Shopping in the Philippines
Devalued currency, cheap living costs and relative proximity to China make the Philippines a shopper’s paradise – and a danger to consumers! The capital Manila has some of the largest shopping malls in the world, with designer stores, electronics and various products that vary according to quality and origin.
To get a better sense of prices, it is interesting to check the Lazada website, one of the largest online shopping sites in the Philippines. If you have time and availability, it is also worth buying over the internet. Make sure your hotel can accept orders.
A 12% tax (VAT) falls on the prices of products in stores. Please note that there is still no tax refund system for foreign tourists. Check abbreviationfinder.org for abbreviations and acronyms related to Philippines.
Looking for a place to spend time in Manila, immerse yourself in local culture or simply buy souvenirs at the best prices? Whatever your goal, Shopping Greenhills will suit!
Practically an air-conditioned flea market, here you will find DVDs and branded clothing of dubious origin. But a closer look will also reveal antiques, crafts, jewelry, electronics, accessories and unique products that you won’t find anywhere else in Manila, perhaps across the Philippines. Although always packed, salespeople are not usually aggressive, making the experience of getting lost in the stands less daunting. Bargaining is an art, and it is always recommended to ask for a discount before closing a deal.
Opened in the distant 70s, Greenhills was one of the first malls in the Philippines. Therefore, the structure is not the most modern or luxurious – for that, there is the SM Mall of Asia, on the other side of the city. But the variety of products and the very low prices of its more than 2,000 stores make up for it.
How to get
Shopping Greenhills is located in the city of San Juan, metropolitan Manila. The best way to get there is by taxi. If you prefer to go by public transport, the nearest metro station (MRT) is Santolan-annapolis, from where you will need to travel by jeepney for a few more minutes to the mall.
Bonifacio High Street
The center of Manila can be chaotic and disorganized, but there are planned and modern neighborhoods that are completely at odds with this pattern. Located in the district of Bonifacio Global City (BCG), one of the main financial centers of the capital, the sophisticated Bonifacio High Street is a “concept street”, with a kilometer long full of brands, electronics stores, restaurants and a pleasant central park. The environment also has several interactive works of art and wide sidewalks, excellent for an unpretentious walk.
But it is when the sun goes down that the area becomes even more attractive, with bars and pubs offering the best of Filipino nightlife. If you want to experience an adventure with local cocktails, visit the Rocket Room bar and try the curious “Rocket Fuel”, based on tequila, vodka and jalapeño. Already Tomatito Manila is recommended for those seeking the best of Spanish cuisine: wine, tapas and paella.
Above all, Bonifacio High Street is a cosmopolitan and eclectic environment, frequented by locals, tourists and expats. The high-standard condominiums around it and ostentatious policing make the region one of the safest, cleanest and brightest in the capital. All this 10 km from the city center.
As the bad languages say: “It doesn’t even look like Manila”. Interpret however you want…
Shopping SM Mall of Asia
More than just a mall, SM Mall of Asia (MoA) is a real tourist attraction in Manila. With an area of more than 400,000m², this is one of the largest shopping malls in the world! The complex attracts thousands of visitors every day, attracted not only by designer stores and shopping opportunities, but also by the famous sunset over the bay, just across the street.
With a privileged location just minutes from the airport, visiting the MoA is worthwhile even for those passing through Manila and only have a few hours to enjoy the city. In addition to luxurious IMAX movie theaters, bowling alleys and ice skating, the mall also has a complete amusement park on its premises. There is a ferris wheel, bumper cars and other toys for all ages. All from 50 Philippine pesos – less than $ 1!
MD Tip: Be sure to get a photo on the huge decorative globe that sits right at the main entrance!
How to get
The best way is to take a taxi. The mall is in a very central location, easy to reach. If you want to go by public transport, the nearest metro station (LRT) is the LRT-1 Edsa Station, from where you can travel for a few more minutes by bus (Lawton-Sucat route) or jeepneys (orange).