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)
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)
Powerbooks is the sister company of The National Bookstore. This shop offers a wide variety of books and is haven for book fanatics like me. They provide sitting areas for those who wants to read & linger and a cafe for those who fancies coffee and pastries to go with their reading.
What to buy: - all types of books
- greeting cards
- some office supplies
- some braches have a small cafe
What to pay: books come as cheap as P70 to as expensive as P2800+++
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.
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!
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
When a nephew of mine visited us several years ago (grew up in Australia), he was amazed by the number and the sheer size of the malls located in Metro Manila, that he commented, "I thought the Philippines was poor!" Well, majority of Filipinos are poor, but that even makes the mall advantageous. During their free time, Filipino families go to the mall to avail of the air conditioning and wide space; which they may not have at home. So weekends or holidays are normally full of people.
Shoemart is the most popular mall. In fact, one of the first letters a baby gets to learn is "SM", which refers to Shoemart. It has at least one mall located in all the major cities, not only in Metro Manila, but in the Philippines. Everything you need is available here and the prices, at least at the department store section, are very affordable. The best SM store, I believe, is the one located in Makati while the best SM mall is the Mall of Asia, located in Pasay City.
Ayala Center is another mall; but mainly located in the business district of Makati City and the upscale residential area of Alabang and the Fort. Unlike the boxy structure of Shoemart, Ayala Center is proud of it's architecture. They also include a park to lend some greenery to the environment. I highly recommend Glorietta (my personal favorite) in Makati City.
Robinson's is a direct competitor of Shoemart as it is always located next to it and offers almost the same merchandise. Unfortunately, it cannot match SM's wide range and the most successful one is not located next to a Shoemart (Robinson's Ermita in Manila City).
There are higher end malls like Greenbelt (Ayala owned) and Power Plant both in Makati, the Podium (SM owned) in Mandaluyong City, and Gateway in Quezon City. So if you prefer luxury and quality brands, these malls are your best bet.
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)
What I learned in my short time in Manila is that if nothing else Filipinos enjoy a good mall. This is actually the combination of several malls all connected by walkways.
If you are staying in the area of Malate. This is the place perfect for you because everything you need is already here. Restaurants, coffee shops, shopping etc. It's not far as well.
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