Sunday, 23 February 2014

Ongpin Mañosa: Since 1940

Ongpin Mañosa:  Since 1940

         It was getting to be a habit.  We found ourselves disembarking at the LRT train terminal near Avenida Rizal.  We took the same route, passing by the old Vista Theater and turning left at Florentino Torres St. The Sun Wah Restaurant was closed as authorities padlocked the main entrance for business tax issues. Three black pigs were left outside, as if guarding the premises. Ongpin Street was within sight and the signs of the numerous restaurants beckoned. Ongpin Mañosa attracted us the most.

Avenida Rizal in Sta Cruz, Manila.  LRT train passes through it.

What used to be Odeon Theater is now a shopping arcade.  It is connected to the LRT Recto Terminal.

The Old Vista Theater along Recto Avenue, formerly Azcarraga St.

Vista Theater still shows double 2nd run movies.  

Sun Wah Restaurant along Florentino Torres is padlocked by authorities for business tax issues. Take note of two black pigs. 

Another black pig near the main entrance of Sun Wah.  The black pigs are considered the lucky charms of the restaurant.

Another old restaurant across Sun Wah. 

          Ongpin Manosa is a little restaurant in Chinatown that has been in the food business since1940. It is included in the official list of oldest restaurants. It opened even before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and even before the Japanese Imperial Army invaded Manila. Why Manosa when it is a Chinese restaurant?  The owner's surname is Manosa.  It is as simple as that.

Ongpin Street at the heart of Manila Chinatown.

Ongpin Street is one long stretch starting from Binondo Church to Bustos St.

High rise building along Ongpin Street

Another tower block near Ongpin Street

Lucky charms, etc.


Ex-Mayor Fred Lim's favorite restaurant

Shanghai Fried Siopao for P16 each

A bridge at Ongpin Street

          Ongpin Manosa serves the best Maki.  It is their best selling food item. Maki is tender pork chunks mixed with a lot of brown, sticky soup made of starch. You add condiments such as soy sauce and kalamansi, white pepper and spring onions. Another specialty of the restaurant is Siomai. Pancit Canton, Miki Bihon and plain Bihon are also offered. All these items are served hot with free Chinese tea.

Ongpin Manosa is one of the oldest restaurants in Metro Manila.

There is a dining area at the ground floor and another one upstairs.

Maki is Ongpin Manosa's best selling item.

Pancit Bihon

Big Siomai

Ongpin Manosa's delicious Fried Rice

What was supposed to be a light meal or merienda turned out to be a full meal.

Free Chinese Tea

Kikiam, Rellenong Hipon, etc.

Steamed Siomai

A cauldron of Maki

Maki is always served hot.

           Two men were selling pure honey at the sidewalk of Avenida Rizal, several blocks away. I inquired and got an answer: Galing pa po kami ng Candelaria, Quezon. Pagkatapos po ng Sariaya yon. Pukyutan po yan. Sa farm po yan galing. And then another vendor was gesturing.  I approached and listened to what he was saying:  Kailangan po nyo ito. Isang pahid lang, epektibo na. Tatagal po kayo kahit apat na oras. And then we heard the sound of the LRT train.  It was time to go home.


I smell Tiger Balm when passing by this drugstore.

Small Chinese New Year's cake or  Tikoy or Nian Gao sells for P60 each.

Special bottled drinks

Dice Hopia, Monggo and Baboy Hopia

Lucky Pick

Mahjong set for sale

Old drugstore on Florentino Torres St.

Pure Honey being sold at Avenida Rizal.  Beehive is proof that honey is pure.

Making rubber stamps and duplicating keys while u wait

The Railway occupies the middle part of Avenida Rizal.