By CEDIE SALIDO
Images by ALI VICOY
After the successful opening of Hotel Lucky Chinatown, Megaworld achieved another milestone with the opening of the Chinatown Museum, dedicated to the world’s oldest Chinatown, Binondo.
In the city of Manila, Binondo is one of the busiest districts, a melting pot of cultures and traditions. It was first referred to as Binundok, which means low hills. It was also known as a commercial hub. From the 1860s to the 1930s, it has attracted foreign investments from Spanish, German, French, British, and American businessmen.
Inside the Chinatown Museum, there are posters and flyers on display, each with texts translated into different languages—proof that the place was the center of mixed traditions and cultures, debunking the common misconception that Binondo was exclusively for the Filipino-Chinese. Aside from its booming businesses during the Spanish times, it was also the birthplace of the Katipunan.
These are only a few of the many interesting stories about Binondo that can be discovered at the museum.
“We conducted thorough research and consultations for this project and we collaborated with members of the academe, respected historians, and prominent figures in the community in order to provide an accurate and comprehensive representation of Binondo’s rich history,” said Kevin L. Tan, chief strategy officer of Megaworld .
Chinatown Museum is a heritage and community space that highlights the interesting history of Binondo. The museum is a collaborative effort of Megaworld and the community of Binondo. It features 18 galleries, each focusing on various influences and historical events that shaped the cultural, social, and economic threads of the district.
“It has always been our goal to integrate the arts, culture, and heritage in the overall character of our developments. With Lucky Chinatown at the center of a community characterized by its rich history, we wanted to extend this passion for the arts and culture to the mall experience and, eventually, boost tourism in this part of Manila,” Kevin added.
The visual narrative is complemented with an interactive app— the Chinatown Museum App. It will provide an easy way to view information about the museum’s galleries, utilizing bluetooth technology that allows a smooth transition between topics and trivia while inside the museum.
Also present at the museum’s opening were National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) head of museums Dannie Alvarez, Megaworld chief operating officer Lourdes Gutierrez-Alfonso, and Megaworld Lifestyle Malls head Graham Coates.
Chinatown Museum is the second museum Megaworld built, following the opening of the Iloilo Museum for Contemporary Arts (ILOMOCA) in Mandurriao. The museum is directly connected to the Lucky Chinatown Hotel and Mall.
The museum is open from Tuesdays to Sundays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission rates for regular visitors are priced at R150, for senior citizens at R120, and for students at R100. Kids below four feet can enter free of charge.
(02) 567 8139 | www.chinatownmuseum.org | chinatownmuseumph@ gmail.com