Manila is well-known as an excellent shopping venue in Asia. Many tourists flock to the Philippines and book a hotel accommodation in Manila so they can take advantage of the cheap prices, great deals, and wide array of shopping spots to choose from. These make the whole shopping experience in Manila an adventure to remember.
Obviously, it is easier to shop at the numerous malls scattered across the metro. But if you don't feel like being hemmed in by them and really want to see what shopping in the city is all about, visit these awesome places:
Located at the heart of the City of Manila, this bustling market area is the bargain paradise of the country. 'Divi', as it is affectionately called by the locals, carries everything from cheap toys, school supplies, and clothing, to furniture. Since this area is crowded all the time, you need to be very careful of your valuables. Wear something casual and comfy, as Divisoria is almost always hot and humid. Better to bring cash, because most stalls do not accept credit cards.
Greenhills Shopping Center
Located in San Juan this mid-to-upscale bargain center is a popular shopping spot because of its relatively affordable, unique, and stylish finds. Shoppers can find almost a thousand small shops and booths that sell clothes, bags, shoes, jewelry, watches, export-quality food, and electronic gadgets. The place is more developed than Divisoria, fashioned as a mall, so there is air-conditioning. But the pathways can be very congested, especially during the weekends and holidays. There are many establishments outside the shopping area where you can eat and relax after long hours of haggling for better deals.
Not many people know this but aside from being a popular entertainment spot in Ortigas Center, Pasig City, Metrowalk has a richly filled bazaar. There are stalls that offer ready-to-wear, electronic gadgets, accessories, shoes, and jewelry. There are also a few kiosks selling imported brands. The items being sold here are pricier compared to the first 2 places mentioned, but that is just a small price to pay for the comfort and pleasant shopping environment here. Metrowalk is also just minutes away from some of the best hotels in Metro Manila.
Cubao-X is in the near-defunct Marikina Shoe Expo, just a short walk from the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City. If you are interested in specialty shops for antiques, old books, and magazines from past decades, vintage clothing and memorabilia, vinyl records, various art pieces, locally made shoes, rare and custom-made toys, skateboards, and even Japanese comic books, then this is the place for you. Aside from finding and buying all sorts of cool items here, there are also restaurants, bars, and art galleries to check out. Most shops, however, open after dark, so Cubao-X would seem abandoned during the day.
The Collective in Malugay Street, Makati City is borne from a group of artists from various disciplines joining forces to set up businesses that cater to the alternative interests. There are shops here with their own brand of design artistry, like Old New Bikes, which customizes bikes from old bicycle parts. Vinyl Vinyl offers clothes, accessories, and old records. Yadu is another cool store that sells local but gorgeous bags and purses. There are other stores that sell modern clothing, headwear, rare sneakers, and toys. The art galleries and restaurants inside the area are also a good place to cool down after shopping your hearts out.
Manila appeals to travelers largely because of its fun-loving people, who often flock the malls for enjoyment. Secure a hotel accommodation in Manila, Philippines and visit the places listed above to get the most unique and, probably, cheapest souvenirs you can take home.