Binondo, Manila

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City Manila
Population (2000) 11,619
– Density 17,576.52 per km²
Area 66.11 hectares
Barangays 10
Cong. Districts 3rd District

Binondo is an enclave in Manila primarily populated by Chinese immigrants living in the Philippines. Historically, the place called Parían near Intramuros was where the unconverted Chinese immigrants (called Sangley by the Spaniards) lived while Binondo was the place where the converted sangleys and their descendants, the mestizos de sangley or Chinese mestizos resided. The Parian was sited by the Spaniards within the range of Intramuros cannons, to prevent any uprising coming from the Chinese.

Binondo is located across the Pasig River from Intramuros and the home of Chinatown in Manila. The district is the center of commerce and trade for all types of businesses run by Chinese merchants. It is said that this district was already a hub of Chinese commerce even before the Spaniards came in 1571.

Plaza Lorenzo Ruiz and the Binondo Church

Prior to Makati, Binondo was the main center for business and finance in Manila for the Chinese, Chinese mestizos and Spanish Filipinos. Before World War II there was a bustling banking and financial community which included insurance companies, banks and other financial institutions from Britain and the United States. After the war most of these businesses began to relocate to the newly developing area of Makati, which is mostly owned by the Ayala family. Binondo is also famous for its imitation of a small Chinese town which is locally called "China Town". During the financial crisis of the early 80s, Binondo earned the nickname "Binondo Central Bank" as Chinese businessmen in the district engaged in massive black marketing of US dollars, often dictating the actual Peso-Dollar exchange rate. The term has survived to this day.


The word Binondo came from the word Binundok which means mountain or boondocks. This place was mentioned several times in the novels of Dr. Jose Rizal Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. Also, Andres Bonifacio got married to Oryang or Gregoria de Jesus in 1895 in the said place especially in the historic Binondo Church. Before, many esteros (canals) were located in the Binondo area feeding into the Pasig River during the Spanish Colonial Period. The largest barangay in Binondo is the San Nicolas Area.
Zone 27: 287, 288, 289, 290, 291 Zone 28: 292, 293, 294, 295, 296 Zone 25: 276


Founded in 1594, Binondo was created by Spanish Governor Luis Pérez Dasmariñas as a permanent settlement for converted Chinese immigrants across the river from the walled city of Intramuros where the Spaniards resided. It was originally intended to replace the Parian near Intramuros where the Chinese were confined. The land grant was given to a group of Chinese merchants and artisans in perpetuity, tax-free and with limited self-governing privileges.

The Spanish Dominican fathers made Binondo their parish and succeeded in converting a great many of the Chinese residents to Catholicism. Binondo soon became the place where Chinese immigrants converted to Catholicism, intermarried with indigenous Filipino women and procreated to produce a nascent Chinese mestizo community. Over the years, the Chinese mestizo population of Binondo grew rapidly. This was caused by two factors: the lack of Chinese immigrant females and the policies of the Spanish authorities in expelling and massacring pure-blooded Chinese immigrants who refused to convert. Luis Pérez Dasmariñas played a prominent role in the massacre of 20,000 Chinese after a Chinese revolt in 1603.

Binondo is the historic birthplace of a new race called mestizo de sangley. It was also the birthplace of San Lorenzo Ruiz, a mestizo de sangley who would later become the First Filipino Saint. Plaza Lorenzo Ruiz and the Binondo Church (formal name: Minor Basilica of St. Lorenzo Ruiz) are named after him. And the Chapel of Our Lady of China now in Binondo Church.

See also

Coordinates: 14.600° N 120.967° E