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Dynamic news

Manila’s imposing Chinatown arch to be unveiled today


City of Manila officials will inaugurate today the world’s largest Chinatown arch in Binondo district, three months after the start of construction.

The Binondo Chinatown arch, which measure 63.8 feet high and 74 feet wide, topped Washington Chinatown’s arch which measures 47 feet tall and 75 feet wide and Liverpool (England) Chinatown’s arch that stands 15 meters high.

“In terms of total dimension, we are the largest,” Third District Councilor and Vice-Chairman of the Manila Development Council Bernardito Ang said.

Construction of the gateway began in March with vehicular traffic diverted to Escolta street as workers pound on the huge structure infused with modern and traditional Chinese designs conceptualized by a father and son team of Filipino Chinese architects commissioned by the city government.

Ang said the city government wanted to create the world’s tallest Chinatown arch in Binondo to justify the commercial district’s 400-year-old history.

The Binondo Chinatown arch was constructed through donated money from Chinese businessmen amounting to P650,000 or P28 Million. Similarly, the materials that were used in building the gateway were imported from Shanghai.

“This amount I estimated to be just 60 percent of the total cost of the Washington arch which is around $1 million... We are really serious in developing Chinatown and we have started repairing pavements or the sidewalks since last month. We have started in Ongpin area and we will cover the whole Binondo,” Ang said.

Aside from the new Chinatown entryway and the repair of it sidewalks, Ang said they have already started a series of dialogues with businessmen regarding the repainting and repair of buildings in the whole Binondo district.

The Manila Development Council will also encourage building owners to refurbish their establishments to make them ‘look more Chinese’ including placing neon lighting signs similar to Hong Kong shopping districts.

“I think all organizations in Chinatown are very supportive. The businessmen are saying that Chinatown is ‘dying’. At 9 p.m. or 10 p.m., visitors are out of the area already because it is very dark. They want to improve the area so business would grow,” Ang said.

The Manlia Development Council will also deputize security officers in each building to become an auxiliary security force that would guard the whole Binondo district.