It was the golden year of 1936. Calesas clonked their way down the tight esquinitas of Binondo, through the thick bright air and cacophony of busy sounds.
In the heart of China town, fiery-colored dragons peered through red banners, into the swell of humanity jostling their way down the streets, Chinese, Indios, mestizos, shoppers and merchants from everywhere, skillfully maneuvering through stacks of wooden crates, and vendors awkward little stalls cluttering the barely visible sidewalks.
It is in one of those esquinitas where a modest eatery called Panciteria Lido was put up.
Panciteria being the term formulated by the Pinoys for Pancit (noodles) which evolved from the Hokkien phrase pian-sit (something quickly cooked). There, a tempting assortment of classic Chinese favorites, noodles, wanton, guisado, asado, among other masterfully cooked, with a subtle hint of that sweet and salty Filipino flavor.