Filipinos take pride and joy in getting the best deals—be it a piece of property, a secondhand gadget, a pre-loved item, a garb from ukay-ukay, or jewelry at a marked down price! One major factor that leads to this enthusiasm is probably the many affordable malls and flea markets located at every corner of Metro Manila. Or perhaps, it is the other way around—that there are many malls in the city because people love to shop! Whichever it is, we’re not complaining, at all!
And just to remind you that we have a few more sleep ‘till Christmas, we are introducing you to these underrated shopping markets that help us save several bucks when shopping for the holiday season! Check out this list of the best yet affordable malls and markets in Manila where you can shop for your “something everything” your Monitos and Monitas will surely appreciate!
1. St. Francis Square
Treasure finds: Gadgets and accessories, jewelry, clothing, shoes, beauty products, items for the home in the mini-department store
Located just behind the colossal SM Megamall, St. Francis doesn’t fall short on trendy yet affordable items. Strategically located near the Ortigas Business Center, the working folks can pay a quick visit during their lunch break to check out items the mall has in store for them.
Operating Hours: 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM
How to get there: a 10-minute walk from MRT Ortigas Station; there are several SUV Terminals bound to SM Megamall
While Starmall usually serves as a waiting and meet-up area for groups going south, this mini-tiangge (bazaar with many stalls) mall caters a wide selection of chic and fancy items. Branded boutiques are scattered on the first and second floors of the mall and they are on sale more often than not—even on off-peak seasons.
Operating Hours: 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM
How to get there: 1-minute walk from MRT Shaw Station, 5-minute walk from SM Megamall
3. Greenhills Shopping Center
Treasure finds: tech and gadgets, OOTD must-haves, knock-off bags, beauty products, toys, collector’s items, handcrafted items sold by local boutiques, pasalubong delights
Greenhills, known as the shopping mecca of Metro Manila should never be missed on a list like this. Famous for its low-cost gadget repair and other tech-related offerings, this spacious shopping center never fails to give shoppers a gift idea for any events.
Operating Hours: 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM (Sunday to Thursday); 10:00 Am to 9:00 PM (Friday to Saturday)
How to get there: 15-20 minute walk from MRT Santolan Station
4. Farmer’s Plaza Bazaar, Cubao
Treasure finds: RTW (Casual, Sporty, and Corporate), bags, jewelry, accessories, events costumes, beauty and cosmetics, optical shops, toys, swimsuits, and lingerie
Cubao literally bridges the gap between thrift shopping and luxury retail experience. While there’s Gateway Mall that offers exclusive brands, there’s also Farmers Market that caters to majority of penny-pinching buyers. The Farmers Plaza Bazaar situated at the uppermost part of the mall is where you can find a wide array of stalls selling fashion finds and accessories. There are also branded boutiques offering sales and discounts especially every 15th and 30th of the month also known as the sweldo season. Most of the time, famous brands hold mark-down price sales which draw more crowds to the venue.
How to get there: Cubao MRT Station, LRT 2 Araneta Center Cubao Station, Bus terminals, Cubao SUV Terminals, jeepney routes include Quiapo, Divisoria, Marikina, and Antipolo
5. Victory Mall
Treasure finds: RTW (Casual and Formal wears), school supplies, beauty and cosmetics, tech and gadget accessories
The very first Victory Central Mall was first established in Caloocan in 2007. Its accessibility to almost all major transports makes it attractive to thrift shoppers, mostly those coming from the north. There are 1,500 tiangge occupying majority of the area, including major shops selling and customizing made-to-order merchandise.
Operating Hours: 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
How to get there: nearest LRT Station is at Monumento, jeepney routes include Meycauayan Heritage Subdivision, Sangandaan, 1st to 10th Avenue, DM Compound, C3, Dagatdagatan, and Pajo. The mall is just beside the Victory Liner Bus Station.
Treasure finds: local handicrafts, Ukay-Ukay (Thrift shop), clothing boutiques, optical shops, amulets and charms, rice cakes, electronic equipment
Famous for the iconic Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (Quiapo Church), Quiapo is one of the most-frequented outdoor markets in Manila. It has everything you need from fresh picks to pinoy meriendas to handcrafted items.
Operating Hours: Outdoor market operates as early as 6:00 AM
How to get there: Bus, jeep, and SUVs bound Fairview-Buendia, LRT 1 Carriedo Station, LRT2 Recto Station
Treasure finds: clothing and apparels, garments, toys, made-to-order souvenirs and merchandise, fresh fruits (bagsakan or place where goods are delivered), knickknacks
Divisoria has been making rounds on the internet because of its new face, making the old midnight market shopping forgotten. Among the many tiangge markets in Manila, Divisoria is people’s choice when it comes to items that should be bought in bulk. There are indoor malls around as well as outdoor stalls that might offer (literally) everything you need.
Operating Hours: The outdoor market operates as early as 6:00 AM until 12:00 MN
How to get there: accessible to many jeepneys from Taft, Quiapo, Recto, and Cubao, 5-minute away from Tutuban PNR Station
There you go, pals! Metro Manila is pretty big and it never fails to give everyone lots of choices. One can always opt to try a lavish shopping experience while there are flea markets and thrift shops that are willing to save us when the budget starts to wane. Nonetheless, when shopping for gifts and giveaways, always remember that it’s still the thought that counts.
Click the store names to see their exact addresses and contact numbers.
Karen writes for a living and for fun. She started her writing career in 2014 when she worked as Content Manager for a women’s website and never looked back since. On her free time, she tries to catch up on her current reads, seeing independently-produced films, watching theatre plays, and attending live music and open mic gigs. She dreams of becoming a published writer and film producer in the future.
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