Souvenirs Shopping things to buy Philippines > Luzon > Manila

What To Buy In Manila, Philippines

What To Buy In Manila, Philippines
Juliet
Juliet
Published
Lara Razo
Endorsed by Local Expert
Lara Razo

The Philippines or the ‘Pearl of the Orient’ appeals to visitors for its intriguing mix of history and its towering skyscrapers. A popular place to go is the walled area of Intramuros, the capital of the Philippines during Spanish rule. Old dungeons and gunpowder rooms sit alongside art galleries, theatres, museums, shops, parks, and churches; there is much to see, do, and buy! A lively night scene, with edgy art galleries and speakeasy bars, lining alongside artisan markets and cafes, you’ll have a lot to shop in this cool city. Let our guide to what to buy in Manila, Philippines help you out!

1. Piña Cloth


Piña is a Spanish word that means “pineapple.” The fabric is made out of pineapple leaves which results in a soft, comfortable material. It is also durable and long-lasting, which makes it a top choice for formal clothing such as wedding dresses.

Carolina's Lace Shoppe,

Opening hours: Monday-Sunday 9am to 6pm

Address: 4648 Arellano Avenue Corner Dian Street, Makati, Dian St, Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines

Website: Carolina’s Lace Shoppe

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Manila and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Manila

2. Pearls


The Philippines is part of an ancient trade route that traded pearls with the Chinese for good reason, as the South Sea frontier of the Philippines has the perfect environment for growing large, gold-lipped oysters. These oysters yield the deep gold pearls famous in the country. While these do not come cheap, they are a worthy investment for the jewellery collector. Buy them at an established store like Jewelmer to ensure authenticity.

Jewelmer

Address: Ground Floor, Commerce Mall Alabang Town Center,Muntinlupa City

Opening hours: Mon-Sunday 10-8pm

Website: Jewelmer

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Manila and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Manila

3. Halo-halo


Filipinos have a sweet tooth, and you’ll find this reflected in their yummy desserts. Halo-halo is one such dessert. Many shops sell this ice-cold treat, made out of ice, milk, ice cream, canned fruits and flavoured jellies. This is a must-try after dinner!

Café Via Mare's Halo-Halo

Address: Landmark Makati, West St Cor. Palm Dr. Cor Makati Ave, Makati, 1223 Metro Manila, Philippines

Opening hours: Sunday - Thursday 11:00am - 7:30pm Friday - Saturday 11:00am - 8:30pm

Website: Café Via Mare’s Halo-Halo(https://www.viamare.com.ph/)

Travel tip by Manila Local Expert - Lara

My family loves halo-halo so much that I used to sell these at our sari-sari store when I was a kid. Whenever we eat out, we sample the halo-halo - we're on a mission to find the best one! Via Mare is really good, but another one of our favorites is from Milky Way Cafe at Rockwell. Evaporated milk is best since the ingredients - beans, bananas, jackfruit - are already sweetened. A good halo-halo should be topped off with ube (purple yam) ice cream and leche flan. The challenge is learning how to mix it all together like a pro!

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Manila and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Manila

4. Wood Carvings


The country is renowned for their craftsmanship, and you’ll be able to find wood carved into intricate sculptures. Whether it’s an ashtray, a bowl, or dining utensils you need, these beautiful pieces of artwork are a great souvenir choice! You can find wood carvings at almost any speciality shops that sell souvenirs, but Balikbayan Handicrafts offers a vast variety of beauty souvenirs, and you can save time browsing in this store.

Balikbayan Handicrafts

Address: 1010 Antonio Arnaiz Avenue, Makati City, 1223 Philippines

Opening hours: 10-8pm Monday-Sunday

Website: Balikbayan Handicrafts

Travel tip by Manila Local Expert - Lara

Wood carvings are pretty easy to find here. Whether you want them as a gift or to display at your house, it's as simple as going online or heading to the mall. The chain store we frequent is Kultura Filipino but most of the time you're likely to find them at touristy spots. One time we were on the road driving home from Tagaytay and a peddler was selling these hand-carved wooden motorbikes. My dad just rolled down his window and started haggling. You can buy some really nice pieces to decorate or useful things like trays and keyholders. This is a staple in the souvenir industry! 

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Manila and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Manila

5. Barako Coffee


Barako coffee is named after the Tagalog word for a wild boar. Expect to find it to live up to its name, with the coffee strong and usually served black, or sweetened with muscovado sugar. Many coffee connoisseurs have discovered and laud Barako for its unusual and robust flavour. Stop at any hip cafe or drop by popular cafe Bag of Beans and bring a packet of Barako coffee home with you today.

Bag of Beans Cafe and Restaurant

Address: 115 Aguinaldo Highway | Mendez Crossing West, Tagaytay, Luzon, Philippines +63 46 413 4356

Opening hours: Monday-Sunday 630am-10pm

Website: Bag of Beans Cafe and Restaurant

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Manila and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Manila

6. Shell Craft


With the fourth longest coastline in the world, the Philippines definitely has an abundance of seashells. While shell craft can be found at any souvenir store, the best place to visit would be the largest shell factory in the Philippines, Tribesmen Product. You’ll get to tour around to see how seashells are sourced and put together into a final product. There is also a large shell craft store for travellers to buy their favourite shell item.

Tribesmen Product Enterprise

Address: 32 Sao Paolo Street, Better Living Subdivision, Parañaque City, Metro Manila

Opening hours: Monday - Friday, 8am - 8pm; Saturday, 8am - 4pm

Website: Tribesmen Product Enterprise

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Manila and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Manila

7. Bamboo Baul


Baul is a Spanish word for chest or trunk. A decorative chest made out of bamboo shoots, this product came about as a result of trade with China back in the 1500s. An interesting souvenir as a conversation-starter, it comes in various sizes and can be bought at Kultura Filipino.

Kultura Filipino

Address: 2nd floor SM Ayala, Makati City

Opening hours: Monday-Sunday: 10AM–9PM

Website: Kultura Filipino

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Manila and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Manila

8. Snacks and Condiments


Dried mangoes are a fond favourite of visitors when they come to PhilippinesPhilippines, and no wonder- the mangoes from Cebu are so delicious, they have been repackaged for easy eating by drying them up, which retains their lush, sweet flavour while still remaining easy to transport. 100% fat-free, they come in strips, cubes, and even chips! Try them (and buy them!) at Kulture Filipina.

Kultura Filipino

Address: 2nd floor SM Ayala, Makati City

Opening hours Monday-Sunday: 10AM–9PM

Website: Kultura Filipino

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Manila and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Manila

9. Walis Tambo


A broom made out of dried stalks of flower and grass, it comes from Baguio City and is an efficient tool to keep your house clean. A better alternative to the vacuum cleaner as it is not just biodegradable and environmentally-friendly, the sweeper also gets a good workout! Buy them from the Baguio City Market, and explore the bustling market while you’re there.

Baguio City Market

Opening hours: 24 hours daily

Address: Magsaysay Ave, Baguio, 2600 Benguet, Philippines

Website: Baguio City Market

Travel tip by Manila Local Expert - Lara

This is another item that you'll find in every Filipino household. You'll also probably run across vendors selling these on the streets or at the market.  After all, why break out the vacuum cleaner when you have this super handy way of cleaning your floors? Just drag this all the way out the door like I do or pair it with a dustpan and you're good to go. They're also really sturdy, so if you get one of these, they'll last you a good long while!

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Manila and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Manila

10. Mini Jeepney


Jeepneys came about as a result of the U.S military jeeps that were left behind in World War 2. The Philipinos decided to use them as buses, and in present times they are a mode of transport for the locals and can be seen travelling the roads with their fancily decorated exteriors. It has become a symbol of the country’s culture and art. A great souvenir to bring home would be the mini version of the jeepneys, which you can buy at Balikbayan Handicrafts.

Balikbayan Handicrafts

Address: 1010 Antonio Arnaiz Avenue, Makati City, 1223 Philippines

Opening hours: 10-8pm Monday-Sunday

Website: Balikbayan Handicraftse

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Manila and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Manila

Souvenir shopping in Manila done right

Manilla at night

Of course, this list is not exhaustive of the items you can buy in Manila as souvenirs, but these are the highlights of the country’s attractions. The Philippines has a unique cultural heritage, and you’ll find the Spanish and American influence mixed with local culture, which results in unusual and distinctive products. This cultural mix means you’ll find a lot to buy and take home for your loved ones. Hopefully, this list helps to narrow down your shopping as well as taught you some interesting points about the products you’re buying!

This article has been endorsed by Manila local expert Lara Razo

Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our privacy policy for more information on how we use your data

Skyscrapers and towers and skyline manila philippines 800
Still Need Travel Insurance?

You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.

*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101

*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.

Avid travelor, real-life educator, and part-time adult ballerina, this late bloomer finds beauty in the things she sees and is always looking for new places to explore and good food to eat.She...Read more

Top 3 activities to book in Manila (and vicinity)

Have a question? Ask fellow travellers and travel experts here.
Explore Manila
Good things are meant to be shared!