When in Manila, from my in-laws’ Wellington apartment right beside the Binondo Church aka Minor Basilica of St. Lorenzo Ruiz, the hubby and I would have our little food walking tours, revisiting our old Manila Chinatown favorites and discovering new ones. Or my sister-in-law would send someone to buy meals at nearby Carvajal Street, or just telephone a Savory fried chicken delivery. In the last decade or so, the evolution of Binondo has been noticeable. New establishments featuring regional flavors from China and Pinoy fastfood chains are now a slice of the Binondo food scene.
Yesterday, I came face to face with the Manila Streetwalker, Ivan Man Dy of Old Manila Walks. He’s one of the country’s leading tour guides and an ardent advocate of heritage conservation. If you’re a fan of Anthony Bourdain, you’d recognize Ivan as his food guide in Binondo. Of all places to meet Ivan, it was at the La Paz Sand Dunes… one of the camera experts with the “Lakbay Norte” group visiting Ilocos mentioned him as Tony’s Chinese food guide in the No Reservations Binondo edition. Anyways, I got curious because I had to read The Big Binondo Wok Food Map as an assignment in a previous stint. Was he the man with the wok on top of his head? I forgot to ask.