With Christmas a little over a month away, inveterate shoppers have begun heading to Divisoria where the prices are low—as long as you know where to look.
A long-time favorite of bargain hunters, Divisoria offers everything from toys and apparel to Christmas decor and novelty items.
During the holiday season, it is especially popular among those with multiple family members, friends or godchildren on their list. Many of the items are sold wholesale with anywhere from three to 12 pieces per pack.
The 2013 Disney animated blockbuster movie, “Frozen,” is still hugely popular. On a recent trip, we saw bath towels, beach towels, blankets and breakfast trays, among other items, emblazoned with the faces of Princesses Elsa and Anna, two sisters trying to figure out their relationship.
Christmas trees with enough decor options to last several Decembers are also on sale. A 5-foot-tall fir with bottle brush-like branches was selling for P1,500 at one store. Their most expensive tree, a 6-foot-tall sugar pine with fluffy, “sugar-dusted” branches, was priced at P10,000. Remember, however, when buying any item, to haggle first or ask for their last price before handing your money over.
There are a lot of novelty items that won’t break the bank like the current cord protector craze and last year’s loom bands; both come in a rainbow of colors. Stationery sets featuring the “Frozen” sisters, and characters from other Disney movies like “Cars” are also widely available.
One store was devoted almost entirely to hair accessories, and trinkets like necklaces and bracelets. All of them were sold in packs of six or 12. A 10-percent “surcharge” is automatically added to items bought on retail.
Although you can drive to Divisoria, it might be best to take a ride on the LRT 2 and get off at Recto, the last station. There are jeeps headed to 168 and 999 malls, but the drivers hardly cross Reina Regente so you will still have to take the overpass.
Once you get to the 999 mall, you’ll find that the other air-conditioned malls like 168 and Lucky Chinatown are within walking distance. You will do a lot of walking so wear comfortable shoes.
You may want to download the Divisoria guide (www.divisoriaguide.com) from the iTunes App Store, but it’s also fun to explore the nooks of this bargain haven in Manila on your own.