I am getting rather worried about the amount of shopping tips I am writing about the Philippines, it really is not my area of expertise at all, I cannot stand shopping but here we go again.
Due to a laundry failure (I forgot it was the housekeeper's day off where I stay), I was in urgent need of a couple of items of clothing. Such are the joys of travelling for months on end with less than 10kg. of checked baggage but I'll live with it. My friend who live locally suggested Tops and Bottoms was the place to go and so I sallied forth expecting some sort of clothing shop. It is certainly that but a whole lot more besides as it has just about everything you would ever need including a disturbingly wide selection of knuckle dusters and butterfly knives. Not being in the mood to start a war, I settled for a pair of shorts, a T-shirt and some bungee cords to attach my luggage to the bike for a trip I am planning (details later).
I got the impression that much of the stock here is remaindered from other outlets as there are marked down prices on all the clothinng items and the hardware items all seem cheap as well. There is a good selection including larger sizes suited to tall Westerners like me. I can't speak about comparative prices locally as I don't do that much shopping but I paid a fraction of the price I would have paid at home.
As a general principle, go here as a first stop for anything you might need and then, if it doesn't feature on the extensive shelves, you can try elsewhere.
What to buy: Just about everything is available here.
What to pay: I cannot speak comparaqtively locally but it is cetainly cheap by UK standards and much of the stock is discounted.
OK, we have all done it. We have all bought the souvenir that looked so wonderful when we set eyes on it and then brought it home and it looked hideous. Same thing with the local specialist liquer that, once back in your fridge, tasted like diesel. However, in context, some things look quite magnificent and, if you look at he craftsmanship involved in the fully rigges sailing ship pictured, you can see the inherent beauty of it, the work involved is quite amazing. I have examined this thing up close and the rigging really is quite complicated.
I realise the image does not give a decent sense of scale (this one is rigged to the roof of a friends restobar) so I will tell you the hull is about three feet (one metre) long, so you can work the rest out yourself.
This section of VT asks me to describe a shop and I am afraid I cannot. There may well be some place in a shoppng centre in Manila that sells these things for about three times what you need to pay but to buy one direct from the craftsman, or at least his close associate, you only need to sit about the Boulevard in Dumaguete and sooner or later one of these guys will turn up.
As always, I'll give you the information and you decide whether or not you want one adorning your living room at home.
What to buy: The handmade ship as shown in the image. If you want a smaller one they are available as well.
What to pay: You need to bargan for these but about 6,000 pesos is right for this particular size. That is about £100 or $150US, perhaps skightly less dependent on exchange rates.
It is rarely that I write shopping tips. Shopping is probably one of my least favourite activities so this tip is somewhat of collectors item.
Dumaguetenos, liks most Philippinos, tend to shop in the markets and small shops that abound but there seems to be an increasing trend towards large shopping malls. Robinson's and SM seem to be the largest operators in this area. The Robinson's mall is large and contains just about every shop you could want as well as a huge number of food outlets, many of which are situated in a foodcourt on the upper level. There is another area to the rear given over to restaurants with outdoor seating which is popular in the evening.
The complex also has a multiscreen cinema and there are several atm's there should you need one.
What to buy: You can get just about anything you need.
What to pay: Slightly more expensive than the markets.
Outdoor Central Mountaineering Equipment & Tours
Provides Affordable Mountaineering/Camping Gears, Guided Tours, and Services.
Backpacks, Slippers / Sandals, Camping Stove, Tents.etc..
What to pay: Mountaineering Packs Less than $60
Slippers / Sandals Less Than $12
Lee Plaza is the biggest shopping store in Negros Oriental. You can find all you need, the shop has a supermarket downstairs and 4 levels. Only they do not have the big sizes.
What to buy: Dumaguete has no specialities to mention.
What to pay: Reasonable prices,
Lipayo, Dauin, Negros Oriental, Dumaguete, Negros, 6217, Philippines
Good for: Business
Washington Road, Dumaguete, Negros, 6200, Philippines
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Families
Banilad, Dumaguete City, 6200, Philippines
Good for: Solo