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Philippines – Shopping

There is quite literally nothing you can’t find in the Philippines whether it comes to the high end shopping located in the Central Business district of Makati which sells high end items such as Louis Vuitton & Prada or the local area for shopping known as Divisoria in the City of Manila and Baclaran , City of Pasay that sells copies of those same branded items along with a lot of imported items from China.

Despite being a 3rd world country every town / district has a shopping Mall and we are not talking about a handful of ships inside a small building. For the Philippines shopping has become so much of a hobby that it is now part of the culture and what we describe to all expats when they arrive as Malling (sounds like mauling). This means that all walks of life here in the Philippines whether they are the super rich that live in the high end villages and condominiums or from the over populated residential areas, all will visit the Mall as a form of fun. Another issue why the Malls are so popular is because electricity here is one of the highest in Asia so at the height of summer most families will head to the Mall to cool down and enjoy some food ( another popular thing here as the average Filipino eats around 8 times a day ).

The population of the Philippines has been steadily growing for many years. In 2014, it is the 12th most populated country in the world, between Mexico and Ethiopia, and continues to grow at a rate of 1.89% per year. In 2014 the Philippines had an entire population of 100.6 million .

The entire Greater Manila urban area spills out beyond the boundaries of Metro Manila and is reported to contain around 25 million people – a quarter of the Philippines entire population. This is why all towns, cities and districts have some form of mall each named after the area that it is located. The SM Megamall in Ortigas, Pasig is reported now to be the 4th largest Mall in the World and at present the largest mall in the Philippines.

Different Shopping Opportunities

Shopping Malls
As mentioned earlier shopping is really part of the culture and as such you can literally take a vehicle (car, bike or tricycle) anywhere within the Metropolitan area and within 20minutes you would reach a Mall. Inside these malls you will find international shops selling clothing, electric items, cinemas, children activity areas along with a wide variety of restaurants from food courts to high end dining.

Regular Stores
The typical local small shops open here at around 6am as life here in the Philippines starts as soon as the sun rises. These shops will sell everything from cheap imported clothing, meats and fresh fish, nail spas & hair salons, small restaurants, pharmacies and supermarkets.

Wet Markets
Another favorite place for shopping for the locals due to the bartering system that goes on and the low prices would also be a wet market. A market is an open marketplace with stalls of vegetables and other food items presented for sale. Many wet markets are found here in the Philippines in all local towns and districts. The name is based on the fact that these informal market environments usually have wet floors. Shoppers tolerate sloppy floors and items piled on mats or boards as the foods sold at wet markets are known for their fresh quality and low price. The moisture is created by market workers regularly spraying the produce and floors with water. When the fresh meat and fish come in early morning around 3am or 4am shoppers will come here at this time as the prices are cheaper along with locals who will resell the items in other areas such as side street stalls. Then as the morning moves on.

A popular type of shipping here in the Philippines is going to one of the many Bazaars and these are not just at Christmas time, we have Bazaars mostly in the Metropolitan area but they can and do spread out to surrounding areas and inside you can find anything from some local food and handicrafts to new inventions and entrepreneurs with products covering all areas along with shops and businesses.
Kindly check out this link below as an example of what and how many bazaars are on offer here.

Opening Hours
Opening hours in particular malls and shops and in the high end area as mentioned below are set throughout the year although at Christmas time most Malls will open especially the high area around an hour earlier and can, and do stay open till midnight to accommodate the workers that work 9 to 5 and have to deal with the heavy traffic that is found here in the Philippines. Local low end districts for shopping also open very early such as 7am and can and do stay open until midnight right up till December 23. Also Malls along with a lot of shops do open as well on Christmas day and New Years day at a slightly shorter time from 12nn to 8pm.
It is worth mentioning that when it comes to Maundy Thursday, Black Friday and Easter Sunday Malls and shops are closed for the Thursday and Friday but have regular shop hours on the Sunday. This is because the Philippines is predominantly Catholic and so there are many church masses, beliefs and celebrations done during this period.

Shopping in the Philippines