Nothing beats Divisoria when it comes to cheap, cheap shopping. Divi, as the Pinoys call it, is the mecca for bargaining, where unbelievably inexpensive items can be bought for even lower prices. Here haggling is the norm. Practically everything is here in Divisoria, and people from all walks of life brave the crowded streets in order to score bargain goods.
Since the area is made up of a dizzying maze of stalls, carts, tiangges and shopping malls competing for the customers' hard-earned pesos, it would help tremendously if you are already familiar with the place before you go shopping. For the uninitiated, here are some of the places that you should check out in the Divisoria area:
– Divisoria Mall
This is located near Tabora St. and the oldest mall in the block. The air-conditioned building has the usual stalls and narrow passageways that sell wide range of items for both wholesale and retail.
– Tutuban Mall
Located along Claro M. Recto Avenue, Tutuban Mall is one of the biggest malls in the area. Aside from the usual items, the mall also sells wide varieties of gadgets such as mobile phones and DVD players. There is a food court with lots of food choices and good restroom facilities. During nighttime, there is an ihaw-ihaw, dampa-style food court at the back of the mall which serves barbecue and fresh seafood. It is the perfect way to cap off a tiring day of shopping in Divisoria.
– 168 Mall
168 Mall is now one of the most popular shopping malls in Divisoria. Compared to the Divisoria Mall, 168 has better security and nicer restrooms. Items here are pretty much the same as in Divisoria Mall although 168 has more electronic gadgets and home décor. There is a spacious food court with usual fare of McDonalds', Jollibee, Greenwich, Chowking among others.
For the more adventurous ones, check out the stalls that stand side-by-side along the hot and crowded streets of Divisoria. Some of the streets have more shops specializing certain groups or pieces of items. For instance, Tabora St. is known for its sewing and crafting materials, as well as textiles and kitchen utensils. Juan Luna Street is the place to check out for ready-to-wear clothes, shoes and accessories.
If you are going to shop in Divisoria, make sure to wear simple and comfortable clothing and shoes. This is not the place to look glamorous. Shorts, jeans, light shirts and sandals/flip flops are the perfect uniform for Divi shopping. You will be walking around A LOT so do not make the mistake of wearing your expensive heels, or any other pair of heels for that matter. Also, try to avoid wearing jewelry or bringing expensive mobile phones. There are lots of shoplifters in the area so do not take chances with your personal belongings.