“Can we go to Divisoria? We should go to Divi!”
Urges me whenever I am planning a trip to Manila and luckily for me I almost always made it to this bargain mecca before I go back to Cebu.
Have you been to Divi? =)
I clearly remember the first time I was there, I was with a Divisoria neophyte too and we were bringing a car. Clueless and warned repeatedly that ‘parking is horrendous. Park as soon as you can find a space”, an image of us just going round and round the area without finding one stuck on my head.
So after passing the Binondo Welcome Arc we saw a vacant space by the street side. Hurray!!! Parking Space!
..only to find out later that 168 and Tutuban Mall our target centers were still far off hahahah.
Excitement you know, lol.
One summer, my sister was living with me for an extended stay during what she termed ‘her exile years’, I also dragged her butt to Divi.
On the road, I was explaining to her the don’ts and do’s when we get to the area at the same time regaling her with my knowledge of the pasikot-sikot sa Divi only that we ended up driving to the wrong place. Instead of the grand Binondo Chinese- Filipino welcome arc, we saw a smaller nondescript “welcome to Baseco” arc.
Ughhh. Face palmed Hehehe. But well, after second guessing routes and backtracking, we still ended up in 168 Mall. That my friend is what ultimately count, I think hehhe.
Ohhh I have more stories about visiting Divi, some more funny than those two experiences.
If you think that I go there for affordable shopping alone, not entirely. There had been times that I go home not buying anything but I don’t know whenever I am in the middle of all the organized chaos, all the hawkers, all the customers haggling with store owners, the closing of deals and seeing thousands of stuff that you can buy so cheaply, I feel vibrant and alive. I love that feeling, that’s why I love visiting Divisoria.
Plus I like it when I get the price I want to pay for an item. Negotiating is fun! \o/
Now that I’m Cebu based my trips to Divisoria is becoming rarer and rarer. But the good thing is I have also learned how to commute to Divisoria straight from the airport.
Yes, you read that right, straight from the airport hahaha. =)
In case you are from Visayas and Mindanao and it’s your first time to go to Divisoria and you just came from the airport. Rein your excitement, read this guide first =)
- In T3 airport, ride the coaster going to Terminal 2 and 1. Get down in Petron Station, just inform driver.
- Get on a jeep bound for Baclaran.
- Once you get to Baclaran, you can now ride a jeep bound for Divisoria.
Alternative Route to go to Divisoria
- Same as above.
- Same as above but get down in Pasay LRT instead of Baclaran.
- Ride the LRT to UN Avenue.
- Get down in UN Avenue.
- You can now catch a jeep bound for Divisoria via Binondo.
I usually get off the jeepney at the Plaza Lorenzo Ruiz, that’s the plaza that is adjacent to Starbucks Divisoria and Binondo Church. From there you can just walk to 168 Mall, the New Divisoria Mall or even to the Cluster Building in Tutuban Mall, it’ll be faster as traffic in the little alleyway can be terrible especially during the Christmas shopping season and “Go Back to School” period.
This is also a good starting point to different alleyways and streets like that of “Ilaya”, the place to buy cheap textile or “tela” and other tailoring accessories and supplies. There are also bridal and gown lanes as well as aisles where you can get promo deals on gadgets and other electronics. Almost anything you are thinking of buying, you can find it in Divisoria.
Pera na lang kulang hehehe.
I am pretty sure you know that you can get massive bargains in Divi and that aside from the cheap buys, which does not necessarily mean of low quality might I add, there are many things of interest in this popular Philippine market.
Let me list and count the following:
Binondo Food Trip and trying out popular Chinese dishes. Of course if you love hopia and ube tikoy, where else to get boxes of these but at the Eng Bee Tin store. You can also come to Binondo-Divisoria and have a cheap food trip. You will undoubtedly discover places with authentic chinese noodle soup and siomais, you’ll be coming for more!
168 also has a food court where you can get chinese food favorites like egg foo-yung ng and kikiam.
Places with historical importance like the Binondo Church. Also keep your eyes open for these kinds of markers; you never know you’ll bump into one as you stroll through Divisoria and Binondo.
This marker was on a simple old house, as you can read it’s where the original manuscript of Noli Me Tangere was kept hidden. Cool!
Or famous landmark like this “Ongpin St” marker
Fruits and Fresh Veggies at low prices!
- Get your loads of those nutritious foods! Junk the junk!
Traditional and Herbal Medicines, Lucky Charms and things Chinese.
What will you find in Divisoria?
There are hundreds of good finds for every type of shoppers in Divisoria. This place is one of the main “bagsakan” of local and imported goods like bags, footwear, clothes and even agri products like local fruits and vegetables.
You can definitely test your haggling and negotiating skills when you come visit.
Be guided that buying in bulk and wholesale volume should merit additional discounts, so ask for it. On t-shirts 12+1 is a common deal. 50% off on shoes and bags are also aplenty. Search through all the pasillo and lanes of the shopping malls in the complex to find the best deals.
But as with any place that is teeming with people, you have to be cautious as you explore. There are bad elements mix in with the good people, so be aware. Be aware but don’t be paranoid. If you are paranoid, a trip to Divi is not for you.
Tempting fate and snatchers is a no no so cross it out of your agenda. A good, useful tip would be to dress down and come without jewelries and without your iPads and tablets. Simplicity works best.
For the past Christmas seasons I always look forward to tv reports and shows that features the bargain hunting paradise of Divisoria. These reporters will be on site interviewing random people and showing random things in this bargain mecca. I frown at the missing NTC stickers for the Christmas lights, happy when a vendor says business is good, rejoice when a mom looks happy buying new clothes for her kids.
There would be thousands of people converging in just a small area.
It’s chaotic, it’s noisy.
I want to be there right then and there.
How about you? Feel mo bang mag explore sa Divisoria?
What’s your best Divisoria finds?
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