June 4, 2009

Like sardines in a can

Binondo, Manila's Chinatown, is a very densely populated district. According to the 2007 population census of the Philippine National Statistics Office, more than twelve thousand people are packed into its .66 square kilometer (.26 square mile) area. All of the buildings I see there are narrow and at least three stories high. Most of the apartment buildings also have shops or eateries on the ground level.

narrow building in Binondo, Manila

24 comments:

ശിവ said...

I like the story behind this city...

Pam said...

Wonderful view of everyday life, Hilda. I enjoyed your humorous reference to sardines :D
Be well, be happy...

Cezar and Léia said...

I loved your title Hilda!You have always great ideas.
This is the life for several people all over the world unfortunately!

God bless you

Léia

Abe Lincoln said...

Wow, that is dense. Lots of people in such a small area. They must all live in apartments that rise up out of the city.

I managed to get a new blog started. It is about flowers.

Our Flower Pot

Steffe said...

That is a lot of people.

B Squared said...

Too dense. A big problem for all cities with growing populations.

James said...

It's interesting that so many large cities around the world have Chinatowns. Someday I'd like to look into the stories behind them.

Halcyon said...

The close quarters just makes it more "authentic". I like the colorful atmosphere!

Boise Diva said...

Definitely a different comfort level than mine.

Ming1881 said...

Great history there. Thanks for sharing.

Ming (www.singaporedailyphoto.com)

Don and Krise said...

I would imagine the average income is nothing to brag about either. Wow, that is a lot of people for such a small area.

JM said...

Your title ''Like sardines in a can'' is a very common portuguese expression: ''Como sardinhas em lata''! :-) The meaning is just the same.

Frank said...

Packed in but I bet the food is so-o-o delicious.

Photo Cache said...

Kakamiss, thanks for this.

PJ said...

Hilda, that's hard for me to take in. I live on half an acre, and that's one of the smallest lots in my neighborhood. How do people cope with living so close to each other?

Jacob said...

You have portrayed those packed quarters very well. Excellent shot. I would not like to be jammed up in such a way...

Vogon Poet said...

This photo is really good at describing this place. Interesting to see but probably not so nice to endure.

Hilda said...

B Squared:
Actually, Binondo is one of the oldest districts in Manila — almost as old as Intramuros (mid-16th century). I think it has always been densely populated.

Don and Krise:
You'd be surprised. Many of Manila's richest Chinese continue to live in Binondo despite the cramped buildings.

valeria said...

Interesting city corner. Sardines, ha!

Corker2 said...

Rather interesting how people live in different country's. I'm more than sure that I could not live like that. Stacked one on top of the other. Not for me.

A Note of Interest. - While in the US Navy our destroyer made a R&R stop in Hong Kong for 4 day's. While there I got to tour this more than intriguing city. Before us Sailors went on the "beach" as we called it, we were told to stay out of the shacks that were on top of the department stores that we could see from the harbor using the ships binoculars.

I wondered just why you don't want to go up there, until I found out. The people that live there are very poor and have hardly nothing. It would not take much for them to rob us or even kill to get money from us US sailor's. They would not care. They'd just dump a body in the Harbor and it would never be known who did it. Places such as this were considered "out of bounds." If we were even caught getting close to one of these places by the Shore Patrol, we would have had hell to pay! For good reason.

George said...

This very much reminds me of the building I saw in Hong Kong and China. I grew up in the country in the American Midwest. It was very hard for me to conceive of so many people in such a small area.

Tamera said...

Manila has the best Chinatown!

the donG said...

amazing feature. we were there yesterday for a food trip. i was along with travel bloggers.

i also noticed that. one of the densest area.

R. Ramesh said...

it may be crammed but the place looks lively...