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Bodega Site: One Stop Electronics for Visitors & Locals
A decade or two ago not many would consider lugging around a Desktop PC or one of the very costly early Digital Cameras. Times have changed and now Laptop and Notepad portable computers, cell phones and digital cameras are just about standard equipment for many travelers.
At home in the USA maybe I am one of the few that does not have a Cell Phone but I just don't like monthly bills or accounts I can do without. The Philippines however has a true " pay as you go " cell phone system. The primary method of communication for the masses is by cell phone texting. On my previous visits one of my Filipino friends handled a lot of the texting for me and I thought it became burdensome for my friends.
Around Mid 2011 I began hearing adds on Iligans DXMA 95.9 FM ( webstream in English to the world, see review of this station on this website ) about a new store opening in Iligan City. Additional info was found on Iligan Websites. Bodega Site features Cell Phones, Digital Cameras, PC's, Laptops, Notepads and accessories. Not at all being familiar with buying and activating a Celll Phone, especially in The Philippines, I had one of my Iligan friends go with me to Bodega Site. All I wanted was a very basic ( Talk, Listen and Text ) phone, name brand and decent quality. I purchased a Samsung model for under the equiv. of $20 USD.
This store has been beautifully laid out with plenty of room for browsing around. They also have their own on premesis service department. A very bright, clean and inviting atmosphere.
I asked to speak to the Manager so I could introduce myself and relate as to how I found out about their store from half way around the world. Branch Manager Jhonalyn Cabili was delighted to meet me and invited me to have a cup of coffee with her at a table right in the middle of the showroom floor. We had a very nice chat for about half an hour and this was as much enjoyment for me as buying the cell phone I had gone in there for. This is another example of " Iliganon Hospitality " I have heard so much about.
As The Philippines is known as the Texting Capitol of the world, I knew I was surrounded by friends to teach me how to use my first cell phone. An engineering student from MSU-IIT university was my primary teacher for this.
I can highly recommend Bodega Site in Iligan City, especially for visitors who may need to replace or need additional itmes related to PC, Laptop, Notepad, Cell Phones, and Cameras. It is all located at this one convienient store. There are many other fine electronic stores in Iligan as well. This is the one I visited on my 2011 trip to Iligan City.
Photo Credit E. E. Amit
NOTE: Nov. 2013 On this years visit, This Store was found to be CLOSED and OUT OF BUSINESS. Another type of business now occupies this location. When I figure out how to DELETE this review, I shall delete it. I was sorry to find this store no longer in business. I had an excellent experience here.
What to buy: Bodega Site specializes in Cameras, Cell Phones, PC, Laptops, Notepads and accessory items. There is an on premesis service department as well.
What to pay: Consistently priced with other similar stores in this city, and they do have " specials " and " Package " deals that may offer good savings.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Business Travel
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Iligan Datavision: A Well Stocked Computer Store
There are at least 6 computer type stores in Iligan City ( and probably even a few more than that ). Some of these stores are independently owned and operated and others are branch stores of regional or national chains.
A decade or two ago a computer store may have been far removed from something a tourist would consider going to. These days with the popularity and portability of such items as laptops, netpads, note pads coupled with the ever increasing availability of WiFi, the " Carry Around " version of the personal computer is standard equipment with many people.
On my first visit to Iligan City I went to quite a few of the computer stores that I saw, primarily just to see what kind and familiar brands of equipment and accessory items were available in this part of the world and how much they were selling for compared to both retail and discounted prices in the USA. At that time I was not really looking to make a purchase but was more interested in " sightseeing " Iligan Citys computer stores.
On my second visit there were some accessory items I wanted to purchase as gifts for friends I was visiting so I returned to some of the places I had visited previously. The first few stores I went to although they were nice stores with helpful sales people, personally ( and I emphasize that point " personally " ) I just did not get excited enough to make a purchase at the moment. Then I remembered from my prior visit a computer store by the City Plaza that was crammed from floor to ceiling with all kinds of computer related things so I said to my friends " Lets go to that place by City Plaza " .
Iligan Datavision is located at the City Plaza on the opposite side of the plaza from the Maria Christina Hotel. The place is crammed from the floor to the ceiling with well known brand name items as well as what I would describe as maybe regionally known brands of computer accessory and related items as well as PC's etc. The sales person I dealt with was very knowledgable and from my brief description knew exactly what I wanted. Additionally I spent some time looking at many of the items available at this store for future reference.
Although you can not expect " Walmart " type prices or those of mega on-line discount website type prices at local or independent type retail stores, the prices I paid for the items I purchased at Iligan Datavision were well within range of what I expected to pay for them, so no problem there.
I enjoyed some pleasant conversation with the people in this store who made me feel most welcome and it is experiences like this that make me want to patronise them again on future visits.
UPDATE Nov. 2013
Datavision, Iligan has expanded into a second connecting store front to offer an expanded display of their extensive product lines. The same friendly staff is there to welcome you.Related to:
- Business Travel
- Work Abroad
- Study Abroad
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Chedings Peanuts: Chedings, A Lot More Than Peanuts !
So much more than " just a store ", this family owned and operated business has been an attraction in Iligan City for decades. The spotlight product of course is Cheding's own roasted peanuts, available in many varieties, pure and fresh with no preservatives added.
In addition to their own products Cheding's also offers a comprehensive variety of local and regional products and seasonings which you may just find too irresistable to pass up. I looked in several stores in Iligan for a locally made product known as " Suka Pinakurat " and when I did not find it in the first couple of places I looked, I knew I would find it at Cheding's and sure enough I did. I also purchased a few of the 1/4 Kilogram size packages of Cheding's Peanuts of several varieties, some to enjoy during my visit and some to bring home for friends back in New York.
My first attempt at trying the tropical fruit " Durian " was not very successful as it can be considered as something you have to acquire a taste for. Iligan friends suggested I try it in a different form such as Durian Candy or Cake. I found some very enjoyable Durian Candy, made in Davao and added that to the somewhat large variety of things I brought home from this store.
A variety of souvenier shirts and other items are available at this store in addition to all of the taste tantilizing items that you could spend a good bit of time looking at and considering wether to eat it in Iligan or take some home for family and friends ! If you are visiting Iligan for a day, or a week or more I would suggest a visit to Cheding's landmark store to be included in your itineary. If you are taking a taxi all you have to say is " Take me to Cheding's please " and they will know where to take you.
For the " not so young " for the time you are here you can feel as though you have shed a few of your years as a visit to Cheding's will truly give you that " kid in a candy store " feeling from when you were young !
Photo Credit: Rose Nob
What to buy: Cheding's Peanuts, Suka Pinakurat, Durian flavored candy
What to pay: The prices at this store are very reasonableRelated to:
- Family Travel
- Food and Dining
- Budget Travel
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Gaisano Super City Mall, Iligan City: The New Gaisano Super City Shopping Mall
It seems that for quite some time the residents of Iligan City with its population of over 300,000 wanted a shopping mall similar to those found in other major cities in The Philippines. After several years of continuing construction " The Mall " opened, in stages, during 2008 and as of this writing this mall has been in operation for over 1 year as final construction and full occupancy nears completion.
Although many travelers and tourists especially those from other parts of the world enjoy open markets and things more expressive of local and regional culture, I personally enjoy seeing what kind of products are marketed in more conventional stores and shops. There are at least two open markets in Iligan City that I am aware of. I have yet to explore the open market in Pala-O and the Iligan Wet Market. These are something I look forward to on a future visit.
The main entrance to Iligans Gaisano Mall located on Roxas Avenue is straddled by fast food franchises Jollibee and McDonalds. On the ground floor just inside of the main entrance is a circular area reserved for public presentations of entertainment, arts and culture and other such events. This mall provides a favorable getaway from the outdoor tropical climate as it is fully air conditioned often providing welcome relief to residents and visitors alike.
Nationwide retailer " Gaisano " is the anchor store featuring quite a wide variety of products and merchandise including a supermarket style grocery item section. The many other stores in this mall typify those you would expect to find in a shopping mall featuring items that cater to the Philippine market.
The food court is now in the process of opening up with quite a variety of different style food offerings. There is a Red Ribbon Bakery shop on the first floor. You will not go hungry at this Mall. There is an amusement arcade at one end of the second floor.
This state of the art 4 story Mall is equipped with elevators, escalators and stairs. On my visits to this mall so far I have found it to be sparkling clean and well maintained as construction continues in the remaining few areas to be occupied. Two of four Cinemas opened in May 2010 with the other two scheduled to open soon.
There is a multi story parking lot adjoining the building, an overhead cross walk off of the second floor balcony area in the front of the building to make crossing busy Roxas Avenue simple, safe and easy and affording some good views for taking pictures.
Uniformed security is provided at all mall entrances and throughout the interior of the mall. There is ample public transportation at the main entrance, always available.
I have had several pleasureable visits to the Gaisano City Mall in Iligan City and look forward to many more in the future. It is in my opinion that the residents of Iligan City who have been waiting for years for something like this to happen are finding this Mall well worth the wait.Related to:
- Business Travel
- Family Travel
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There are a bunch of shops selling Maranao products along quezon avenue beside trendline store, near asia gm printshop...
With Iligan's close proximity to Marawi City, the Islamic City of the Philippines, you're sure to find authentic Maranao goods... you don't have to go to Zamboanga or even Marawi to enjoy Maranao crafts, they're all here in Iligan.
What to buy: There are the wooden chests of different sizes.... what makes these chests unique is the very intricate designs using capiz shells.
Malongs. you'll discover that there are over a hundred beautiful malong designs! some more expensive than others because of the cloth, the quality, and the manufacturer? some are manufactered in indonesia, they say. but i guess compared to flying to indonesia, malongs are still way cheaper bought here.
Brass gongs. they come in different sizes...some as big as your biggest cauldron and some as small as a 1-peso coin (used as a pendant). it's a nice way to add some "oomph" in your interiors... you can even have a set of gongs and have your very own "kulintang".
Banig. Though not as striking as banigs made in Samar, banigs sold here are more subdued...and a lot cheaper! round banigs are my fave.
What to pay: Since these shops line together and compete with each other, you're sure to get the best deal... IF you haggle!
make sure to visit all stores and endure the "salesladies" (yes, some can be very annoying and N-O-I-S-Y). don't commit to one shop until you're very sure you've found the best deal for your item, or else, if you go to another shop and look for the same item, it might cause some trouble. (a possibility)Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Arts and Culture
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Sarong, Malong, etc.: Jolo Iligan Traders
I always like to drop by this shop while in Iligan City. They have good selection of malongs, sarongs, batik stuff, etc -- great items for pasalubong. :) If you buy a lot of items, you can ask for a discount.
See the pics for a sampling of their merchandise.
What to buy: Sarong
What to pay: Sarong at ~P130
Malong at ~P300. There are cheaper ones depending on the material.
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Cheding's: Cheding's Peanuts
Cheding's sells Iligan's most famous delicacy - roasted peanuts. These are very popular pasalubongs for travelers. It's not uncommon that there will be a waiting list. They have other peanut products too. Drop by their store along Sabayle Street, a short distance from the pier.
What to buy: Cheding's Roasted Peanuts
What to pay: P37 for 1/4 kilo of Roasted PeanutsRelated to:
- Budget Travel
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