Monday, September 25, 2006


This is Carlos Palanca Street heading towards Quezon Boulevard in Quiapo. The yellow building on the right is the Universidad de Manila (City College of Manila) where the old Clover Theater used to stand and where German Moreno started out as a janitor; behind it is FEATI.

Originally named Echague Street, this strip is quite famous for its affordably-priced housewares.

In addition, there are two longtime stores on this street that are quite popular as well. One is the Kim Chong Tin Hopia Factory; maker of the traditional hopia with thicker and toasted dough as opposed to Polland’s and Eng Bee Tin’s which is thinner and softer. Kim Chong Tin’s mini hopia is its best seller; the hopia mongo’s bag of eight pieces sells for P33.00.

The selling floor may appear spartan, but what most people do not know is that the bulk of this hopia factory’s income comes from the sale of its hopia filling, sold to bakeries nationwide.

Another product this street is famous for is cooked ham. This was where my father bought sliced ham and some freshly-baked rolls to be taken inside a movie theater for the entire family to feast on while watching a movie feature on a Sunday afternoon.

Excelente Cooked Ham is one of two stores on this street usually mobbed during the holidays. One kilo of sweet ham retails at P680.00, but one can buy as small as a quarter of a kilo for P170.00. Besides cooked ham, Excelente also offers other processed meat such as bacon and variants of it.

So the next time you plan on shopping for some cooking and baking wares, explore Carlos Palanca Street. Afterwards, try the traditional mini hopia at Kim Chong Tin and some sliced cooked ham at Excelente. If a ham sandwich is what’s on your mind, the Vienna rolls from the nearby Vienna Bakery are recommended.

At the tip of Carlos Palanca Street (from Plaza Lacson) is the Quiapo Bridge. Many of our wonderful handicrafts are sold at the stalls underneath the foot of the bridge.


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posted by Señor Enrique at 10:40 AM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

señor, i'm definitely putting this in my itinerary for my self-tour of manila next week. i'm pulling my mum along with me again heheh. thank God for my upcoming long vacation from work. :-)

and yes, i went on carlos celdran's intramuros tour.. such superb story-telling that surpasseth all my philippine history classes. thanks for the suggestion. ^^ i'll be writing an entry on that very soon.

September 25, 2006 11:34 AM  

Blogger Iskoo said...

gusto ko hopia dyan sa binondo, lalo na yung ube flavor, pampasalubong ko sa mga kaibigan nating ofw.

oks din yang mga ham. next visit ko bibili ako dyan ;)

September 25, 2006 11:42 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Firstly, Carla, I knew you were going to enjoy Carlos' Intramuros tour, and I'm glad you did :) Did you know that he offers his tours for free for public school students and government employees?

Enjoy your self tour with your mom and make sure you try some of these products I've mentioned.

Looking forward to your Intramuros tour entry :)

September 25, 2006 12:24 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Iskoo, next time you go to Carlos Palanca Street, try the mini hopia din kasi talagang masarap! Masarap din ang ube flavor sa Binondo.

And of course, the ham ... really good!

September 25, 2006 12:26 PM  

Blogger sunkissed said...

that chafing dish filled with leftover ham, bacon and hotdogs looks like colo-rectal cancer waiting to happen. too much preservatives and additives!

September 25, 2006 2:12 PM  

Blogger ipanema said...

I've walked this stretch before. I'm just not familiar with that school. My sister used to drag me here after church because of 2 things: excelente ham and polland hopia. I haven't seen the ham-bacon-sausage mix before though.

Another weakness is that hopia. I eat any kind if the ones I prefer isn't available. :)

*You just don't know, while typing this comment my children are asking me to stay focused on the ham Now, tummiess are grumbling, requested for dinner at a Filipino Na homesick!*

September 25, 2006 2:41 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hahaha ... possibly, G. Knotee and so are most our local dishes such as the lechon. But seriously, as with all things, moderation is key factor.

You should check out Ipanema's post today on China's exotic foods. If your worried to death about ractal cancer, God knows what you'll get when you munch on this :)

September 25, 2006 2:42 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That school may not have been there yet, Ipanema. But I remember that particular spot as that of Clover Theater.

Are there many good Filipino restaurants in your city? Do you have hopia there, too?

September 25, 2006 2:46 PM  

Blogger ladybug said...

Reading your post makes me crave for hopia....yummy. Hahaha....I'll tell my husband it's your fault. :-d

September 25, 2006 5:12 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I don't think I have anything to worry from the champ, because I will remind him that Ladybug is "entitled to any craving" that she desires -- and that makes a pretty convincing argument :)

September 25, 2006 6:14 PM  

Blogger ipanema said...

I heard of Clover Theater, oh I see. There's only one, it's called Kabayan and there's are 2 3 in fastfood centres. Sometimes there is hopia, even that restaurant sells it.

lol...they're telling me to prepare now, I slept! :)

September 25, 2006 6:29 PM  

Blogger ipanema said...

that should be 3 in fastfood centres, not

September 25, 2006 6:30 PM  

Blogger houseband00 said...

Hi Eric,

You've been tagged!

September 25, 2006 7:13 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, all these places are going to be in my list; must visit places!


September 26, 2006 12:19 AM  

Blogger Amadeo said...

Same old Echague St. as I remember it. Nothing much has changed, especially the vendors under the bridge.

Except that it has a new name. I don't know about you, but I hate it when the government changes the names of streets, landmarks, etc., regardless of how inappropriate. I feel that those names become integral parts of their history.

One exception, though. Remember that place - Sexmoan in Pampanga? I read that has been changed. HeHehe.

Listen to this from an answer to a question for Henry Sy (SM):
Your SM Group leases out or has retail businesses in millions of square meters of prime commercial space. When you came to the Philippines as a 12-year-old boy, how big was the sari-sari store of your father and what was its name?

It was a small ha-ya-tiam, it had no name. It was located on Echague St., which is now Carlos Palanca Sr. St. in Quiapo, Manila. It was only about 30 square meters in floor area.

When in the old hometown, I bedevil my friends by continually referring to places by their old names. The younger ones are, of course, typically clueless since they are familiar only with the new names.

September 26, 2006 3:22 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That's good then, Ipanema. At least you guys can go there whenever in the mood for some Pinoy food but not up for cooking.

There's quite a few in NY and NJ areas where I often went.

September 26, 2006 5:45 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Whoa! Another tag. Thanks hb00. Will check it out. I have planned entries to post for now and will look into it this new meme once done. Thanks!

September 26, 2006 5:47 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Yes, Kyels -- now you'll have plenty to see :) So don't forget your most comfortable walking shoes.

September 26, 2006 5:48 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Discombobulated barely described my disposition when first coming home to Manila after a long absence, Amadeo. I was literally lost! And thank God they didn't go ahead with changing the name of Taft Avenue into some senator's name. What most Chinatown folks are mad about to date was when Nueva was changed overnight to Yuchengco Street without any prior public announcement.

That was really something else about the meteoric rise from humble existence to fortune and fame by Henry Sy and his entire clan. Admirable, indeed.

How can you be so cruel with those old names? Hahaha!

September 26, 2006 5:56 AM  

Blogger Sidney said...

Thank you, Eric. I have no need to walk the streets anymore... I just have to visit your blog to discover everything I want to see! :-)

September 26, 2006 5:44 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Not true, Sidney ... hahaha!

There's plenty more out there to explore! This is merely a follow-up on the previous Plaza Goiti post.

September 26, 2006 6:24 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I'll never forget it. Hehe.


September 26, 2006 8:35 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trip to memory lane again Senor. I remember taking the buses at Echague to take me to the J.P. Rizal area where I was courting a girl many moons ago.

September 27, 2006 10:59 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

And if I remember it correctly, Echague was where I used to catch the jeepney to Sta. Ana and Pandacan, right? I should ask Niceheart, too.

Boy, we do get around when it comes to women, right, BW? Hehehe!

September 27, 2006 8:08 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think I've ever been to Echague. Or maybe I just don't remember. But if you say there are jeepneys there that bring you to Pandacan, perhaps I have been there before. If there are any black markets there, maybe. When I was a teenager and used to live at Pandacan with my aunt, we would go to these places with black markets to exchange the dollars that my mother sent us. But that was a long time ago and can't really remember now.

I like the hopiang munggo. :)

September 27, 2006 10:07 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Echague Street is only one block over from Carriedo, Irene (where ShoeMart was). I had only taken a jeepney once or twice to Sta. Ana and Pandacan when a high school student, and now don't remember it quite clearly, either.

September 28, 2006 8:15 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another mouth-watering post. Eight hopia for P33 is cheap!

September 28, 2006 1:25 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kiko Ong is a family friend.
Parati kaming me padala na ilang kahong hopia when heading back here in the US. I'm not sure if they still have the roasted Chestnut vendors outside their store.
Memories of Echague :)

Thanks again,

Rey Dy

February 03, 2007 9:50 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Wow! You know many famous personalities sa Binondo, Rey. Daig mo pa ata si Ivan ... hehehe.

Anyway, this hopia is my favorite! I always go there (at least twice a week) to buy enough supply to have in the house! Sarap talaga lalo na pag bagong luto, mainit pa :)

February 03, 2007 10:44 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There were no jeepneys plying Echague thenm but minibuses like B12liner, AR Liner,etc.going to San Andres, Sta Ana and Pandacan.

July 17, 2011 2:35 AM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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