What struck me while visiting Chinatown during the eve of the Chinese New Year was how the traditional Chinese lanterns weren't that prominent. Rather, it was the balloons of suspiciously-not-properly-licensed-to-use characters being sold in the streets.
They were like floating entities above the throng of humanity.
But I did get my Chinese lantern fix that night. I found it along this street while getting down the Carriedo LRT station. This street, with its simple rows of Chinese lanterns, was to me, the Chinese New Year version of a solemn Christmas.
And going to Chinatown, you'd get the commercialized one.