Say a little prayer, light a candle for a loved one and then have your fortune told. Purchase bargain clothes and then find affordable accessories that go with it. Acquire easy on the pocket cameras then pick out a reasonably priced TV.
It is no secret what Quiapo has to offer: one of Metro Manilaâ€™s famous churches and city square, plus several shopping jaunts. Even more so now, especially since the city government is making its palpable effort in making this shopping district as tourist and shopper friendly as possible. In fact, marshals can bee seen roaming the area for 24 hours to enforce safety.
From the Quezon Blvd. underpass to Rizal Avenue, those who haven’t visited Quiapo Â in a long while would be amazed at the exciting deals that let you practice your haggling skills.Â So, read on, tick our checklist as you uncover more hidden gems right in the center of Manila for your next shopping trip.
1. Say a prayer.Â One of the Philippines’ famous churches, Quiapo Church or the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene is known for its miraculous Poong Nazareno.
Devotees of Quiapo Church flock for guidance or to express gratitude to answered prayers. Proof of the miracle of the Black Nazarene is the multitude of people who gather each year on January 9 for the procession. Â If you want to avoid the crowds to say a little prayer, come any day but Friday, which is said to be novena day for believers.
2. Find great shopping discounts.Â Everyday is sale day in this branch of SM as it is the clearance outlet store. That flattering top you have been saving for, you can have it on discount. A new pair of jeans, itâ€™s for half the price! That sexy Parisian pumps that you have been eyeing on for months now, its on sale, here! Almost everything that you can find in the SM department store is here but in a much lower price.
3. Accessorize.Â After finding the perfect outfit from SM, head to Villalobos street, which is across the entrance of Quiapo church.Â Villalobos has a following for its accessories ranging from raw materials to ready-made items such as bracelets, earrings, rings, among others. A Divisoria textile store, Wellmanson even has a branch here but it does not sell yards of silk but mostly â€śbeads, gift items, raw material, ready made, bracelet, and bangles,â€ť shares Charlie Mariquit, a Sales Clerk from WellManson.
The street is Â lined with bead shops and makeshift vegetable booths in front, yet the trip would be worth it thanks to marked down silver and gold jewellery that you can wear any day and for any occasion. Other stores worth checking out in Villalobos are Butingting and Sophieâ€™s.
4. Get shady.Â Quiapo is home to optical shops such as Acebedo Optical Clinic and Ideal Optical supply. These mall-known outlets are besides other bargain optical shops in P. Paterno Street, which houses many optical supplies and storesÂ Even along Platerias Street (intersecting P.Paterno and Carriedo), is a Sunglass Supply store which sells shades in styles from bugs to aviator ranging from Php160 to Php800.
5. Get some beauty tools.Â Bring out the inner Jasmine Curtis in you as you walk thru Hidalgo Street and Carriedo Street and browse through beauty boutiques that carry items from hair spa to nail polish, lipstick shades to the different eye brushes.Â Purchase basic beauty tools for affordable prices.
6. Take a pictureâ€”better yet, buy a camera.Â A side of Quiapo has long been known as the best place to shop for cameras, be it DSLR or a simple point and shoot. â€śWe have been promoting Hidalgo Street, noon pa, para maging isang photographerâ€™s haven,â€ť says Councilor Re Fugoso, of the 3rd District of Manila. â€śNaka-concentrate dito, hindi lang yung mga photographerâ€™s pero pati na din yung mga gustong bumili ng cameraâ€”hobbyist, mga photography enthusiastsâ€”kaya inaalagaan talaga natin itong lugar na ito kasama yung baranggay council.â€ť In fact, the city government is planning to hold a photography contest by November.
So whether you be an aspiring photographer or not, it would be best to check out Quiapo and see the latest models and compare prices.Â â€śAko mismo, dito ako bumubili ng camera, saka dito nyo makukuha ang pinakamagaganda at pinakamurang camera unlike sa ibang lugar,â€ť Councilor Fugoso adds.
7. Get entertainedâ€”on Raon Street.Â Trying to build your own entertainment center? Well, Raon, over at Quezon Blvd. is the place to be as they offer TV, DVD, speakers, and even a karaoke at bargain price.Â This shopping center has long been known for it hardware, but now it mainly focuses on retailing appliances made from Korea, China or Japan and even gives a one year warranty. TVs range from Php1,000 to Php6,800, DVD Players cost between Php1,200 to Php3000, while speakers are about Php1,000 t Php1,800.
8.Â Make your gayuma work.Â If you are into or herbal medicines, then head on to Quiapo. From streets that line the church you will find vendors who sell herbal medicines or gayuma that can cure stomach pains (bugayana) to diabetes (makabuhay). Extra caution is advised though when taking these so-called medicines as they have no formal approval from the Bureau of Food and Drugs .
9. Know your destiny.Â Still unsure on whether to leave your current job and pursue your passions, well maybe the manghuhulas just in front of the Quiapo church can clue you in on what to do and what to expect out of life. Sure, some might be giving generic readings, but it would be worth a try. If you are in for a good laugh, go, or you might even surprise yourself.
10. Eat!Â After a day well spent bargaining with vendors and looking out for the best prices, you would surely need to get your fill. There is a Ma Mon Luk restaurant in Quezon Blvd. However if you want more, at the end of Villalobos Street is the one of the best hopias in town, Master Hopia. Try their hopia mongo, or go crazy with their two flavours in one. Walk on a little more to Carlos Palanca St. and you will see Excellente Ham, the onlyÂ branch of this best selling hamonado. Your shopping urges have been fulfilled, now let your stomach be filled.