Christmas is around the corner, and I can’t wait! It’s a yearly tradition for me, my family, and friends to exchange gifts during the merry season. I find it fun and exciting to walk at nearby malls and shop for them based on their personalities and preferences. Luckily, since I reside in Manila, I have a list of go-to community malls within my reach for affordable items and cheap finds —and I’m glad to share them with you. So, without further ado, here are my top seven favorite malls for early Christmas shopping.
1. Cash and Carry Mall
Cash and Carry Mall is situated at the South Superhighway in Makati. (Image: Great Ancheta)
I discovered Cash and Carry Mall when I was invited there by a friend who was living nearby. It is the bagsakan (depot) of imported medicines, groceries, and gadgets, but what caught my eye is the wide selection of branded apparels that are sold for cheaper prices. Inside this mall, you can find outlet stores of international brands such as Puma, Adidas, and Crocs. There are also local brands such as Penshoppe and Bench, to name a few.
Isetann has diverse offerings—from clothing, to accessories and cutesy knickknacks, to home essentials. (Image: @kris.ty89)
I turn to Isetann in Cubao whenever I can’t find my desired item in the neighboring malls. Products here are relatively cheaper, and their offerings are trendy and also quite sturdy. For instance, I bought a wall clock at this mall about three years ago and it’s still working seamlessly. For formal events, I go to Isetann’s Carriedo branch since they offer dresses with minimalist and classy designs and cuts which are fit for my style preference.
3. Farmers Plaza
Farmers Plaza is also in Cubao.
Due to its accessibility, Farmers Plaza is one of my favorite thrift shopping places. The famous tiangge (bazaar) is at the uppermost level of the mall, while several cheap fashion boutiques are scattered throughout the place. Farmers Plaza is especially perfect when shopping for practical parents, since you can snag appliances and other electronic items at Handyman, where promodizers are always actively demonstrating products that your folks might find useful and fascinating.
Starmall Shaw is very accessible, as it sits right along EDSA. (Image: Starmall EDSA Shaw Facebook Page)
I usually get intimidated by crowded places, so I used to avoid Starmall EDSA Shaw . But then I visited this mall for work and I was wowed by the cheap items that can be found here. Fashion outlets are on sale more often than not, and there’s also All Home Department Store where most furnitures are at a discounted rate. My latest discovery was Japan Selections, a thrift store filled with Japanese goodies, where I saw still-working film cameras—perfect gifts for my film photography enthusiast friends.
5. Victory Central Mall
The location of Victory Mall makes it a convenient place to shop for Christmas gifts. (Image: Victory Central Mall Website)
Victory Central Mall is located in Caloocan beside the Monumento LRT 1 Station. It is a transport hub for travelers going north and this makes it easier for travelers to snag some gift items before going their merry way. The community mall offers its customers many choices of gift-worthy items, and it carries various beauty and wellness brands and novelty items. Victory Central Mall also has numerous micro-retail stalls that sell clothing and other apparel.
6. Robinsons Forum
Robinsons Forum is also right along EDSA and is very accessible to those from Ortigas or Makati. (Image: Mandaluyong Government Website)
If you are looking for affordable gadgets, I recommend Robinsons Forum . Formerly known as Robinsons Place Pioneer, this mall is now rebranded as a techological hub where gadgets of all sorts are offered. But aside from looking for gizmos, my other reason for frequenting this place is to score footwear on sale at Olympic Outlet. Here, a pair of sneakers can be purchased for as low as 70% less.
Fisher Mall popped up along Quezon Avenue in 2014. (Image: Fisher Mall Facebook Page)
Fisher Mall has become my family’s favorite leisure mall for shopping, dining, and movie dates. Its spacious interior makes it inviting for families who are looking for a place where they can spend time together after attending Sunday mass at the nearby Sto. Domingo Church. My personal favorite steals from this mall are 1) CDs of OPM artists which I’m planning to give to my father, 2) phone accessories for my siblings, and 3) cute apparels for my nieces and nephew.
I am a self-confessed tiangge shopper, but with the countless shopping locations near my home and workplace, I discovered that purchasing stuff from malls is also fun and amusing. Some malls have items that are exclusive to them, and although pricier, I realized it’s worth it when you’re buying them for the people that matter to you. At the end of the day, where you buy your gifts won’t matter much because, as they say, it’s the thought that counts.
Are you ready to go gift shopping? Hit us up on the comments section below and let us know about your Christmas shopping adventures!
Click the store names and brands to see the exact locations and branches.
About Karen Grace Libao
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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