Manila's mall culture is probably the most telling sign of the Americanization the Philippines has gone though. Almost every city block or two of Metro Manila has a mall, mostly closing at 21:00. Boasting the third-biggest shopping complex in the world, credit culture is still in its infancy in Manila; consequently conspicuous consumers are rife!
The most upscale malls are in Greenbelt 4 and 5 at Ayala Centre and Bonifacio High Street in Bonifacio Global City, where there are famous brand shops like Mango, Armani and Bulgari. Visit the Divisoria Market where items are sold in bulk at jaw-dropping prices. You can find almost anything here, from cookware to lingerie to toys.
Tiendesitas, at the edge of Ortigas, highlights local handicrafts, souvenirs and furniture. To get a real feel for Manila go to a ‘tiangge’, a fresh market, where everything can be bargained for.
Divisoria is big and chaotic, but it is unparalleled for goods and prices. The mother of all Manila’s markets, chances are you will find whatever you are looking for here. More than anything else, Divisoria is known for textiles. Prices are generally wholesale and you can haggle to the last peso. We recommend a local guide when venturing out to Divisoria, the chances of getting lost or ripped off are higher than normal here.
MRT: Recto Station
Address: Claro M. Recto Avenue, Manila
Located in an affluent suburb, Greenhills is not just exclusive to Manila's upmarket crew. One of the city's original consumer palaces, it opened in the 1970’s and still pulls in a good crowd eager to explore its rich and varied contents. Thousands of shoppers pile in on weekends to delve into the tiangge, with stalls featuring everything from video games to clothes to furniture.
Opening Hours: Sun - Thu 10:00 - 20:00, Fri - Sat 10:00 - 21:00
Address: Ortigas Avenue, Manila
Located along the C5 road in Manila, Tiendesitas sits in a 30,000sqm area within Frontera Verde. Tiendesitas means a cluster of small shops and these closely resemble Bangkok's Chatachak Market. Tiendesitas sells native food, fashion wear and accessories, furniture, antiques, handicrafts, personal care and novelty items, pets, plants, and other Philippine–made products. A must-see when in Manila, if not to make purchases just to experience the sheer vibrancy of the place. A shuttle service leaves from Delicacies Village every hour between 15:00-19:00
Opening Hours: 12:00 – 24:00
Address: Ortigas Avenue E. Rodriguez Avenue
As one of the largest shopping malls in the world, the SM Mall of Asia is located next to the Golden Resources Mall and the South Dongguan Mall which in turn are both gargantuan. Most hotels have a shuttle bus that goes to the SM Mall of Asia.
Opening Hours: 10:00 - 22:00
MRT: Taft Avenue Station 2
Remarks: Most hotels provide a shuttle service
Nestled between gleaming high-rises, St Francis Square in fact consists of two squares just a few metres apart that are laden with food, shopping and entertainment options. National holidays usually see staged outdoor events, which produce a great atmosphere, perfect for family outings – a pleasant alternative to air-conditioned shopping malls.
Address: Julia Vargas Avenue and Ortigas Center, Pasig City
An upscale shopping mall (the name says it all) that encompasses three shopping havens – Marks & Spencer, Ruston’s Tower and Crossings. Packed with world-class brands such as Armani and Cerruti, this is the place to head if you want to kit yourself out in the latest fashions. Featuring great eateries and entertainment options, the mall is easily accessed via MRT.
Opening Hours: Daily 10:00 - 21:00
Address: EDSA Corner, Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City