Old Manila Walks’ Ivan Man Dy shares why Binondo tour is centered on food
Rosette Adel (Philstar.com) - May 29, 2020 - 6:59pm

MANILA, Philippines — On National Heritage Month, food and culture guide Ivan Man Dy of cultural and historical tour outfit Old Manila Walks recently explained why his Binondo tour is centered on food.

At the Re-imagining food tourism webinar last week, Dy said places in old Manila are all historic and interesting but it just so happened that Binondo, Manila has a high food density so they opted to anchor the tour in the world’s oldest Chinatown to food.

“So how we did our tours in Manila is that we had very specific thematic tours focusing on very historic neighborhood. If you look at this neighborhood, for example Intramuros versus Binondo, San Miguel versus Quiapo, you know they all have different characters but if you sum it all up, you know the characters and the culture and the history of those places basically tells you the history of the city,” Dy said.

Dy said his team wanted to share the narrative and history of the community through food.

“Eating is a big part. It’s very holistic for us— the context, the narrative. It all adds up to the experience of eating,” he said, adding that he loves to retell success stories of people in small communities.

Dy’s Old Manila Walks began in 2005 and has since led thousands of locals and foreign visitors on signature tours that are educational and innovative.

Among these tours include: The Big Binondo Food Wok; Insta Intramuros, a Spanish colonial quarter walk; Of Palace and Presidentiables: A San Miguel-Malacañang Walk; Mounds, magnates, and mausoleums, a Chinese Cemetery Walk and Manila Mix and Match, a combination of the tour in the nation’s capital.

The tour outfit said its thematic walks “combine the best of local insight, academic research, historical application and engaging execution.”

“We are the leading tour outfit in the Philippines that runs heritage-themed walks around Manila’s historic districts. Through our expertly curated tour programs, we bring to life the multi-layered histories and diversity of this city we call our home,” the tour group’s description read.

The heritage-themed walks were currently halted following the community quarantine imposed over Manila.

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