Wealth in Death

Paper House

Children of strict Chinese parents in the Philippines still would want to give a parent a Chinese customary funeral. Send-off ceremonies and rituals such as burning joss paper and material symbols before the actual burial, normally practiced by Taoists and Buddhists, date back to the Tang dynasty. They deem comfort in the afterlife. It is also believed to bring luck to the living.

Paper MercedesPicture 008

Detailed paper houses, complete with food and  servants,  jets and cars are crafted by artisans in Manila who are usually contacted through funeral house referrals.

The living bring home the lamps.

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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

Manila Chinatown Prepares for the Year of the Horse

Ongpin Street, Binondo, Manila

I was with the Lifestyle Network’s FoodPrints team yesterday. The ever vibrant Ongpin Street was at its busiest. It was hard to breathe, what more with a full tummy, doing several rounds of food sampling? Have you gotten yourself lucky charms yet?

Happy 2014, everyone!

Money TreeOngpin St.Binondo ChrurchEng Bee Tin hopia and tikoy storeTikoy Time

Truckloads of tikoy (sticky rice cakes) were everywhere.

Ube SiopaoTikoy SamplerHorses on the SidewalkLuckChinese holidays fruit cart along Manila ChinatownProsperity SymbolsOn a Corner in Manila ChinatownLucky CharmsLion HeadLucky TrinketsThe No Name StoreWatermelon Man on a Street CornerSa may tulay sa Ongpin
Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014