Metropolitan Manila - Metro Manila (National Capital Region)
(Filipino: Kalakhang Maynila, Kamaynilaan), commonly known as Metro Manila, the National Capital Region (NCR)
As early as the 10th century, a lively trade has been going on between itinerant merchants coasting along the China Sea and the river bank dwellers of the Pasig River.
At the northern bank of this river sprang a thicker-and-woods village where a community of Chinese lived peaceably among the Tagalogs when the Spaniards came.
The village was called Binundok, a tagalog term for hilly terrain, but the Spaniards, perpetuating a corruption of its name, referred to it as Isla de Binondo (Isle of Binondo).
During the trading galleon centuries, the mercantile town of Binondo served as the center of trading post between Asia and the New World. Trade that was to sustain a colony for 300 years and spawn enormous fortunes.
Today, with its maze of narrow streets, storehouses, bazaars, restaurants and business establishments, Binondo seems hardly changed after centuries as the city's Chinese borough. Still bustling with endless commercial activiy, this former core of international trade has now become a haven for those in search of authentic oriental cuisine and bargains.
Ongpin, the major artery that cuts through Chinatown's heartland is an enticing treasure trove of gold-smithery, countless eateries serving traditional Chinese dishes, pastry shops with tempting oriental delicacies,a nd apothecaries selling herbal packets and exotic remedies. Equally inviting are the interwining side streets and alleyways along this thoroughfare boasting of an overwhelming array of assorted goods ranging from fresh produce and exotic preserves to ornaments, hardware and furniture shops.
Adding color to the charms of this commercial district are the frantic activities of tenacious vendors peddling their assorted of goods and competing for attention among the carnival of shoppers.
But there is more to Chinatown than mere shopping. Beyond the color, the noise, and the smell, this lively Sino sector proposes further exciting discoveries...
One travels more usefully when alone, because he reflects more. Thomas Jefferson
Southern Philippine Cuisine
In Mindanao, the southern part of Palawan island, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, dishes are richly flavored with the spices common to Southeast Asia: turmeric, coriander, lemon grass, cumin, and chillies — ingredients not commonly used in the rest of Filipino cooking. Being free from Hispanicization, the cuisine of the indigenous Moro and Lumad peoples of Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago has much in common with the rich and spicy Malay cuisines of Malaysia and Brunei, as well as Indonesian and Thai cuisines.
More details at Southern Philippine Cuisine