A taste of Taiwan in Binondo

Shin Tai-Shang

For so many years, Binondo has been dominated by Chinese immigrants from mainland China. They knew how to tweak their recipes to suit the Filipino palate. Hence, the Chinoys of today grew accustomed to a different level of Chinese cooking. “More malasa, nothing like it in other Chinatowns abroad,” Chinoys overseas would say.

In vibrant Manila Chinatown, a store bearing the name Shin Tai-Shang beckons because food are beyond the usual. Flaky hopia-like balls are colorful, pies are dotted with black sesame seeds,  mooncakes are shaped like animal heads, sausages are stuffed with rice and shelves are filled with Taiwanese products.

“Rice meals that are healthier” (according to owner Christine) catch one’s attention. The vegetarian food I’ve tried are delish, not bland surprisingly.


I went deeper into the store and found unique Asian decor and lots of kitschy stuff such as original Sanrio, Cath Kidston and dancing maneki-neko that made me smile. A laughing Buddha is difficult to find, but they had one that was already reserved .

Laughing BuddhaFancyBiore and La Roche-Posay

Along with Japanese Biore facial washes and Taiwanese cosmetics, La Roche-Posay and Vichy moisturizers and sunblock are selling well, according to the SAs.

Shin Tai-Shang on Salazar Street was a revelation. I haven’t even checked out the condiment shelves.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

Good ‘ol La Resurreccion Chocolate

La Resurreccion Chocolate

When I was little, we’d occasionally have hot cups of chocolate made with tablea.

Hot cups of chocolate reappeared on the breakfast table when I gave birth to my first child.

Forcing daughters-in-law to rebuild all the shrunken pre-pregnancy energy by way of high energy and the so-called cleansing food would be imposed by Chinese mothers-in law. Traditionally, cocoa accompanied chicken cooked in aromatic sibut herbs and seeds. I was fed all kinds of chicken, from white to black. Those were the fattest, saddest 30 days of my life — in pajamas, with unwashed hair, a colicky baby and all the postpartum blues.

LA Resurreccion Chocolates

Following the incredible advancement of the world, with Starbucks and Cafe France presently occupying spaces on Chinoy land, La Resurreccion Chocolate, established in the 1930s along Ongpin Street, has survived the arrival of Horlicks, and then Ovaltine and Milo, and later Swiss Miss.

Chocolate tablets dissolved in hot water and beaten with a batirol is now rarefied, if not nostalgic. La Resurreccion has since moved to Benavidez Street.


The tablea are still packed the old way. They come in sweetened and unsweetened varieties. The factory is now in a different location.

Tsokolate 2

Things like these make me miss my childhood days.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014