Beginner tips for Christmas shopping in Divisoria

Gelyka Ruth R. Dumaraos
First time to shop in Divisoria? here's a quick guide for you!

BARGAIN HUNTING. Bags and other funky finds are always on sale. All photos by Ramir G. Cambiado/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – After seeing scary-looking decorations all over the place last Halloween season, now’s the time to welcome the Christmas vibe as the holiday of sharing officially starts.

With this comes everyone’s favorite – gift-giving to loved ones. If you are working on a budget this Christmas season, you need not look further. There is only one place to get the most affordable finds you can give out: Divisoria.

Divisoria in Manila has always been known to be the haven for cheap finds – wholesale or retail. Every day, thousands flock to the area, just to bag what they need – either for reselling or personal purchases. In here, you can find almost anything – clothes, shoes, home decors, costumes, party needs, fruits and vegetables, and more.

This coming Christmas, prepare for a more crowded Divisoria even on a weekday. Here’s some safety, essential tips for first timers as you brave the crowd and tick off your Christmas shopping list.

Plan ahead

You surely have heard of Divisoria before. You might have gone to the place once, but not as frequently as resellers who are suki of the area.   

For first-timers and people who are not familiar with the place, better to have your shopping list ready. Divisoria can be a tad overwhelming. Street vendors and their affordable items can get you enticed even before you reach the malls.

The moment you get off from your vehicle, you’ll see how the crowd, the noise, and the mushrooming stalls can eat your time. Stick to your budget and prepare some extra if you see something you might want to add to your shopping bag.

CHEAP FINDS. Bags and other funky finds are always on sale.

Aside from this, you’ll also need to keep in mind that what you wear can make or break your trip. Walking around Divisoria can be tiring, so make sure you wear comfortable clothes just right for long hours of walking and haggling along the way.

Know where to go

Print or download a map before you go. You can choose from different malls sprawled in the area – 168 Mall, 999 Mall, Divisoria Mall, Tutuban Shopping Center, and Juan Luna Shopping Mall. There are also establishments named Bodega Sale mall and others.

Otherwise, you can forego going to the malls and just go around the streets. Just a tip: People who sell in the malls or are renting a commercial space around the area have cheaper prices, especially if they offer wholesale items.

PLAN AHEAD. Malls around Divisoria are always flocked by shoppers from different areas.

Know the routes too. If you are coming with a car, know that there are centralized parking spaces around Tutuban Shopping Mall. From there, you can walk your way through the crowd of shoppers and head to the mall you want.

When taking public transport, you can either start your route starting from Claro M. Recto Avenue or through Juan Luna Avenue from Binondo.

BARGAIN HUNT. Party needs and other products needed for different occasions can be bought for a cheaper price.

Likewise, when leaving Divisoria, you can avail of shuttle vans located at the Tutuban Shopping Centers and in Divisoria Mall with routes to Quezon City, Cavite, and other locations.

Secure your belongings

Never underestimate a large crowd. Amid the sea of people are prying eyes looking for unsuspecting and busy shoppers. Usually, pickpockets would slash the sides of bags using cutters or blades and pick your wallets without you knowing. You don’t want that to happen.

To avoid this, when using a backpack, put it in front, together with your body bag. It’s also better to carry a purse and not a large wallet. Better yet, put your cash in your pocket. Avoid bringing your credits cards as sellers do not accept them anyway. Make sure too that your gadgets are secure.

Carry extra shopping bags too to save. If not, you can always buy big bags sold in the streets.

Fill your tummy

After a day of walking, it’s time to put some food in your stomach. There are food courts in malls and food stalls for quick snacks. If you are not a picky eater, you can always look for street food and some fruits.

Night market

If you want a lesser crowd and you want to escape the heat of the sun, you can opt for the night market located around Tutuban Shopping Mall.

NIGHT SHOPPING. A night market is near the Tutuban Shopping Mall for shoppers who want to escape the heat.

In the night market, there’s an array of booths selling street food – from cheese sticks, fish balls, hotdogs, sandwiches, fried squid, and more, so you won’t go hungry through the night.

As the Christmas season nears, you might want to make your shopping list as early as now. And while you might consider Divisoria as your destination, make sure to come prepared to maximize your shopping experience. – Rappler.com