Divisoria, Manila’s Bargain Shopping Mecca

Philippines / Friday, September 19th, 2008

One of the places I would miss most in Manila are Quiapo and Divisoria. I love bargain hunting and these two places are simply the place to be for really great bargains. I’ve actually written a 3-post guide to Quiapo in my other blog but I have yet to post something about my favorite “shopping playground”, Divisoria.

Divisoria is located right in the heart of Manila. It is considered the mecca of bargain shopping in  all of Metro Manila. If you are on the lookout for cheap items, then this is the place to go. Here you can find almost everything, school and office supplies, textiles, clothing, housewares, small appliances, accessories, home decors, toys..well practically everything. If you are also looking for crafting and packaging materials, Divisoria offers wide choices.

Divisoria is not just one street. It actually encompasses several streets and has several malls around the area. Be prepared to walk around. Before venturing there keep this in mind:

  • It could get really crowded particularly during weekends, holidays, before school starts and during Christmas season. If you are claustrophobic, Divisoria street market is not the place for you. If you can’t stand the heat, smell and close proximity of other people, you may opt for the air-conditioned malls around the area.
  • Dress down. Wear walking shoes or slippers. Don’t wear jewelry. I’d advice against bringing electronic gadgets and cellphones. (Hehe but I did brought my digi-cam to take this photos… believe me I was scared somebody might just grab it!).
  • Bring cash and small bills. They don’t accept credit cards here :). There are ATM’s around but better be ready with enough cash.
  • Before deciding on a purchase, check for quality. Especially ready made clothes, check the insides.
  • Haggle, haggle, haggle! Sellers actually expect you to haggle. If its your first time, go with an experienced Divi shopper. If you can speak Chinese, that’ll mean additional discounts :).
  • Be careful about your belongings. Bring a large shopping bag. That will keep your purchases organized.

There are several malls around Divisoria. Divisoria Mall, 168 Mall, Tutuban Mall, Meisic Mall and there is a new mall beside Tutuban..

  • Divisoria Mall– located near Tabora St., it’s air-conditioned with stalls in grid-like position. This mall has a lot of stalls so the pathways are narrow so on crowded days be prepared to squeeze yourself. There are three floors selling a wide range of items at wholesale and retail prices. There a lot of toys, school and office supplies, party supplies, clothes, home items, accessories, footwear. The third floor also houses a small food court area and restrooms. This mall also has a lower ground floor with stalls selling party supplies and lots of native handicrafts.
  • divisoria mall
    divisoria mall

    divisoria mall
    divisoria mall

    divisoria mall
    divisoria mall

    divisoria mall
    divisoria mall
  • 168 Mall – located a few meters away from Tutuban Mall. 168 Mall is air-conditioned, well-lit, and have bigger passageways than Divisoria Mall. This one also has better security, restroom facilities, and has more stalls. Stalls here sell items almost the same as those in Divisoria mall but I noticed there are more quality home decor and electronic gadgets. Food court is also big with lots of restaurants from. McDonalds, Jollibee, Tokyo Tokyo, Chowking, Greenwich, Namit Gid, Reyes Barbeque, American Hotdog, Balot Express, plus a several stalls offering Chinese food.  ATM’s are also located on the thri168 Mall can be accessed via Soler, Felipe and Sta. Elena St.
    168 Mall
    168 Mall

    168 Mall
    168 Mall

    168 Mall
    168 Mall

    168 Mall
    168 Mall

    168 Mall
  • Tutuban Mall – located along Claro M. Recto Avenue. This mall is also air-conditioned and divided in 3 clusters. This is also popular place to buy wholesale. You can find a good variety of textiles, ready to wear clothes, bags, shoes, sewing materials, accessories, phones plus there are also some shops of popular brands. Food court is also good as well as restroom facilities.
  • Meisic Mall – this is a newly opened mall near 168. Located at the corner of Reina Regente and Meisic Sts in Binondo. You can find same items here as the other malls although the last time I went there 2 weeks ago, the first floor is not yet fully occupied.

Shopping at the malls are convenient but if you are not averse to large crowds, the heat and strong smell check out the streets too for good finds.

  • Tabora St – find crafting materials, costumes,  sewing materials, textiles, kitchen utensils, ready made curtains and seat covers.
  • Juan Luna St. – textiles, ready to wear clothes, shoes, accessories, packing supplies, cheap stuff toys;
  • Check out Azcarraga Building too. This is a few blocks from Tutuban Mall, you’ll find great choices of textiles here at cheap prices.
  • The street across Tabora and fronting Divisoria Mall, you’ll find  cheap vegetables here, there are also stalls selling boxes, gift wrapping materials.
  • The building behind Divisoria Mall, I call it “Toy Kingdom”. This is the best place to shop for toys and party supplies.

How to get there.. Finding parking spaces can be difficult during crowded days. Tutuban Mall and 168 Mall have ample parking spaces but if bring a car navigating the crowded streets can be a headache. Park somewhere safe but make sure you can still walk back with all your purchases. As for me, I prefer commuting to Divisoria.

  • If you are from Taft Avenue, there are jeepneys and FX taxi plying the Divisoria route. It will pass by Binondo Church, Juan Luna St., from here you can explore the streets or go to the malls;
  • Take LRT1 if you’re from Monumento or Baclaran and get down in Doroteo Jose. From there take a pedicab to Divisoria or if you’re up to walk a few blocks then take a hike.
  • If you’re from Cubao, Katipunan, Santolan area, take LRT 2 and get down at the last station- Recto;
  • From Espana, there are also jeepneys taking Divisoria route;

31 Replies to “Divisoria, Manila’s Bargain Shopping Mecca”

  1. nice blog pinaywife…btw, you’re one of my bloggy awardee coz’ i find you as one of the best blogger around the web! keep on blogging! ^_^

    Snow of The Budget Shoppers last blog post..The Budget Shopper’s Bloggy Awards

  2. i love divisoria, too. haaay, so many thing to buy, so little money. 🙂

    edelweizas last blog post..October 1 is a Holiday in the Philippines

  3. thanks for your very informative guide to shopping in binondo/divisoria. i happen to check your blog as i’m surfing for cast iron kitchen stove/oven supplies.

    i’m planning to build an outdoor kitchen. i remember years back there were stores in the area specializing on cast iron kitchen grills, stove tops & even tiny cast iron door for incinerators, i wonder if you have any idea where i could buy them? any info is greatly appreciated.

    thank you again for sharing this wonder piece of information.

    1. hi pio duran, many thanks for dropping reading the post and dropping your comment. Along TABORA Street there are lots of wholesalers of cookwares and other kitchen utensils. I am not sure though if there are items made of cast iron materials, but they are worth checking out and you can inquire too if those can be made to order.

      I just realized I have yet to post my draft of a guide to shopping in Binondo, but I’d also recommend searching along SOLER Street in Binondo Manila. There are shops specializing in metalcrafts like kitchen sinks, drawers, stainless steel stoves, food keepers, griddles, and more. You can bring in your design, specs and you can get a quotation if you want them customized.

      Alternatively if going out and exploring is difficult, http://www.sulit.com.ph is also a great source for suppliers specially for those thinking of starting out a business.

  4. I’m planning to put up my home based bag/shoe factory…Designing has been my passion for years however, there are limited materials to use in our city. I wonder if you happen to know companies/shops here in the Philippes particularly in divisoria who can supply me with materials, accessories and industrial machines in making bags/shoes…

  5. hi niki, thanks for reading my post and dropping a comment.. Divisoria and Quiapo is really worth exploring if you are searching for suppliers for a new business..

    When I started my home based fashion jewelry biz I scoured Divisoria and Quiapo for the best suppliers..

    I have posted some articles on my other blog about Quiapo and also Dangwa in Manila.

    1. Hi Pinayws, I’m looking for direct suppliers /manufacturer of jewelries can you email me your phone or any contact number? thanks.

  6. can you please help me? i’m looking for small plastic flower pot. I have been to divisoria but i can’t find it. thanks!

  7. one of my favorite shopping site in Manila are Quiapo and Divisoria where i can do bargins easily.items that are available in these markets are much cheaper and beautiful.

  8. You can buy fresh fish along recto street. But make sure to look for a suki because most of the time their weighing scale is not within standard.
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    Recommended Shopping mall in Divisoria

  9. Does anyone know where I can buy the plastic tag attacher or plastic barb for the clothes from Quiapo or Divisoria?

    These are the nylon rings you find in the clothes, which attach the label to the clothes tag. I need it for the handicrafts im selling so I can put my labels on the items.

    Please do email me at manilahandicrafts@ymail.com ASAP!


    I need the info asap

  10. Hi,
    Anybody knows contacts of  some good suppliers of  party (balloons,  and floral (ribbons, flower wrappers) items in Divisoria? I am interested to have a business but i havent seen yet any supplier. I am actually from davao.
    thanks =)

  11. Hi Kabayan,

    I am looking for a nice wall decors and frames for my new renovated house.

    Anyone can suggest the cheapest shops in Divisoria.

    Thanks in advance!

    1. hi Mia,

      Divisoria has lots of options. though there’s no particular place there, you’d really need to do a bit of searching. I think 168 is a good headstart.

      I’m currently living out of the country so I don’t know if there are new stores or places there. Thanks

  12. Hi Sis .. Just wanna know , kung where can i buy Metal Findings there ?? and Polymer Clay ??

    Thank You ! God Bless ! :>

  13. Hi! can u please help me? Saan po ba ako makakabili ng mga bagong labas na gadgets gaya ng mga tablets, androids, laptop… sa napakamurang halaga na maari kong ibenta? pati na rin po pala mga Bra at Underwears na mura …please help po! Thank you po! and more power!!! god bless you all!!!

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