Tiendesitas: All-in-One Local Crafts Shopping Center
Tiendesitas, which means "small stores", is located along Ortigas corner C-5 and has opened lately just in time for the holiday shopping time. What Chatuchak is to Bangkok, Tiendesitas is to Manila.
The stores in small to medium-sized stalls are housed in 12 Maranao-inspired single-storey buildings. The stalls are zoned in clusters as Fashion, Food Delicacies, Pet Shops, and Antiques. At the center is a huge stage where live band plays nightly. Within the perimeter are food stalls and restaurants with shared tables at the center giving a big food feast atmosphere come Happy Hour.
Open from 9AM to 12MN. Free Parking and ATMs available.
What to buy: Various retail items mostly of local crafts are offered. Hardwood furnitures from Pampanga, knitted clothes from Baguio, bamboo crafts from the Visayas, Maranao brasswares and handicrafts from Mindanao are just the few items sold.
The food stalls offer regional specialties like the "bagnet" of Ilocos, "batchoy" of Bacolod, "inihaw na panga" of Davao, "sisig" from Pampanga, as well as the all time favorite "adobo and inihaw", making it a Philippine Food Festival for anybody anytime.
What to pay: Definitely, much cheaper goods compared to those sold in the air-conditioned department stores. The wide variety of goods to choose from is the come-on.
- Food and Dining
Green Hills: They look real...
Green hills is a mall / swap meet style shopping center located in San Juan. It has a section of regular shops and restaurants, but it also has a section that is swap meet style. This is where i like to go. This place gets pretty crowded so make sure you watch your wallet here. This is where you go if you want to get the fake stuff. LV, Gucci, Prada, Nike, Adidas, Puma, Polo, most of the stuff looks real and its really cheap. I like to come here for the shoes. They have some Nikes, well fake Nikes that look really good. You can only tell they are fake if you are a sneaker fiend. They pretty much have the whole line of jordans, which are 1000Php = $20 US and most other Nikes are $500Php of course its cheaper if you are a local, but not by much. The AF1's look pretty real. I dont recommend playing basketball in any shoes you get here though. Last time i came here i bought 7 pairs of shoes, so be careful when you go there, cuz it can be addictive. For women, I hear its a great place to buy jewelry, and the fake name brand purses. They also have a section dedicated to mobile phones, cd's, dvd's, video games.
The Podium: Introduction to Malls: The Podium @ Ortigas
This mall was just across the Discovery Suites that I was staying in. I had forgetten about it (despite going there a few times for Starbuck's coffee) until a fellow VTer reminded me. The reason that I had forgotten about it, is simply because this mall resembled the malls I can find back home. (In fact, it is a joint venture between Singaporean and Philippino firms - it figures)
The mall is very clearly targeted at the higher income earners in Manila with its posh and branded boutiques and swanky open-space and cool light architectural design that gave the mall an instant snooty air. You will find top notch designer brands here selling a range of items from lingeries, leather belts to the latest hand bags.
Me? I took a quick spin and settled for Starbucks.
What to buy: If you are into branded stuff, hey, this is your place.
What to pay: No idea. I did not bother. I can tell you the price of a Starbucks coffee if you want...ha ha.
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
Chinese Pharmacies along Ongpin in Downtown: If your tummy is giving you trouble (diarrhea)
Follow the directions I have given in my Manila Travelogue for Chinatown Ongpin
"Chinese Drug Stores"
You will not find this drug on the Internet.
What to buy: Whenever you have diarrhea, which is easily possible for a foreign in tropical areas. you should have this medicine.
The name is
Sometimes the name is only available in Chinese characters. But if you explain, they will understand in any Chinese drugstore.
The pills stink terribly, but are very helpful.
BTW I use those pills since my very first encounter in Taiwan in 1987. In Hong Kong I was so sick, that I could not help to see a physician,who was recommended by a Chinese friend. He sent me to a drug store in Kowloon. Since then, I have this medicine as a steady companion during all my travels.
Even friends of mine now rely on this medicine.
What to pay: maximum 140 Pesos = less than US$ 2.50
- Budget Travel
Introduction to Malls: 3 Malls at Shaw
Gosh, the malls! Pilippinos devotion to shopping elevated it into an art. So many large malls to get around to. Staggering! There are 3 of the malls at this spot - Shangri-La Plaza Mall, Robinson & SM Megamall (with its large Shoemart Departmental Store alone) - and they could well occupy you for an entire day. Exhausting!
What to buy: I focused on clothings and apparel.
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
Robinson's Galleria: Money to burn? Go here...
It's a mall... everything you need is here, minus the imitations.
What to buy: Whatever your heart desires.
What to pay: Since it's a mall, prices are non-negotiable, so you can expect to pay more than you would at the flea market-type places. On the whole, prices are still cheaper than they would be in the U.S, Canada, Australia or Europe.
- Family Travel
- Luxury Travel
Greenhills: Need Shoes?
Everything you need in one giant flea market type mall... from native crafts, to shoes, to purses, and clothes.... plus so much more. If you're looking for presents for people back home, or just something for yourself, this is the place to find it without breaking the bank.
What to buy: Shoes, purses, watches, sunglasses, clothes, native crafts, pili nuts...
What to pay: prices are negotiable so don't be afraid to haggle and walk away to prove a point.
- Budget Travel
- Study Abroad
Shangri-la mall: Classy shopping
Shangri-la mall, developed by the same group that brought the prime Shangri-la hotel brand, is known for its pricey shopping, with perhaps the highest concentration of luxury brands in the Philippines (but the newly developed Greenbelt in Makati is challenging this). The mall enjoys a very strategic location and is within the same area where SM Megamall, Robinsons Galleria, The Podium, and Star Mall -- the area known to be the mall capital of the Philippines.
What to buy: Top 5 favorite stores:
1) Healthy Options - best place to shop for 'healthy food options'
2) Rustan's Department Store - if you're lucky, you could find some great 'bargain' treasures.
3) European Living - great options for European style furniture and accessories
4) Marks and Spencer - probably the most well-stocked branch when it comes to men's line.
5) Candles and Scents - gift ideas galore.
Top 5 restos:
1) Cibo - ultra chic and modern, in addition to great Italian
2) Trattoria Gourmet - their thin crust pizza is to die for
3) Bon Appetit - Rsutan's in-house resto offering Filipino comfort food - the pasta in crabfat sauce is simply sinful (read: cholesterol-rich)
4) Via Mare - traditional Filipino favorites
5 things to do besides shopping and dining:
1) Enjoy the posh, shiny interiors.
2) Take the 'double floor' escalators.
3) Treat your kids to a carousel ride.
4) Consult the dermatologists at Clarity Skin Clinic.
5) Consult the opthalmologists at the mall's eye clinic.
What I don't like: Recently the mall has gone elitist with their policies. For one, commuters have to endure higher taxi surcharges as they no longer allow regular taxi cabs to load passengers. Only their 'official' taxicab - Basic Taxi - are allowed to do so. Also, cinema afficionados will have to settle for their in-house 'styrofoamy' popcorn. Nor can they bring food bought from one of the many fastfood stores in the malls. Food and beverage could only be bought from the cinema's snack stand.
SM Megamall: The largest mall in the Philippines
SM Megamall, strategically located in the (geographical) center of Metro Manila in Ortigas Center, is the largest mall in the Philippines. It offers everything, the consummate shopper desires - from medical clinics, to a chapel.
The stores are housed under two buildings - buildings A and B. As a reference point, the one closer to ADB (Asian Development Bankl) is Building A.
My top 5 favorite stores:
2) SM Department Store - arguably the best-stocked among the many branches scattered nationwide.
3) Ace Hardware
4) The new computer stores at the 5th level
My top 5 favorite restaurants:
2) Pancake House
3) Luk Yuen - saw Tatang (Mr. Sy, the major shareholder of SM malls) eating there once - tells you how good the food there is.
5) Foodcourt at the basement for variety.
What to buy: In the Philippines, malling (yes, we Filipinos are masters of this activity) does not mean buying stuff only. While you can buy almost anything in this giant of a mall, there are other more fun ways of malling. Here are 5 suggestions on what to do at SM Megamall besides shopping and dining:
1) Count the number of steps it takes to traverse the entire distance from Building A to B.
2) Watch free mini-concerts.
3) Browse at Powerbooks.
4) People watch.
5) Ask directions from the security personnel and get blank faces as answers.
What to pay: From zilch to millions!
Tutuban Center Mall/ Divisoria Mall: shop at the cheapest prices ever? go here
Manila is a paradise for those who like to shop, we have bargain prices product so you can try going to Divisoria Mall or Tutuban Center. The center/place of all cheap and branded products.
Got no picture available at the meantime.
What to buy: all... you needed
What to pay: pesos only
Greenbelt: Philippines has the best shopping malls
Even the whole country is in decline trend of economy, nothing can stop them building up the best shopping mall and the local people is just fascinating about shopping everyday. I thought people in Shanghai is crazy about shopping. Comparing to Philippinos, we are much behind.
Greenbelt is combined with 3 large malls called as Greenbelt I, II and III. In this department store, you can find everything.
What to buy: Local handicraft
Malls and shopping areas: Buying in Manila
The Metro Manila lives up to its reputation as a shopper’s paradise. Shopping malls here are cornucopia of valuable finds and good buys. Show windows are a-glitter with displays of all that is fashionable in clothes, shoes, bags, accessories and jewellery, cosmetic and personel care, books, gifts and many others . The following are some famous shopping areas :
Divisoria area, famous wholesales market and has everything from comestibles to wedding dresses. A recent addition to the area is the Tutuban Centre, a rather modern mall with many small stalls selling ready-to-wear clothing, jewellery and basic houseware commodities.
Ayala Center in Makati has every level of restaurant and shop ranging from high fashion boutiques to bargain jumbles in the Landmark department store.
Mandaluyong area in Manila is the latest proliferation of retail shops and restaurants. There are three shopping malls , where the concept in each malls is to offer airconditioned entertainment centre where families can spend leisure time together.
Shangri-La Plaza, is a shopping complex that accompanies the Edsa plaza Hotel. It has a fast food section called the "Gourmet Express". The main attraction here is an eight story atrium with live trees and a musical fountain.
Robinson’s Galleria is a more compact mall which links a hotel tower and a corporate office tower and offers a wide range of boutiques and specialty stores and restaurants.
Greenhills Virra Mall is an older shopping centre. It is surrounded by relatively easy accessible parking and has a number of restaurants.
Magallanes Centre is famous for bicycle or golf equipment.
San Andres Market is famous for fruits and Seaside Market is famous for seafood.
La Porcelana and V.M. Antiques in Ermita, Chang Rong Antique Gallery in Intramuros and Tawalisi in Makati are some places famous for antiques.
Fine handicrafts can be found in places such as Silahis, Balikbayan Handicrafts.
What to buy: everything
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
- Work Abroad
Greenbelt/Glorietta: The Nicest Mall I've Ever Seen
Ok... so I've been to the two largest malls in the world, West Edmonton Mall and the Mall of America (in Edmonton and Minnesota respectively). While these malls were nice, there is no mall in the world that I've been to that could hold a candle to the Greenbelt/Glorietta complex. Half indoor, half outdoor this place was just amazing. I don't even really know how to describe it... Go to Makati, it's on Ayala. See for yourself and if it's not as nice as I said it was, you have my permission to send me a virus.
What to buy: Whatever you want... it's a mall.
What to pay: It's not cheap... well... compared to the other places in the Philippines it's not, but if you're foreign and you have a good exchange rate on your currency, you'll probably find something here at a cheaper price than you would find it at home.
- School Holidays
- Luxury Travel
Greenhills, Tutuban, Divisoria and Baclaran: Looking For The Bootleg Purses?
everything you need in one huge indoor marketplace and the best thing about it all is that you can bargain.
What to buy: fake purses, fake shoes, fake perfume, fake designer clothes etc.
generally speaking, there are different classes of fakes... class A, class B and class C. they are easy to spot, but it's best to take someone with you that understands this concept so that you don't spend more than you need to be spending.
What to pay: for purses, expect to pay anywhere from 300 to 500 pesos per purse. when buying more than one person, bargaining for a better price per purse becomes easier. never settle on the first price they give you... try to haggle... then walk away if necessary. more often than not, the shopkeeper will back down and settle on your price.
- Budget Travel
- Study Abroad
- Women's Travel
Rustan: Imported Clothes
although there are many, many more malls available to shop..
What to buy: Rustans is the most upscale with expensiveimported clothing, cosmetics and such. All three of these stores have grocery stores on their groud floor., departments stores are found within or adjacent to malls, and are not stand alone.. stores as they might be in New Yerk City or other lrge cities..
What to pay: just don't forget to bring your money.. hahahahaha