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    Posted September 6, 2012 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    My favorite Chinatown

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    The Christianized Chinatown

    Binondo in Manila is said to be the oldest Chinatown in the world, established in 1594. It is a cannon's throw away from the walled city of Intramuros, so the Spanish could easily suppress any rebellion from the Chinese traders and laborers.

    This was the permanent settlement of the early Chinese immigrants who have converted to Christianity, giving today's community a mix of western and eastern cultures. Aside from the traditional Welcome Arch, the entrance to this Chinatown is adorned by the Baroque-style Minor Basilica of St. Lorenzo Ruiz, built in 1852. In Ongpin Street, there is a shrine by the wall that houses a large cross, decorated with flowers and burning incense sticks. At the other end of the district are the Santa Cruz Church, which dates as far back as 1608, and the Carriedo fountain, built in 1882.

    Today, it is a center of business and a food tripper's haven, where you can find authentic Chinese cuisine like dumplings, noodles, and even peking duck.
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