March 2019
Photos, videos and stories of town explorations.
I have always believed that if you surround yourself with people of common characteristics, you might become like them.

► Change is constant so I know I have to brace myself with these changes so that I could become change-proof.

► Every blogger is important. Each has a significant contribution to the internet.

[Manila, National Capital Region, Luzon Island, Philippines]
SINCERITY RESTAURANT, BINONDO
| 1 | [MANILA] ► OUR TEMPER IS LIKE A SOUP. IT MAY HURT WHEN NOT COOLED DOWN. BEFORE WE STRIKE LIKE A HOT SOUP TO A TONGUE, COOL DOWN AND YOU'LL NEVER REGRET MAKING A DECISION IN A CALM SOUND MIND.
It's been a long time since I wrote my last restaurant review (March 17, 2017) and here I am again reviving my "Restaurant" blog label. I don't know but I feel so unmotivated to blog this past few weeks. I used to be on a blog hiatus for more than a year but my drive to blog was resurrected last November when I backpacked Singapore and Indonesia for almost 10 days. The first quarter of 2019 is about to end and I'm losing my motivation once again. I'm not sure what's going on inside me but I think the gradual exit or hybernation of fellow bloggers whom I regularly follow has also affected me.

I have always believed that if you surround yourself with people of common characteristics, you might become like them. I've surrounded my online self too with passionate bloggers so I was influenced by their passion but as time went by, they gradually left the blogosphere and many of them started another life. Some have used another platform. Some opted to join the "influencer" wave and put less focus on traditional blogging. Some just left blogging permanently. Some were gone too soon. 😔 A lot has changed in the internet in the past few years.


I'm back to writing personal restaurant reviews



Change is constant so I know I have to brace myself with these changes so that I could become change-proof. I would admit though that the decrease of passionate bloggers (that I follow) in the internet has also affected my motivation (because I'm also gradually losing my roster of inspiration) but as time went by, I learned to admit that nothing is permanent so I tried to look for another ways to motivate me again.

I'm back to doing restaurant reviews. I'm not really good in writing reviews but I need to also resurrect my review-related labels because I'm pretty sure blog readers are diverse. There are people who would appreciate bloggers if they create review contents. Some would love narratives too. Some would look after travel guides and itineraries. See? Every blogger is important (except those who spread lies, violence, and hate). Each has a significant contribution to the internet.


In Focus: Sincerity Restaurant of Binondo



For the first time, I experienced the Sincerity Cafe and Restaurant in Binondo. Before I write my lousy review, let me tell you how I've come up trying this restaurant.

So it was a busy day when after our 11-hour shift, we decided to visit a recruitment agency in Ermita (you can see my ▼ BLOGSERYE 006

[Metro Manila] ► My First LRT Ride: Thoughts and Reflections


for the full story). My workmate Lourdes, in her 50s and an old-time Metro Manila dweller suggested we should go to Binondo to eat at Sincerity Restaurant.

Lourdes, being so passionate in culinary, has the "say" where we should eat because she knows the restaurants that offer the not-your-ordinary-food. Tired and hungry, we endured the exhausting traffic jams of Manila just to reach Sincerity Restaurant in Binondo.

We alighted near the Santa Cruz Church and walked all the way to Binondo. We just followed Lourdes because we didn't have any idea where to. We explored Ongpin Street while Lourdes was trying to figure out where was that restaurant. She didn't use GPS but she used her old-fashioned instinct to search for that restaurant.

We turned to Yuchengco street after few wrong turns and we've found out that this was the correct street we were looking for. The street has this old commercial district feel. The street is lined with hardware stores and Chinese-owned business establishment. The Sincerity Restaurant is part of this old trading spot.

It wasn't easy to search for the restaurant because there were so many cargo trucks parked in a row along this narrow street so the signage was not easy to find. Anyway we were able to find it. We were welcomed by a Filipino crew wearing Chinese clothes.

I let Lourdes do the responsibility of choosing what food to eat because I'm not really good in picking. Besides, when I pick a food, I would choose something that looks inviting even though that food may seem to be something that I eat everyday. Yes, I'm that person who may say "I don't care" about the menu. I choose what I think would satisfy me. So to let this restaurant experience special, Lourdes chose what she thought was the best food—something we could not find anywhere.

SINCERITY RESTAURANT, BINONDO
| 2 | [MANILA] ► USING MY PHONE CAMERA, I TOOK THIS PHOTO TO REMIND ME HOW THE INTERIOR LOOKED LIKE.
SINCERITY RESTAURANT, BINONDO
| 3 | [MANILA] ► ME AND ALEX WERE SO HUNGRY YET WE PERSISTENTLY WAITED FOR THE ORDER. IT WAS WORTH THE WAIT.
SINCERITY RESTAURANT, BINONDO
| 4 | [MANILA] ► THIS WAS A SOUP DISH FROM THE ARCHANGELS, HEAVENLY..
SINCERITY RESTAURANT, BINONDO
| 5 | [MANILA] ► THESE WERE SOME OF THE FOOD WE ATE. THEY WERE SO DELICIOUS. THEY WERE COOKED BY GOD!
SINCERITY RESTAURANT, BINONDO
| 6 | [MANILA] ► THIS POST-APOCALYPSE SCENE WAS VERY EXPECTED.
SINCERITY RESTAURANT, BINONDO
| 7 | [MANILA] ► WE LEFT BINONDO WITH A HAPPY HEART, AND TUMMY.
After a few minutes of waiting, they served the food. Well, I didn't know what were the names of the food they served but I sure took a photo to remind me how they looked like.

Lourdes was the best! The food she chose were something that brought me to heaven—shereeeeep! I was able to try THE best siomai since birth! I also had a taste of a certain chicken menu that was so heavenly as well. I also experienced this delicious noodle soup that's making me feel so hungry right now (while writing this post).


Ending Notes



Yehey! I've just written my first "blog review" (I wish I wrote a blog review well because I think it was more of random blabs) in more than 2 years. One thing more, I survived writing this post without running out of words to say (because my creativity level tonight is low).

I consumed two cups (large) of 7-11 City Blends coffee and another cup of custom coffee from other brand (I put two sachets, the twin pack one) just to stay awake and motivated in finishing this post tonight.

7-11 city blends coffee
| 7 | [QUEZON CITY] ► I STAYED WIDE AWAKE WITH THESE CUPS OF COFFEE, NO REASON TO PROCRASTINATE THIS BLOG POST.
7-11's City Blends Coffee has always been my go-to whenever I want a quick coffee fix. Tonight I took a cup of French vanilla and another cup of Mochaccino. Follow 7-11 on instagram via @711PH.

Super ending notes: Now, I'm still slightly sad for the gradual disintegration of the once happy and well-connected blogging community. There's still a kind of bond now but it's a different story before.

While writing this post, I wish the old blogging community that I loved will also resurrect. I became friends with many of the bloggers of the old era though and some became my travel buddies at least once but I would say it's much different now.

With sincerity,
Edmar Guquib 💚
| end of story |

| ► MORE POSTS COVERING MY BINONDO-SANTA CRUZ VISIT (JANUARY 2019)
| ▼ AT NIGHT: BINONDO/SANTA CRUZ, THE DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD

[Manila] ► At Night: Binondo/Sta Cruz, The Double-Edged Sword



| ▼ BINONDO AND SANTA CRUZ VISIT 2019

[Manila] ► Binondo & Sta Cruz Visit 2019





Maps Showing the Location of #MANILA

MAP OF MANILA
► FOOTNOTES, DISCLAIMERS, ACKNOWLEDGMENT, ETC

✈ This post was filed under the category "Restaurants". See more posts related to this below.

✈ The maps I used on this post are from maps.google.com.ph.

✈ All photos are mine.

✈ The insights, condition and name of places or properties I mentioned here are based on the facts and situation on the day of my visit. Take note that you may have a different experience when you try the activities or see the properties/places mentioned here. Names of places and properties may also change by time.

UPDATE HISTORY FOR THIS BLOG POST
► 01-April-2019: Link to related posts added at the end of the story. Text alignment for the heading paragraphs modified. "Yuhengco Street" corrected to "Yuchengco Street".
► 31-March-2019: Search description added.
► 29-March-2019: This post was published.


LATEST STORIES COVERING #MANILA | SEE ALL IN A SEPARATE WINDOW


MORE STORIES COVERING METRO MANILA | SEE OLDER STORIES


LATEST STORIES COVERING THESE CATEGORIES | SEE OLDER STORIES








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NAGUSTUAM DIAY NABASAM/NAKITAM? MABALIN MO MET I-LIKE.

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Photos, videos and stories of town explorations.
If you search for the right reason, you will find it with passion.

► It may be sweeter the second time around and the third time could be a charm but the fourth time for me is more on introspection.

► To search for the right way would require you to exercise wisdom, independence, and sound discretion.

[Manila, National Capital Region, Luzon Island, Philippines]
SANTA CRUZ, MANILA
| 1 | [MANILA] ► SEARCH AND YOU WILL FIND. SEEK YOUR PASSION AND IT WILL REVEAL ITSELF TO YOU.
In our lives, we have a lot of longings and emptiness. We search for so many things that would either fulfill our emptiness or break our integrity. It's great to search because it's the only way we could find what we are looking for. However, we sometimes search for the wrong reasons. But when you apply righteousness in your search, you'll never go wrong searching for the right reason.

These are the insights and wisdom I gained from my recent visit in Binondo.


Fourth Time in Binondo



It may be sweeter the second time around and the third time could be a charm but the fourth time for me is more on introspection.

I tend to reminisce my first visit to a place, rekindle the sweet feelings of the second, and celebrate the memories of the third.

For the fourth time, it's more on reflection as I love to figure out what has changed in a place, what has changed in my life, and what has changed in my perspective as compared to my past experiences.

SANTA CRUZ, MANILA
| 2 | [MANILA] ► IN OUR LIFE JOURNEY, WE OFTEN LOOK FOR A SIGN. OFTENTIMES, THESE SIGNS ARE MISLEADING. IT WOULD BE WISER TO SEARCH FOR THE RIGHT WAY, WITH OR WITHOUT A SIGN. TO SEARCH FOR THE RIGHT WAY WOULD REQUIRE YOU TO EXERCISE WISDOM, INDEPENDENCE, AND SOUND DISCRETION. TO SEARCH FOR THE RIGHT SIGN WOULD ONLY TEACH YOU TO BECOME DEPENDENT ON HINTS, NOT ON TRUTHFUL WAYS.
The excitement I felt the first time I visited Binondo never faded. Time is immortal but it failed to slay my candid feelings. My emotions, for this particular moment, were as immortal as time. My feelings became my link to the first, second, and third Binondo encounters. The streak was meaningful—as timeless as time.

So for the fourth time, I visited Binondo for a random reason. It wasn't planned, but new experiences would definitely fit my bowl full of tito wisdom and insights.


From My First LRT Ride to Sta Cruz and Binondo



Just recently, prior to this blog post, I wrote a series of narratives covering ▼ MY FIRST LRT RIDE

[Metro Manila] ► My First LRT Ride: Thoughts And Reflections


experience. This Binondo encounter I'm talking about now is actually a continuation of that first LRT ride. Both happened the same day.

It was already rush hour and the streets of Manila were congested (and stressful for me). From UN Avenue LRT Station, we took a jeep and a tricycle on our way to Binondo.

The jeep was fully-packed with commuters that I had to sabit (stand at the back of the jeepney, see image | 3 | below) because I no longer had a space inside. No choice. We tried to be as fast as we could because we would like to go home before dark but the traffic woes didn't want to align the Manila magic with our stars. The two persons with me needed to go home to ▼ RIZAL
Province as early as possible. Me? I needed to assume the bow position for several minutes while the jeep was running.

SANTA CRUZ, MANILA
| 3 | [MANILA] ► THIS WAS MY FIRST SABIT EXPERIENCE IN MANILA. (PHOTO TAKEN BY
FLORENTYNA ALEXANDRA SANIN)

At a certain point, I was able to grab a seat hence giving my spine and back muscles a great relief from bowing.

Inside the jeep, it was such a comedic scene to see two zillennials facing each other but communicating through Messenger.

Yes, they didn't want to use their voice to communicate. They enjoyed chatting via Messenger which makes this generation kind of weirder than ever. They didn't even want to laugh with their voice. They laughed by sending "hahaha" via Messenger.

I could see on their faces they wanted to laugh but they chose not to create a sound because it needed to be delivered via emojis through Messenger.


Hey Santa Cruz, Manila! I'm Back!



When we were near the Santa Cruz Church, we opted to alight from the jeep that was running like a turtle as we could no longer bear wasting our time inside a jeep waiting like forever so this meant we had to walk our way to Binondo.

This Manila walk reminded me of my first three visits in Manila which were all done on foot. Ah! Seeing the Santa Cruz Church again was such a delight. In front of the church is the Carriedo Fountain which speaks of the very historical events in Manila. I didn't miss the chance to take selfies with the Carriedo fountain as like an old friend, it's good to catch up!

SANTA CRUZ CHURCH, MANILA
| 4 | [MANILA] ► THE SANTA CRUZ CHURCH IS A PRICELESS HERITAGE GEM IN MANILA.
CARRIEDO FOUNTAIN, MANILA
| 5 | [MANILA] ► HEY CARRIEDO FOUNTAIN! HOW'S LIFE GOING ON?
SANTA CRUZ CHURCH, MANILA
| 6 | [MANILA] ► WE TOOK A GROUFIE WITH THE CARRIEDO FOUNTAIN AND SANTA CRUZ CHURCH AT THE BACKGROUND.
The Santa Cruz Church remained imposing. If I remember well my first visit, sampaguita vendors are prohibited to stay inside the church perimeter so it made sense that I saw sampaguita vendors in front of the church. The rule appears to be still active until now.

The Carriedo fountain appears more tidy-looking this time. It was my blogger friend Paula O (https://www.themermaidtravels.com) who first introduced this landmark to me and its history.


Entering Binondo



From where I was standing (Carriedo Fountain), the Oriental-looking welcome arch across the street vividly provided us hints that we were already entering a distinct district—a Chinatown—called Binondo.

The reason why we were here was to eat in a restaurant named ▼ SINCERITY RESTAURANT

[Manila] ► Sincerity Restaurant, Binondo: Thoughts, Review & Narratives


for dinner. It was Mommy Lourdes (you can learn her different roles in my blogger life in my Blogserye 006) who introduced the idea of eating in Binondo for a dinner after we finished our business in Ermita.

The Binondo vibe was a breath of fresh air from the grueling traffic jam on our way here from Ermita. We entered Binondo via the Ongpin Street, a relatively narrower street but less congested.

There's so much culture in this street. There's so much traditional trades not present in most Philippine modern CBDs (central business districts) like the BGC (Bonifacio Global City) in Taguig or Eastwood in ▼ #QUEZON CITY
. The Ongpin Street, its main artery, has the face of a modern residential district with its high-rise condominiums and the nostalgia of an old commercial district. The mixture of anything was mind-blowing for me. Apart from the Chinese elements present in Binondo, you would also see plenty of Filipino and Western cultures co-existing harmoniously.

ONGPIN STREET, BINONDO, MANILA
| 7 | [MANILA] ► THE STREETS OF BINONDO IS FULL OF COLOR AND CULTURE.
ONGPIN STREET, BINONDO, MANILA
| 8 | [MANILA] ► THIS BINONDO ENCOUNTER GAVE ME PLEASANT SMILE.
ONGPIN STREET, BINONDO, MANILA
| 9 | [MANILA] ► THE STREETS OF BINONDO IS FOR EVERYONE UNLIKE SOME MODERN CBDs THAT ONLY ALLOW PRIVATE CARS OR SPECIFIC VEHICLES.
While red Chinese lanterns hovered over the streets of Binondo, Filipino Christmas lanterns (parol) also had their presence at the corners of the streets and sidewalks (this Binondo encounter happened in January 2019).

Street vendors co-existed with modern boutiques and many Chinese stores. You have the option. Business type is diverse and has a wide range—from street stalls to big players. It's generally for everyone.

ONGPIN STREET, BINONDO, MANILA
| 10 | [MANILA] ► BINONDO IS AN OLD BUSINESS DISTRICT THAT OFFERS VARIOUS OPTIONS, FROM CHEAP STREET FOOD TO EXPENSIVE FINE DINING.
ONGPIN STREET, BINONDO, MANILA
| 11 | [MANILA] ► BINONDO IS NOT THE BINONDO WE KNOW WITHOUT THESE RED CHINESE LANTERNS.
ONGPIN STREET, BINONDO, MANILA
| 12 | [MANILA] ► FROM OLD-FASHIONED TRADING TO MODERN BRANDED STORES, BINONDO STAYS AFLOAT ON ITS GAME.
I'm not a history or anthrophology major so I could only see the surface of this lovely district. I could only share my thoughts based on my shallow perspective of Binondo but this shallowness is already too much for me. I'm still overwhelmed of the things I observed. If I'd become an expert someday, that would expose me to overwhelming information that I think I could not handle—I could probably write fifty (50) articles for a single Binondo visit if that would be the case.

I have a lot in my head right now about this Binondo trip but I couldn't transform it into words—writer's block. I'm afraid it would be a lousy article to describe a beautiful district so I'd rather keep my mouth shut—one of the reasons why I haven't written yet my first Binondo visit because I think I couldn't make an acceptable article for it due to my limited knowledge of Binondo and my lack of confidence to justify in words a wondrous, surprising, and insightful first time visit in Binondo (ang OA ko 'no pero ganyan talaga eh).

By the way, after getting lost of our direction, we found the restaurant we were searching for, the Sincerity Restaurant!

ONGPIN STREET, BINONDO, MANILA
| 13 | [MANILA] ► THE SEARCH IS OVER.
Our search for the Sincerity Restaurant was not an easy task. Yes, we had gadgets and digital maps but that's another story. We were so tired (and exhausted) but we searched for the right reason so we were successful and happy of finding what we were really looking for.

If you search for the right reason, you will find it with passion. We found Sincerity Restaurant and that dinner was one of the best dinners we had as a group. Apart from the great food, it was the experience and moment well spent that made this search meaningful and memorable. Now, the search is over.

Sincerity Yours,
Edmar 💚 | end of story |

| ► MORE POSTS COVERING MY BINONDO-SANTA CRUZ VISIT (JANUARY 2019)
| ▼ SINCERITY RESTAURANT, BINONDO: THOUGHTS, REVIEW, AND NARRATIVES

[Manila] ► Sincerity Restaurant, Binondo: Thoughts, Review & Narratives



| ▼ AT NIGHT: BINONDO/SANTA CRUZ, THE DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD

[Manila] ► At Night: Binondo/Sta Cruz, The Double-Edged Sword






Maps Showing the Location of #MANILA

MAP OF MANILA
► FOOTNOTES, DISCLAIMERS, ACKNOWLEDGMENT, ETC

✈ This post was filed under the category "Travel Diaries". See more posts related to this below.

✈ The maps I used on this post are from maps.google.com.ph.

✈ All photos are mine.

✈ The insights, condition, and name of places or properties I mentioned here are based on the facts and situation on the day of my visit. Take note that you may have a different experience when you try the activities or see the properties/places mentioned here. Names of places and properties may also change by time.

✈ If you see errors in this post, let me know. I stand corrected.

UPDATE HISTORY FOR THIS BLOG POST
► 01-April-2019: Anchor text for Sincerity Restaurant renamed. Links for related posts added at the end of the story.
► 31-March-2019: Link for Sincerity Restaurant added.
► 28-March-2019: Twitter Meta tag updated. Tooltip for Quezon City and Rizal province added.
► 25-March-2019: This post was published.


LATEST STORIES COVERING #MANILA | SEE ALL IN A SEPARATE WINDOW


MORE STORIES COVERING METRO MANILA | SEE OLDER STORIES


LATEST STORIES COVERING THESE CATEGORIES | SEE OLDER STORIES








MORE TOWNS YOU MIGHT LIKE TO EXPLORE:
QCVSDBPBP P KLSV
NAGUSTUAM DIAY NABASAM/NAKITAM? MABALIN MO MET I-LIKE.