It is known as the biggest shopping mall in South East Asia. The mall is a part of a complex which includes the City Center, Interior Zone, The Annex, The Block, the former Warehouse Club, Sky Garden, Northlink and the Grass Residences. It is a place for world class shopping and dining.
(photo from Google images)
It is a shopping haven for a person who likes to bargain, it is considered as the number 1 place to shop in Manila. You need to be in the frame of mind to 'negotiate' on price and can't be in a rush. A lot of 'knock off' merchandise but a lot of choices. Get awesome deals from designer knock offs to fine pearls. The atmosphere is quite different from other malls around Manila but the shopping experience is guaranteed to be ultimate shopping paradise.
(photo from Google images)
Mall of Asia exactly adjacent to Manila Bay. The shopping experience is second to none, even by western standards. It is once the largest mall in the Philippines until the redevelopment of SM North Edsa. After shopping, you can also check out the restaurants facing the Manila Bay.
(photo from photobucket)
robinsons place ermita is a haven for urban dwellers and travellers because, it lies in the center of the city, providing a cool respite from manila's hot weather or when it's raining, a dry haven. when you need something - from clothes to groceries, to internet cafes, or movies, just go to robinsons. you can leave me there for a day and i wouldn't complain.
What to buy: anything you fancy - philippine brand clothes, or knicknacks like native hats or wood carvings.
What to pay: P1,000-3,000
Behind the Manila City Hall is another big mall called SM. Here, find everything you want to buy from food to clothes to electronics. Eat anything you want to eat from Italian to Philippine dishes. Do anything you want to do - from foot massage to watching movies. The mall also has banks, ATMs and a money exchange. What more can you ask for?
What to buy: Anything cheap and anything you fancy. How about a mini jeepney figurine?
What to pay: from P1,000 to P5,000
168 Shopping Mall is a wholesale and retail shopping mall in Divisoria ("Bargainville" of Manila) with the modern sophistication and clean, decent ambiance of commercial centers like Greenhills, Market Market in The Fort, and supermalls in Makati. I go there occasionally because it is a shopper's paradise.
I usually avoid Divisoria though it is considered a shoppers’ mecca because I can't stand the dirty and polluted environment; yet, I when I need to buy bargain items in wholesale quantities, I find it convenient to shop at 168's airconditioned stalls. I was surprised that all kinds of shoppers, from Class A-E fashionistas to the street vendors patronize their stalls. A self-confessed shopper there is the former First Lady Imelda Marcos.
I recommend 168 because some of their items like ready-to-wear clothes are 50% cheaper than the ones sold in Greenhills, and of course, much, much cheaper than in SM malls..
What to buy: At 168, you'll find all kinds of commodities, from novelty items, bags, shoes, toys, hardware, RTW's, etc.
Note: No photos in this tip because I don't bring my camera to Divisoria.
What to pay: Your P1,000 will already buy 4-5 pieces of blouses.
Fyi, the Chronos group owns Lucerne, Time Studio, and Swissgear (I think) so prices in these stores will be uniform. They carry Omega, Rolex, AWC, Ball, etc if that is your thing. Cash price is very low compared to 0% deferred payment. I bought mine there and so far they've given me outstanding service. I met the matriarch owner in Greenhills who was very nice.
What to buy: Genuine (not pre-owned) Rolex, Omega, AWC, Ball, Breitling, etc.
What to pay: Omega Constellation around PHP70K cash.
The Philippines is known as the Pearl of the Orient*. Here different kinds of pearls abound - mother of pearl, fresh water, cultured pearls. Aside from your usual strand of pearl necklace and earrings, pearls and shells are fashioned into boxes, curtains, placemats and plates.
If you are interested in any of these, please send me an email.
What to buy: On the picture is a mother of pearl necklace which I am sure any woman will love to have in her jewelry box.
What to pay: Mother of pearl necklace - $10-$20, depending on quality.
This is a street lined with a lot of shops that cater to the photography things
What to buy: The street is lined with stores selling mostly cameras and every photography gadget you can think of from the latest models to museum-piece antique gadgets!
What to pay: Everything is way below the prices that you would have to bear if you bought the same things from the malls or specialty stores!
This is not a single shop but city blocks of commercial stalls awash with music, video or installer discs 100% "illegal copies" - oh my badness why am I saying these!
What to buy: Music CDs, Videoke CDs/DVDs, Movie DVDs, Compilation DVDs of your favourite TV shows (from soap operas to documentaries), application installer CDs, educational discs from Dora to Barney to Sesame Street and more - oh my badness why am I telling all these!
What to pay: everything for sale at as cheap as P10 (yep 10 pesos) per disc - and some of them are 6 titles in 1 disc!
If you need to do some last minute shopping of souvenirs at the terminal 1 of Ninoy Aquino International Airport, there are a dew handicrafts shops but the cheapest is Tesoro's Handicraft (see photo). This shop also have quite a big variety of souvenirs and the staff are friendly too.
If you want to buy the famous dried mangoes of the Philippines, it is much cheaper to get in Manila than inside the airport. The airport is also a good place to buy ice-cream (which is famous in Philippines) back home. The shop will give you an insulated container packed with ice and this should be OK for the ice-cream for short flights of a few hours.
The Makati area of Metro Manila is perhaps the most famous shopping area of the city. Most of the skyscrapers of the city are located here together will big shopping malls, hotels etc. The main street of Makati area is Ayala Street, where you find many hotels. The major shopping centre at Makati is the Glorietta shopping centre which has 4 annexes known as Glorietta 1, Glorietta 2, Glorietta 3 and Glorietta 4. There are lots of shops here, including cinemas and the famous department store called Shoemart (or SM in short). Next to the Glorietta shopping centre is the Landmark shopping centre and across the road (via a bridged walkway) is the Greenbelts shopping centre. The famous Ayala Museum is located just next to Greenbelts shopping centre. Overall, Makati is a good shopping area, plus a good place to hangout because of the many restaurants, pubs etc.
Please note that whenever you enter a shopping centre, there will be a simple security check which can slow down your entry to the shopping centres on a crowded day. Also, do note that there are separate doors for entrance and exit (these are clearly marked on the door).
In late Nov 2007, I managed to visit SM Mall of Asia again and is still amazed by the sheer size of this shopping mall (one of the biggest in the world). Besides housing two big department stores (Shoe Mart and Hypermart), there are tons of retail shops, cinemas, a food court, a skating rink, lots of food outlets and restaurants etc). If you are a shopping fanatic, you need to spend at least a few days here :)
Previously for my camera/camcorder needs, I would only consider Hong Kong or Singapore for the cheapest prices. Then my niece mentioned that she just bought this digital camera for half the regular price at a store in Quiapo, Manila City, named Meyer Photo. I checked out the place and confirmed that their prices will match that of Hong Kong or Singapore, and also the discount price at Amazon. I just bought a high definition camcorder in Hong Kong for US$ 1000 (lowest Amazon price was also the same) and Meyer was offering the same model at around US$ 1100. I needed high definition mini DV's and on Amazon, the sale price was around US$20 for a pack of two. At Meyer, you could buy one at US$10. Of course, I bought four tapes!
If you are using your car or taking a taxi, from Taft Avenue, take the bridge to Sta Cruz, Manila, then immediately turn right upon going down from the bridge. Meyer Photo is located right beside the old Shoemart building. Or you can take the LRT and go down at the Sta. Cruz station, then walk to Palanca Street.
The Manila Central Post Office building was built and designed during the American colonial period. It was completely destroyed in WWII but was rebuilt with American aid after the war. As you'll note from the picture, it looks strikingly similar to the Post Office building in New York City, the one across Madison Square Garden.
Should you wish to buy any stamps for collection, don't go to any of the window tellers at the main lobby. Ask the information desk where the Philatelic Division is (it's through a narrow hall on the right) and there are 2 desks where a couple of ladies will show and sell you whatever stamps are available.
What to buy: All the latest stamp issues and first day covers of the Philippine postal service.
What to pay: Buy a stamp at its face value. For FDCs, you may have to pay about 4 pesos more to cover the cost of the cacheted envelope.
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