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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Are you Brave Enough to Shop at Divisoria and Baclaran? Check Our Based on Experienced Tips

Shopping at Divisoria and Baclaran is a must try if you're in a tight budget and wants to bring a lot of pasalubong items before going home. But most tourist were so afraid to go there because of some reviews that they were having bad experiences and were a victim of pickpockets.

I wanted to visit Divisoria and Baclaran not just to shop (because I don't have a lot of money to shop hehehe), but also to do a little sight seeing of how crowded it is (according to Manila Forums I read) and for documentation and blog purposes. :D

On our day 2 Manila tour, we do a little street walk along Sampaloc street in Manila. From there, we headed to PUJ terminal bound to Divisoria. The fare is only PHP 8.00. Since we were alien on that place, we usually took the front seat or near the driver so that we can ask the driver from time to time. Some drivers were really helpful to our journey because aside from the street guides they gave us, they also gave us warnings not to be at these certain places because a lot of pickpockets can be found.

So, we stopped at CM Recto Avenue and we just walked a little to reached 168 Mall. The place was crowded and a lot of alleys, streets in here, there and everywhere. Good thing, my travel buddy was also "in" to our pakikipagsapalaran in Divisoria, lol.

We shop at 168 Mall in Divisoria. We were planning to shop at the heart of Divisoria and go to Binondo but I was so worried as I saw a lot more and more people. Maybe I wasn't that brave enough. :D

After shopping, we went back to hotel to deposit our things and to rest for a while. After lunch, we went off again to MOA and to meet a friend of mine. Late in the afternoon, we shopped at Baclaran. From MOA, there were PUJ terminals. We took a PUJ bound to Baclaran. Viewing from the jeepney, I can say that we're almost at Baclaran because of those crowded place ahead, full of mini stores, booths and variety of products displayed on the streets.

I bought 3 pairs of sandals and shoes because they were cute and very affordable. Please take note that those were not branded. No branded for sale on Divisoria and Baclaran. If you find any, those were not original. Just in case you didn't know nyehehe.

Since there were more people in Baclaran compare to Divisoria and it was already dark and alleys were so narrow, I didn't care to fit those shoes I bought.

Here are some tips when you shop at Divisoria and Baclaran

1.] Wear Plain and Simple

You wouldn't want to get pickpocket's attention, right? So wear something plain and simple yet comfortable. If it is possible, avoid wearing accessories like pure gold earrings, necklace, bracelet and everything that are expensive. You cannot haggle too if vendors think you're rich, in fact they will increase their selling price for you.

2.] Use Sling Bags or Body Bags

I know women love to shop, so instead of using shoulder bags, why not use a sling bag. You can secure your items more because sling bags can be drawn easily to your front. I wore a sling bag that day and it was easy getting money from my bag and I would just embraced it while struggling a way out from the crowd.

3.] Prepare Small Bills

I would recommend to prepare small bills like 20's, 50's and 100's. Avoid handling a 1,000 bill if the amount you owe is just 120.00. It is just for fast transaction and securing money.

4.] You should know how to Haggle

Best shoppers knows how to haggle. Don't be shy, vendors were used to it. :D Here's an example haggling scenario.

Me: How much?
Vendor: 250 pesos
Me: What’s your last price?
Vendor: 230.
Me: Can I have it for 180?
Vendor. No, last price is 230
Me: How about 200?
Vendor: Nope
Me: I'll buy 2 for 350.
Vendor: 200 each, last price.
Me: Okay (cge nlng)

And that’s how I got these 2 little cute shoes for my pamangkin! Another method is to directly haggle the owner. :D

5.] Become aware of the people around you

Usually, pickpockets wear decent clothes. So have a sharp eye on them. While shopping at Baclaran, a friend of mine spotted a pick-pocketing scene, and that's how I know that usually they wear a decent clothes.

6.] Shop at Non Peak Season

And last but not the least, you should not shop during peak season like November to December. The number of people will multiply by 3, 5 to 10. And that means, you should be 200% more careful. So if it is possible, try not to shop at Divisoria and Baclaran at peak season.

Check out our other posts about Manila.
Manila Travel Guide, Itinerary and Expenses
Manila Ocean Park and Star City Amusement Park

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