Filipinos know how to have a great time, may it be from enjoying great food and drinks at home, or in some of the top hotels with rooftop bars and restaurants, to shopping in some of the best malls. Locals and travelers alike love cheap bargains. Why? They can get more souvenir items and save the rest of their money for their other needs. Business-minded people can also take advantage of these best bargain shops by buying items in bulk and selling them at their own stores. True, there are a lot of places you can go to for great finds and cheap shopping in Manila. Shopping malls, thrift shops, and “ukay-ukay” stands are everywhere. If you’re wondering what to buy in Manila and where it might be a little difficult to decide with all the great deals around you, so here are the best places to go shopping in Manila.
1. Divisoria Market
You should know about Divisoria if you’ve been to Manila or if you know someone who has been to Manila. It’s the mother of all shopping places. Some small business owners visit Divisoria to buy items for their stores.
This popular market in Manila has it all and offers the best prices too. Do you need a pair of Havaianas for 1 USD? They’ve got it. You can even get a dress and a shirt for only 2 USD.
These items aren’t authentic but they’re close to the real thing. At Divisoria, you’ll find rows of stalls with different kinds of merchandises. Retail prices are already cheap, but of course, you save more when you buy them in bulk.
Address: 557 M. De Santos St, San Nicolas, Manila, 1010 Metro Manila, Philippines
2. Quiapo Market
Your landmark to the market is the Quiapo Church; it is just close to it. Quiapo Market also sells everything including fruits and vegetables. Additionally, it is also known to sell cheap dinnerware and kitchenware. Looking to get a bargain on a new set of plates? Dapitan Arcade and Hidalgo Street are where to buy plates in Quiapo. You can also still haggle to get an even cheaper price for the items.
Beware though as there are pickpockets in Quiapo. Do make sure you pay attention to your things. Divisoria and Quiapo are somehow the same. However, if you live in Quezon, then it is best to choose Quiapo over Divisoria to avoid traveling for about 50 minutes.
Address: Quezon Blvd, Manila, Metro Manila
People have been shopping to Baclaran since the 1980s. Wondering where to shop in Baclaran? The Baclaran Market of course! It is just beside the Baclaran Church, and the market now has, wider lanes so it is easier to navigate. It’s located south of Manila and is dubbed as the shopper’s paradise.
Most of the items they sell are from China, in good condition and are cheap. Unlike other public markets in Manila, Baclaran is now cleaner but beware of pickpockets. Also, if you don’t like the crowd, avoid visiting the market on a Wednesday. You won’t like the traffic. They are also packed during the weekends.
Address: Roxas Blvd, Baclaran, Parañaque, Metro Manila
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Greenhills is a shopping mall but their prices are a lot cheaper compared to other malls in Manila. Greenhills sells well-made or “class-A”, knock-off brands. This ‘fake’ market of Manila lets you buy a pair of Nike shoes for only 12 US - and you can still haggle. They also sell designer bags such as Louis Vuitton and a Chanel at an incredibly low price. Inside Greenhills, you’ll also find restaurants and cinemas to entertain you. If you’re tired of shopping then go for either a movie or dine at one of your favorite restaurants.
Greenhills Shopping Center
Address: Ortigas Avenue, Greenhills San Juan, Rizal
Facebook: Greenhills Shopping Center
5. Archaic Shop
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
Archaic is featured in some magazines for its affordable yet high-quality items. The store is organized so it’s easy to look for what you need. What the store offers: cool furniture, vintage items, designer watches and bags.
And guess what? They even sell a sword. Not that you will really need it, but the store has almost anything you fancy. They are open Monday to Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. If you have a good eye for quality items, drop by Archaic.
Address: 532 Gen. Hizon Street Makati 1233
Facebook: Archaic Shop
6. The Vinyl Dump Thrift Store
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
Do you like music? Then this second-hand music store is for you. Quality vinyl records are sold at 10 cents apiece. It’s that cheap and they’re still in good condition. The rare collection sells for about 3 USD.
It can go higher or lower depending on the supply and demand. Since the Vinyl Dump is a music store, this means they also sell audio equipment. I mean, what are you going to do with all those vinyl records?
Some of their audio equipment is from the US and some are in the Philippines, but still of good quality. If your equipment is broken, the Vinyl Dump can have it fixed for you too. They’re your all-in-one music store.
The Vinyl Dump Thrift Store
Address: Cubao Expo, Araneta Center Quezon City, Philippines
Facebook: The Vinyl Dump Thrift Store
7. Chapter IX Bookstore
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
They are featured at CNN Philippines as one of the best secondhand bookstores in Manila. Chapter IX Bookstore is a booklover’s haven. They have the paperbacks that you want to read and those hard-to-find books that you’ve been eyeing at BookDepository.
This time, you won’t wait for a couple of months to have it delivered to your doorstep. You can either directly go to their physical bookstore or leave a comment on their Facebook page. Tourists and locals alike, especially bookworms, will surely love this store.
Chapter IX Bookstore
Address: 2/F, Circle C Mall, Congressional Avenue, Quezon City
Facebook: Chapter IX Bookstore
Teindesitas is located in Pasig, near the central business district of Manila. It has more than the average bazaar or mall since it also offers live bands and seasonal events. From Chinese New Year celebrations to Valentine’s day, and of course, Christmas specials, you can enjoy it all in their central plaza and exhibit centers. Tiendesitas is a great one-stop-shop if you’re looking for authentic Filipino brands, native goodies, and even local food. They also feature clothing products, home decor, and furniture. Best of all is that they’re a pet-friendly destination, o you’d often see families bring their beloved pets for grooming or some shopping since Tiendesitas also has pet shops loaded with essentials for your four-legged family.
Address: C-5 Las Fiestas, Pasig, Metro Manila
If you’re looking for cheap, but high-quality shoes, then look no further than Marikina. The city of Marikina has always been known for its superb shoe-makers and shoes and has long been branded as “The Shoe Capital of the Philippines.” Specializing in leather goods, many stores in the area also offer top-quality leather bags. Although many of the shops in Marikina now also operate as online boutiques, a good number of these leather goods and shoe shops will still be found in the barangay (local council or district) of Conception, Marikina. If you walk around the streets of J.P. Rizal, or those near the Conception city hall, you will definitely find numerous stores selling excellent and fashionable shoes and bags. You should definitely check out shops like Tatay Oli Shoes or Lara Erika Shoe Manufacturing, both found on J.P. Rizal Street.
10. Taytay Rizal Tiangge
A “tiangge” is the Filipino term for a flea market or bazaar. One of the most popular tiangges in Manila would be the Taytay Tiangge. Taytay is a municipality in Rizal, a province just east of Manila. Featuring fashionable clothes, shoes, bags, and other accessories, Taytay Tiangge has always been a favorite for the budget-conscious fashionistas, or to those simply looking to buy items in bulk for resale. More than just fashion items, you can also find some nearby stalls selling refreshing snacks and drinks, in case you need a break from a whole day of shopping.
Taytay Rizal Tiangge
Address: Manila E Rd, Taytay, Rizal
Website: Taytay Rizal Tiangge
Opening hours: 9am - 8pm (daily)
11. Shopping Mall
Known as the “Mall of Fortune” 168 Shopping mall is located in Binondo, Manila. This shopping mall complex is a haven for those wholesalers and shoppers alike. Offering clothes, shoes, bags, and accessories, some shops even have household goods, appliances, mobile phones, and even make-up, shoppers will definitely find what they need, and even find things they want at a bargain price. Like Greenhills, 168 Shopping mall also offers knock-off brands, so you’ll find these high-quality replicas of “branded” goods for a fraction of the cost. Food stalls are also available within the mall premises, so you can grab a snack or a drink while you shop.
168 Shopping Mall
Address: 918 Soler St, Binondo, Manila, 1002 Metro Manila
Website: 168 Shopping Mall
Opening hours: 9am - 7pm (daily)
12. St. Francis Square
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Another well-known tiangge is Saint Francis Square. It is located just across the street from a major shopping mall in Manila - SM Megamall, within the central business district of Ortigas. Saint Francis Square is a shopping complex offering clothes, bags, footwear, and even mobile accessories for cheap. Shoppers have numerous stalls to choose from, and they can haggle or ask for bargains as well. This shopping complex is definitely the cheaper alternative to shopping from a department store or mall. They also have stalls offering beauty products and vitamin supplements. It is conveniently situated with a number of banks, convenience stores, fast-food chains, and even a transportation hub, so it is fairly easy to get to.
St. Francis Square
Address: Julia Vargas Ave cor. Bank Drive, Ortigas Center, Pasig, Metro Manila
Website: St. Francis Square
Opening hours: 10am - 9pm (daily)
To buy or not to buy, that is the question
There are so many things to do alone in Manila, but shopping in this city is best enjoyed with friends. It a stress-reliever for some people, as makes them feel better. However, shopping is always associated with money - you can’t shop if you have little or no money. Thankfully, the seven stores listed here will help you buy the stuff you want because they’re offered at a price anyone can afford - visit Manila today for cheap goods!
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