If the recent holidays left you cash strapped, it probably means you spent too much on shopping. While you can’t undo the situation now, you could at least avoid the same mistake in the future if you know where to shop.
Manila, a shopping haven for all sorts of customers, is a good place to start even for those on a tight budget, just like many Filipinos who are always looking for cheap finds but of awesome quality.
In our search for Manila’s best shopping places, we found at least four standouts which will surely indulge the wise shopper in you.
- DivisoriaLocated in the heart of Manila, Divisoria is a bustling commercial center where you could just plow along the streets to find low-priced, fair quality goods strewn on the ground atop sack cloths or housed in stalls. These hundreds of stalls are selling all kinds of merchandise—from footwear to clothes and fashion accessories and so much more, all sold in bargain prices for as low as under P100. No wonder swarms of people flock to Divisoria to shop, giving the district a distinct appeal peculiar to the mass market.
Apart from street stalls, Divisoria is also home to other places of interest, particularly the cluster of malls that includes 168 Mall, Tutuban Commercial Center, and the New Divisoria Mall. Although mall prices are a bit steeper than the tiangges outside, you can find Class A knock-offs of popular brands of clothes and bags here sold anywhere from a few hundreds to a few thousands. Further down is Juan Luna Street, where you can find the best stuff and the cheapest price at that, too.
Some other streets in Divisoria are worthy your visit as well. Asuncion and El Cano Streets are where you can buy fruits very cheaply, especially if they’re in season.
If you’re looking to buy white or color cotton shirts in bulk, then you should make your way toward Ongpin Street where store owners are reasonable enough to charge you in wholesale prices starting a little over at P100 each.
- Greenhills Shopping Center
The Greenhills Shopping Center in San Juan has been around for quite some time and is a favorite shopping destination for Manila’s chic and trendy shopaholics. It’s a few notches more upscale than Divisoria with rows of neatly designed stalls and stores housed in an air-conditioned shopping complex.
There are hundreds of lanes for bags, shoes, pants, dresses, sunglasses, jewelry, second-hand gadgets—name it and you’ll probably find something for your budget in this popular shopping complex.
For bags alone, knock-off items carrying such signature labels as Burberry, Chanel, Gucci, Prada, and many others are categorized as Class A, triple Class A, or quadruple Class A. The price depends on the brand and how many As your choice item has, with the quadruple A bags boasting the finest attention to detail and thus fetching the highest price.
But if you have a talent for haggling, you might be able to bring a triple A Louis Vuitton Speedy Bag for under P5,000, which is 10 to 20 times cheaper than the original item!
- Marikina Public Market
This public market can be found in Barangay Sta. Elena of Marikina City, otherwise known as the shoe capital of the Philippines, because of the city’s progressive track record in the shoe industry. That said, quality shoes with affordable prices are one of the best finds you could shop for in this part of Marikina.
Also known as Marikina Market Mall, this establishment has a second floor that serves as your flea market of sorts—carrying local and imported clothes, toys, gadgets and accessories, bags, belts, wallets, kitchenware, plastic ware, wigs, fabric, and even gowns for rent!
Then down below, on the ground floor, is the wet market, where you can find fresh produce of fish, seafood, meat, eggs, vegetables, fruits, and Pinoy delicacies every day. Because the market is always kept clean, people call it the cleanest wet market in the metro.
TV and radio shows are your best source of information about prevailing shopping prices since Marikina Public Market (or Marikina Market Mall) is often featured in the news.
- Taytay Tiangge
Taytay Tiangge is a garment haven located alongside the New Taytay Public Market in Rizal. Its price offerings for its ready-to-wear (RTW) clothes are said to be lower than the ones in Divisoria, with tops, skirts, and shorts that can be had for as low as P40 apiece, while others are sold reasonably still at the P100 mark. If you bring cash under P1,000, you’d already be able to treat yourself to a complete set of shirt, jeans, and bralette, plus a romper too.
You might just have to take into consideration that Taytay Tiangge is in a farther location if you’re living or working in Manila. If you’re somewhere from the eastern part of the metro though, then this could be your choice shopping destination. The finds are quite unique and have really good quality that online shops buy their supplies from here.
These are only some of the shopping places you could check out if you have to shop for everyday essentials but don’t have much to spend.
Speaking of shopping money, you could get a lot of help through online pawning. You might have some of your most prized possessions that you rarely use, which you can turn into instant cash and use for shopping even though you’re in budget mode.
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