This was my first introduction to the city of Puerto Princesa – a place where nature is of bounty - a huge mall experience !
The Rob, that’s how the locals call the Robinsons Place is just along the main highway. I was actually surprised to find a huge shopping mall in a provincial city like Puerto Princesa.
Popular among locals and tourists alike, the Robinsons Place is the latest huge shopping mall ditching NCCC at the downtown. It’s a rectangular piece of big structure right off the main highway. Very spacious, it has everything you need laid out in 2 levels – many clothing shops, big supermarket, cinema, boutique stores, a big hardware store (Handyman), the famous National Bookstore, foodcourt, and several other fastfood chains, restaurants and my favorite quencher slash brain-freezer, the pearl sago on the second level, they make fancy but good crushed ice smoothie type of a drink, with the heat outside, I could really drink two of those grand sized plastic glass that cost 55 - 65 pesos. I wonder though why the big M did not set up a place inside or even beside the Rob? That’s strange. There’s a Jollibee (the local version of McDo) but there ain’t no arched M! Will someone explain that to me please.
Rob can be very crowded with students and children during the weekends, it’s a favorite hangout for both locals and foreign tourists. If you’re coming from the downtown, in front of Jollibee (fastfood) is, you have to take those multicabs with the signage “San Jose” or “New Market”, lots of them there and ask the driver to drop you off at Robinsons, fare is 10 pesos and if it’s not a rush hour and not much of a traffic, you’ll reach the place in 15 minutes approx.. That is, if you’re staying at or near the downtown.
What to buy: Everythin gyou need under one roof. It's a mall.
There’s an air-conditioned mall-type souvenir shops few meters from this one but taking a hint – it’s airconditioned – comfort shopping means expensive stuff. So I went to the non-airconditioned place. And guess what? My 25 dollars went a long way. I was able to buy a curtain made of small sea shells, two mini boat paddle décor and a shade for my lamp made of capiz shell. If I went to the aircon tiangge, I might have spent my 25USD on a single item.
Whenever I travel I always look for local bazaar, flea markets and bargain shops – not the touristic ones – places where local people shop, they’re normally cheaper and you could always haggle for great discounts with shop owners.
I went is called LRC 908 Market Mall which opened just last year located along the National Highway, San Miguel, Puerto Princesa City. They call it locally as Tyangge.
Yes, you’ll sweat browsing through shops but it’s fun and you’ll get stuff at bargain price. Now, I have my favorite shop there as the owner gives good discount in comparison with other shops at the Tiangge.
What to buy: They sell lots of woodwork handicrafts, wood masks in various designs, capiz shell curtains and lamp shades, seashell ceiling lamps, wooden frames, shirts, bags, shoes, hats, and other stuff made of local materials.
What to pay: From $1 up.
The most practical choice when shopping in PP; located at the heart of the city
What to buy: - fresh seafoods
- souvenir items (key chains, magnet, and many more)
- pearls at very affordable prices
- pasalubongs (kasuy, brittle, daing(
Sellers of freshwater pearls are just about everywhere in puerto princesa city. So far, the best bargain I have encountered is located at the tiangge stalls at the public market, accessible through a narrow passageway at the back of Mercury Drug. There are plenty of styles to choose from and they even sell pearls wholesale. You can also design your own set and have them string it for you. I bought a pair of earrings for only P10 per pair. It's that cheap!
What to buy: When you're going to Palawan, pack light to make room for these items
1. The tastiest, freshest cashew nuts
2. Freshwater pearls
3. Dried and fresh seafood
4. Pastries from Bakers Hill for you to consume just in case your flight gets delayed
5. Paintings/sketches from Kamarikutan Gallery
6. If you can't afford the paintings at Kamarikutan, go for the shirts instead.
7. For a sugar fix, contact Neth of Kutitap Candies (cel # 09206231557) for yema, cashew nougat and other sinfully sweet pasalubong items.
Cheap....especially the seafood! We bought about PHP500 of seafood, which i think will last us a weeks dinner. We went shoppping there the morning before going back to manila. There's a lot of packers wandering around the market and they asked us "Want me to pack that?", I said "Yeah, pack it baby! pack it!". They pack it real nice so that it will arrive in manila fresh and still cold.
What to buy: Kasuy, Seafood, Pearls are insanely cheap for PHP50 for 3 pairs of earrings (buy at the market near seafood section)
What to pay: My wife asked a tindera (vendor) "How much is a kilo for this?", she answers "PHP80 po", my wife answers back "This is Lapu-Lapu right?", the vendor just smiled and nodded. It's that cheap. Lapu-lapu here in Manila is about PHP2xx per kilo.
buy immediately on the places of interests...looking for exactly the same products will be more expensive in the city market. I've learned my lesson.
What to buy: Key Chains for PHP10-PHP25, Souvenir Shirts for PHP85-PHP120, Pearls for PHP50 for 3 pairs of earrings and PHP150 for a whole set! (bracelet, necklace a pair of earrings and a partridge in a pear tree.) and I should've bought a rain maker...it makes a hypnotic sound...which reminds me of...rain...
There are two souvenir shops - one at the main area and the other at the balsahan natural pools. If you are on a budget, you can get souvenirs for as little as 15 pesos. There are other things to buy. The important thing to note though is that every peso you spend on these shops will help feed the inmate-maker's family and thus help the inmate realize that there is reason to live upright. So why not spend to make two persons happy - your friend and an inmate.
What to buy: keychains, decors, honey, woodcraft
What to pay: Cost will depend on how you are willing to spend. There are small things you can buy for as little as 15 pesos.
In case you run out of time for shopping, there's a shop to get some just outside the airport. but mind you, the items there are definitely more expensive than those found in the city.
What to buy: tees, pearl jewelry, handicraft, dusters, blouses, bags, keychains, woodcraft, etc.
your ordinary market
What to buy: puerto princessa is famous for their casoy...
What to pay: roasted kasoy is more expensive than the fried kasoy....
Php 20 - small packs of fried casoy
Php 70 - 1/4 kilo of roasted casoy
Php140 - 1/2 kilo of roasted casoy
you can buy this at sabang wharf or at the airport terminal............
What to buy: souvenir shirts and sandos
What to pay: 100-150 for the ordinary shirts/sandos
250-350 for the branded ones (from island souvenirs)
if you look for more quiet palce you should look something not in center .. You should try to get...more
Good for: Solo
Pamalican Island, PO Box 456, Palawan, 0000, Philippines
Good for: Business