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Shopping in Philippines


The Philippines is a haven for shoppers. Countless bargain opportunities for the handicrafts of the different regions are found in the numerous shopping complexes, which range from sleek air-conditioned department stores and malls to open-air bazaars. Duty Free Philippines near NAIA is the largest in the country. The chain stores offer everything from the famous barong tagalog (hand-embroidered dress shirts for men in delicate jusi material) to Tiffany lamps made with capiz shells.

For local colour, there is nothing like the flea markets where visitors can buy all kinds of cloth weaves, brassware from the south, woodcarvings and other local crafts and souvenirs, like the painted papier-maché horses of Laguna. Some particularly good buys are south-sea pearls, the silver jewellery from Baguio, coral trinket boxes, coral and pearl accessories, rattan furniture, baskets in different designs, woven grass mats (banig), antique wooden figurines of saints, clothes, garments embroidered with the traditional callado technique, Filipino dresses for women (usually made from banana and pineapple fibres), cigars, terracotta, porcelain and abaca placemats. Handicraft stores are found everywhere in the country, especially in cities. Large department stores sell both local and foreign manufactured goods.

Shopping hours are generally Monday-Saturday, 10 am-8 pm, but these can vary. Most department stores and supermarkets are open Sunday and there are some 24-hour convenience stores.

Places to Shop in Manila

It isn't hard to find malls in the Philippines, the 3 largest malls in the world are found in the country, it's a fact consumerism has been part of a Filipino's life, even things they don't need but are in sale and discount they'll buy it. The reason why the country hasn't been affected much by recent financial crisis is because of the circulation of money, even if Filipinos are broke they'll find a way to buy something at least in a week for themselves.

As living in the Philippines is cheap, shopping there is also cheap. Sales tend to happen during pay day and last for 3 days and also during the Christmas season (in the Philippines Christmas season extends from September to the first week of January) in Department stores like SM Department Store. Cheaper items are sold at flea markets and open markets where you can bargain the price like Divisoria, Market!Market!, Greenhills in Metro Manila.

Ayala Center is often compared to Singapore's Orchard Road, from entertainment to shopping, they have it all there, located in the Financial district of Makati.

Not far from Makati is Serendra, a piazza that offers lifestyle and luxury shops and often called the Luxury lifestyle centre of Metro Manila. The piazza features modern architecture; be amazed at the public art displayed there. Coffee shops and tea shops are found around this area, as well as furniture and clothing stores and is located in Fort Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

The 4 largest mall operators in the Philippines are SM, Gaisano, Ayala and Robinson's with branches around the archipelago.

Antique porcelain plates are found around Manila; the streets of Makati and Ermita mostly sell antiques. Muslim gongs are also popular in the Philippines, as well as jewel boxes, brass beds are other brass ware products. Just like antiques, tourists are advised to be careful in purchasing brass ware.