Monday, February 15, 2016

Chinatown Lai Lai Hotel Chinese New Year Celebration

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Chinatown Lai lai Hotel celebrated Chinese New Year with a big bang as several programs along with talent competitions entertained both local business owners and residents, as well as the numerous visitors from all over the Philippines and even from other countries, on the eve of the Chinese New Year fro 2016.

Not to be missed out are the many dragon dances all over Chinatown Binondo. In fact, on my way to the hotel for their media event were many dragons of all shapes, sizes and colors. Chinese people often use the term “Descendants of the Dragon” as a sign of ethnic identity. They are often seen on festive celebrations especially the start of the Chinese New year.

The Dragon has always been the highlight of the celebration and represents power, wisdom, and wealth.. The Dragon Dance performed on New Year's Day scares away the evil spirits and all the bad luck with them.

I passed a couple of them on my way to the location of Chinatown Lai Lai Hotel in the corner of Ongpin and Padilla streets in Binondo, Manila so I was surprised that these similar dragon dances have been occurring for the entire day.

I was lucky to be able to take shots up close with one of those lengthy dragons and using the Microsoft Lumia 950 XL smartphone review unit that I had with me that day, I chased the dragon up to its front and got a very nice video shoot of it from head to tail. Dragons vary in length with some reaching up to 100 meters long! They say that the longer the Dragon is, the more luck it will bring.

Along the way were lots of Chinese New Year related items for sale that made Binondo a very festive sight to see during this season. Many photographers flock the area to cover all the events happening especially during the eve (February 7, 2016) and actual Chinese New Year day (February 8, 2016).

After some brief talks from some of the hotel management at their 8th Floor function room they called Rich Apple located at the roof deck overlooking Binondo, Chinatown Lai Lai Hotel manager Gio San Pedro toured us around some of the different kinds rooms of the hotel.

Owner Jean Chua also shared some luck forecasts for this year of the Red Fire Monkey during her talk at the media event. She was very eager in sharing our possible fortunes though I believe it was a very busy day for her as she was hands-on with the events down at the front of the Chinatown Lai Lai hotel.

The Centripetal Spa attendants were all smiles when we entered their rooms. They have two rooms where a few massage beds can be found.

Chinatown Lai lai Hotel had very decent rooms that are spacious enough for a relaxing stay. Since the Binondo area is basically a business district in Manila, they don't have any swimming pool within the hotel but I believe there are plans to create one. The hotel has been around since 1988 and is actually under new management by husband and wife Jack and Jean Chua. The hotel was formerly called Binondo Suites.

The hotel rooms are namely Standard, Superior, De Luxe, Junior Suites, and Executive Suites.

They are also planning to setup a special KTV room adjoining a room where guests can sing videoke inside a soundproof room so as not to disturb other guests.They currently have 5 KTV rooms already. They have a few function rooms of different sizes that can be rented for special occasions and gathering, and their Centripetal Spa.

This hotel is just a short walking distance away from the many great dining spots in Chinatown. If you ever plan of touring in the area, Chinatown Lai Lai Hotel is a superb choice. I would very much want to try a staycation at one of their rooms when an opportunity opens.

It has been said that the Dragon Dance Parade is traditionally performed with lion Dancers, acrobats, kung fu performers, and of course, the drums and horns, all ending in a burst of firecrackers especially during night time. We actually adapted that custom from the Chinese though it was evident that they are not that explosive anymore to avoid accidents. 

Dragon Phoenix is just right beside since it is also owned by the new owners. Here you can check out their Fen Shui lucky charms and crystals offered at affordable prices. It is run by Jean Chua herself who can personally tell you your luck for this year.

The event was followed by special programs up front like a Lion Dance, Taoist Blessing, Feng Shui Forecast by one of the owners, the Search for Little Emperor and Little Empress and the Chinatown LaiLai Hotel Singing Idol competition.

The Taoist priest was said to be blessing the people, especially all that attended the ceremonies. It was quite a long process as it probably took less than an hour. I noticed that my fellow media were no longer with me and have all gone back to the 8th floor to have their dinner. I decided to stay a little while longer so I can get a video of the ceremonies.

Little Empress winner
Little Emperor winner
The Search for Little Emperor and Little Empress was open to all children around the country from age 5-9 years old, who competed in their Chinese New Year costumes, a talent showdown and question and answer portion, just like how most talent searches are done. The lucky winners will be the face of Chinatown Lai Lai Hotel’s print and online advertisements.

One of the Singing Idols competitors
The 1st Chinatown Lai Lai Hotel Singing Idol was open to all Filipino/Chinese male and female contestants that were at least 18-27 years of age. The Grand winners received cash prizes and gift items from their sponsors.

We have most of the highlights on our special video coverage so please do watch it to get a glimpse of how the events transpired.


I also decided to try out the massage at their Centripetal Spa and interviewed some of the staff, Rachel and Josie, afterwards. From the interview, I've learned that there are soft, moderate and hard massages available. I specifically had the Aromatherapy or combination of Shiatsu and Swedish massage, and got more information out of the interview. You can watch our discussion from the video below.

Chinatown Lai Lai Hotel has also designed a special offer featuring 20% discount on all room categories from February 8 – March 1, 2016.

With a discounted room rate that starts at Php 1,824.00 for an overnight stay, spend the beginning of the Lunar New Year at the hotel’s spacious and rooms with Feng Shui interiors while indulging in an appetizing breakfast buffet for two, and complimentary high-speed WiFi.

Congratulations to Chinatown Lai Lai Hotel for a very successful celebration of the Chinese New Year, and also to the winners of their competitions who entertained the crowd that night.

I decided to witness also the countdown happening nearby and saw the magnificent fireworks display that brightened up the night sky. Popular brand Eng Bee Tin donated their giant Ube "tikoy" or gelatinous rice cake that night, of which the people all divided among themselves in an uncontrollable frenzy filled with excitement.

For hotel room inquiries and reservations, please visit or call (+632) 252-2888 and look for Jeffrey Tee or Apple Castro. You may also send an email to

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