Posted by: nastypen | February 21, 2007

A Binondo Break

Frankly, I’m bored.

Unemployment is unnerving. Trying to relax and be on vacation mode can be hard work. I worry about bills, where will I get the moolah and other trivial stuff.

Sometimes, I get a break courtesy of Onyx the labrador. She knows when I’m frazzled and she rolls over to have a belly rub. She seems to be in heaven when I twiddle her hairy belly with my pillar-like legs and elephantine feet.

rub a dub dub!!!!

But I’m getting bored.

Everyday I’m at the mall working out at the gym and trying not to spend. I decided to change my plans for the night and go on a dinner date with the boyfriend and his friends/former officemates. The boyfriend has to read this textbook on microbiology for his new job. He said he needed a notebook and we go to the bookstore and scour for great notebooks.

The boyfriend, being Capricorn, is naturally scrimpy (is there such a word?) or a tightwad. I saw some great notebooks, but he shook his head. He wanted a notebook for less than a hundred pesos!!!! Are there any?

Until I saw this pile:

What the????!?!?

I have no idea who these people are. Apparently, they’re celebrities in the Philippines. I thought these notebooks with faces of celebs who do not know the meaning of “jejune” are frowned upon by educators? After all, a great majority of these celebs never even stepped into the tertiary level and their faces grace notebooks? Define”ironic,” celebs, without singing that stupid and woefully mistaken Alanis Morisette song.

Thankfully, the boyfriend did not buy one of these notebooks.

I did offer some more suggestions:

Barbie is my bitch!

I guess pink and leopard prints are a no-no in the corporate world. Damn it, I’d get a Barbie notebook but only is she wore eyeglasses, too.

I went about looking at books trying not to buy anything until I almost screamed when I saw this arrangement:


Jorge Amado, Brazilian author of socially scathing novels, right beside Pamela Anderson. Only in the Philippines. I don’t know which is more disturbing: the utter disregard for literary merit for the sake of alphabetization or that Pamela Anderson has a novel (I think she has a couple!?). Whoa…. if someone like her and Naomi Campbell can have their “novels” out, why can’t I? Hell, even Madonna said she thought children’s literature was boring and lacked great stories, thus forcing her to write a series. Obviously, Madonna has not read enough. Well, I need to learn from these ladies one important ingredient: Chutzpah.

Anyhoo, the boyfriend was supposed to have dinner with his friends as I tag along like a dutiful housewife. I suggested that the Makati malls are making me sick. So why not try some other venue?

I wanted to return to Binondo and have a food binge. Haven’t gone back in months. Besides, I love Manila’s Chinatown where good food need not cost a kidney. I remember a while back, a reader “challenged” me that in Manila food places are expensive.

Well, having been transplanted into one of the world’s most polluted cities, I DO enjoy Manila. Manila has and will give you character. It just takes a certain knowledge on where to go and enjoy food, not necessarily fine dining (although I know of a couple of places that are relatively dirt cheap here), within a budget and can still end with several burps and screaming buttons to be unfastened.

I guided the friends where to go. I don’t know the exact address of the palce but I can show you the location. We snaked our way to the congested traffic at Taft, all the way to Binondo. I pointed them to an unassuming tiny hole in the wall. That’s the Wai Ying restaurant and that’s where we shall feed.

The chairs are old with torn vinyl back rests. The floor is not shiny with discarded chopstick plastics. The waitresses are hardly the glamour puss. Yet, I know that the rich Binondo families trek to this place to enjoy the arguably best siomai in the country.


I always bring my guests and friends to this place. I never heard a complaint. Always the same praises.

I happen to like the place that does not rely on expensive red Akari lamps for decor. the only decoration this place had was a hideous calendar heralding the year of the fire boar, three imitation watercolor paintings of roosters and a fat Buddha statue greeting the guests. I rubbed its belly as I entered.

And there are times when the guests line up.

We ordered, siomai, shrimp dumplings, hakaw, sharks fin, four cups of rice, sweet and sour fish fillet, brocolli with oyster sauce, steamed dumplings, and drinks.

I’m sorry I only brought my mobile phone with a subpar camera and just took these pics:

siomai baby

glorious food.....


And the total cost? We were four and the bill was divided and it amounted to 145 pesos each. A cab ride from Manila to Quezon City is more expensive than this. Hell, a set meal at McDonald’s costs more than this. But unlike that cab ride and fast food meal, we were belching like crazy.



  1. ay gusto ko ng i-try yang place na yan. have u been to wah-sun and estero?

  2. yes! wah sun sa may sta. cruz….yummy and estero has good camaron rebosado hahaha

  3. yummy!!! : )

  4. nakakagutom ha….. miss u!

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