRADE
RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL SPACE IN ONE ALLEY HOUSED IN HERITAGE HOUSES
QUIAPO, MANILA: FAITH, FOOD AND TRADE
THE WELCOME ARCH TO THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY OF QUIAPO
 We visited the largest mosque in Metro Manila known as The Golden Mosque.  The mosque incorporates a mixture of foreign and local influences.  The prayer hall was full of Muslim devotees and we just have to observe to respect solemnity. 

QUIAPO, MANILA: FAITH, FOOD AND TRADE
THE MOSQUE' FACADE

QUIAPO, MANILA: FAITH, FOOD AND TRADEQUIAPO, MANILA: FAITH, FOOD AND TRADE

QUIAPO, MANILA: FAITH, FOOD AND TRADE
THE PRAYER HALL OF THE MOSQUE


The imposing and conspicuous golden dome as part of its façade makes the mosque easy to locate.  Within the vicinity are restaurants serving halal food and varied street food finds and wares.

QUIAPO, MANILA: FAITH, FOOD AND TRADE
THE GOLDEN DOME
QUIAPO, MANILA: FAITH, FOOD AND TRADEQUIAPO, MANILA: FAITH, FOOD AND TRADE

From Globo de Oro Street, we move forward leaving the Muslim community and into the center of Quiapo, where the Quiapo Church sits. Indubitable (?) number of fortune tellers fronts the church along the Plaza Miranda with herbal products that surround its vicinity as well.

QUIAPO, MANILA: FAITH, FOOD AND TRADEQUIAPO, MANILA: FAITH, FOOD AND TRADE

QUIAPO, MANILA: FAITH, FOOD AND TRADE
FOR SALE
 I was more particular of locating these herbal products as I inform my friends (“Yung mga pamparegla, pampalaglag at iba pa”), and they just laughed at me.  It’s not that I want to recommend it to someone in need but I am more curious of how they market and package the same.  But to no avail.  We couldn’t find one or maybe we haven’t passed by where they congregate.


QUIAPO, MANILA: FAITH, FOOD AND TRADE
ENTERING PLAZA MIRANDA TO QUIAPO CHURCH
QUIAPO, MANILA: FAITH, FOOD AND TRADEQUIAPO, MANILA: FAITH, FOOD AND TRADE

QUIAPO, MANILA: FAITH, FOOD AND TRADE
BUSINESS AS USUAL
In a 15-minute session, I tried the skill of one fortune teller using ordinary cards.  You will hear what you expect for a bargained fee of PhP50.00 and PhP100.00 (for tarot card reading).  Everything that surrounds the church is sold for bargain.  Quite ironic, but minor crimes do exist within the vicinity.

QUIAPO, MANILA: FAITH, FOOD AND TRADE
THE QUIAPO CHURCH
QUIAPO, MANILA: FAITH, FOOD AND TRADE QUIAPO, MANILA: FAITH, FOOD AND TRADE

QUIAPO, MANILA: FAITH, FOOD AND TRADE
WHO WOULD BUY THIS ONE?
THE CROWDED SQUARE OF QUIAPO

QUIAPO, MANILA: FAITH, FOOD AND TRADEQUIAPO, MANILA: FAITH, FOOD AND TRADE

As a melting pot of cultures and dubbed as the Old Downtown of Manila, the Quiapo District is home to authentic specialty cuisine.  The likes of mami and goto, are aligned at Hidalgo Street.  Quiapo stands witness as well to birth of known brands in authentic Chinese cuisine.  

QUIAPO, MANILA: FAITH, FOOD AND TRADE
MAMI TO BE SERVED
The Globe Lumpia House that operated for about five decades and known for its fresh Chinese spring rolls, lumpiang sariwa (PhP18.00), has only one stall and that is in Raon in Quiapo District.  A long queue awaits as my friends’ line up to place their orders.  I am not a fan of lumpiang sariwa so I leave the taste test to them.  I can see from their faces how satisfied they were and their want for more but have to fall in line once again.


WHAT IT TAKES TO OPERATE FOR MORE THAN 5 DECADES
QUIAPO, MANILA: FAITH, FOOD AND TRADE
LUMPIANG SARIWA (PhP18.00)
Bearing the name of a Chinese grade school teacher from Guangzhou, China and later on became one of the most successful entrepreneurs of the country, Ma Mon Luk Restaurant has become a household name for mami, siopao, and dumplings.  And so as our last stop in Quiapo, we shared a table at the first branch of Ma Mon Luk, trying their mami and siopao.  The mami is enhanced by a secret sauce which makes it distinct from other chicken noodle soup peddlers.


QUIAPO, MANILA: FAITH, FOOD AND TRADE
MA MON LUK'S SPECIALTIES - SIOPAO AND MAMI
QUIAPO, MANILA: FAITH, FOOD AND TRADE QUIAPO, MANILA: FAITH, FOOD AND TRADE

It was an exhausting day that deserves an iced cold beer.  Quiapo is indeed not for the faint-hearted but the infinite of discoveries for a single day is priceless.

QUIAPO, MANILA: FAITH, FOOD AND TRADE
ONE OF QUIAPO DISTRICT OFFERINGS
GLOBE LUMPIA HOUSE
740 Raon Street, Brgy. 307,
Zone 030, Sta. Cruz, Manila

R. MA MON LUK RESTAURANT
Quezon Blvd., Quiapo,
Manila

You May Also Like

0 comments