Christmas is fast approaching and this means you better be prepared for the holiday season. To many Filipinos, Christmas is a grand celebration that needs a lot of planning and shopping. And speaking of shopping, top of the list for any household for Christmas are Christmas decors, Aguinaldo for inaanak or Godchildren, and Noche Buena or Christmas Dinner. These things take up most of your 13th month pay and Christmas bonus.
But if you want to extend your Christmas bonus, might as well go to a place where you can find a lot of choices for Christmas gifts, decors and food at very affordable prices. One such place is Divisoria in the City of Manila that offers a wide array of local and imported goods.
168 Mall in Divisoria
168 Mall in Divisoria
One good place to start your Chirstmas shopping is 168 Mall. This is probably one of the most popular malls in the Divisoria area. This is an air-conditioned building that offers goods at banketa and tiangge prices. This is a nice place to buy all your dry goods for they got almost you need from toys, clothes, bags, shoes, artificial flowers, electronics and even hard ware items. This is also the place to be for your affordable and unique Monito Monita gift items.
Monito Monita: Something Colorful, Cute and Useful
This is a one stop shop for all your Christmas needs. There even have two food courts where you can buy fast food, lutong bahay style ulam and some Chinese food.
For the past few years, Cecille and I made a tradition on buying Christmas presents in 168 mall for her younger cousins back in Cebu. Her family is quite big but you’ll never run out of ideas on what to give each and everyone once you are inside 168 Mall.
T-Shirts for only 50 Pesos
For boys, we usually buy them Naruto figurines that cost around 100 to 120 for a set of 4. You can also buy them Hot Wheel cars for as low as 80 pesos each, mall prices for these collectible die cast toys is 99.95 pesos.
Affordable Toys for Kids
For girls, you can buy them stationeries, Hello Kitty wallets, bags, dolls, clothes, accessories and kikay items like ribbons, hair brushes and others.
For older kids, you can go to the newly opened 4th level of the mall and see shops selling the latest electronic items like dvd players, phones and tablets.
Hardware Items and Tools: great for your Dad or Uncle
Tips for your Christmas Shopping in 168 Mall and Divisoria
The Divisoria area is always crowded even if it is not Christmas season. Expect a big crowd there especially during weekends. It is advisable not to wear any jewelry if your want to go there so that you will not attract much attention or accidently drop them. Keep your belongings close to your body. Having a belt bag or shoulder bag to keep all your wallets and phones will be helpful.
Affordable Christmas Decors
If you want some convenience while shopping, going to air-conditioned malls can help you a bit. Aside from 168 Mall, there are other arcades and malls that you can check out for amazing deals like the Cluster Building in Tutuban, the New Divisoria Mall, and 11/88 Shopping Mall (formerly Miesic Mall).
Many items here are fake or imitations, thus the low price. Never believe the terms “Surplus”, “ Class A” or “ Factory Overruns” for they are also fake items. These items might just look the real deal but they are made from low quality materials so buy them at your own risk.
“Class A” Designer Hand Bags
Instead of buying fake items, might as well buy locally made products such as bags, sandals and fashion accessories. One of our tried and tested store in Divisoria is Katrina. This store makes quality bags, wallets and purses at affordable prices. They have several stalls in 168 mall and a store inside the New Divisoria Mall.
You can also find lots of quality footwear made in Marikina and from Liliw, Laguna.
Also, It is better not to buy cheap Christmas lights here. Look for the higher priced and original Christmas lights that have the seal of the DTI and other markings. Many Christmas decors like Parol, Christmas balls, Christmas wreath and others can be found inside malls or sold by vendors in the street.
For Noche Buena, you can buy fruits and veggies at the bangketa for most malls don’t sell these inside their premises. The scent of roasting chestnuts or castanas creates a great Christmas ambiance even if your walking in a street filled by people and stranded vehicles. lol
1188 Shopping Mall formerlly known as Meisic Mall
Always try to do some haggling, even if the tindera says it is already the last price for your item. Look around for some other store might sell the same item at a more affordable price. For your give away Christmas presents or Aguinaldo, try buying items in bulk, for you can get a higher discount. Buying in bulk doesn’t necessary mean buying several pieces of a certain product or item. You can buy other items with the same price range and the store can give you a “whole sale” discount.
Christmas season is the time for Christmas bazaars and tiange. Expect the streets of Divisoria to be impassable to vehicles come the “Ber” months for street vendors will occupy the streets and set up shop while thousands of shoppers go about to get some good bargains . Go to Divisoria come night time to see probably the biggest Christmas night market in the Philippines.
Local and Imported Sandals in 168 Mall
As much as possible, avoid bringing your vehicles to Divisoria. It is very difficult to find a vacant parking space near 168 Mall. Tried bringing a car for 2 consecutive years in the past, the first one I got to park in the side of the street about 300 meters away from the mall, while in the next year, we got lucky to find a car leaving a space under the mall itself.
How to go to 168 Mall in Divisoria?
Since I’m from Laguna, the most convenient way for me to reach 168 Mall is by riding a Divisoria bound jeepney in Buendia/LRT. Usually, I ride the LRT up to UN Stations and wait for jeeps pass my way. This way, I can avoid the heavy traffic in particularly La Salle Taft and in Pedro Gil.
Go down in front of the Binodo Church and walk your way to the back of 168 mall. I advise walking for there are a good chance of being stuck in traffic once you arer in the Binondo/Divisoria area. Plus you can already some stores selling affordable shirts here and street vendors offering great bargains for their goods.
A typical 168 Mall ” Pasilyo” selling cheap clothes
For those near Cubao, you can take the LRT line 2 and head out to Recto Station. Once in Recto you can ride a jeep bound for Divisoria. Go down in front of Tutuban Mall and walk your way to Soler Street.
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