Helpful Guide for Shopping in the Philippines

calendar_todayFebruary 24, 2020
account_circleJanine Daquio

The Philippines is known for its natural resources that everyone will be amused. Beautiful beaches, untouched islands, mountain’s breathtaking views, and more… these are just some of the reasons why people love to travel to the Philippines.

On the other hand, some of the beautiful structures in Manila has a touch of Spanish architecture because of its colonization in the Philippines for 333 years. Nevertheless, the Philippines has preserved some of its ethnicity that even locals are amazed to explore after the Philippines’ belief and culture have been greatly westernized.

To shop in the Philippines, the product is not much complicated. It is westernized that most food is already familiar to foreigners. But don’t have too much expectation as it still lacks goods especially for the imported items.

Listed below are the places where we can shop in the Philippines mainly focusing around Metro Manila. Buying something has been one of the means to survive whenever we visit places. Shopping or doing any transaction is also a fingerprint of our existence to one place.

Things to Buy in the Philippines


If there is one thing a woman should not miss buying here in the Philippines… it’s the pearls. The pearl farming here in the Philippines is well-nourished, especially in Palawan. The Philippines is known for producing golden South Sea pearls.


Capiz is a shell used for decorations especially as a chandelier or a lamp. It is also known as a windowpane oyster.  Capiz is known to be a decoration in windows as a substitute to glass because of its durability. Most old houses in the Philippines are built with windows that have capiz. Any product made of capiz is surely an eye-catcher whether for locals or for tourists.

Abaca Products

Abaca is a plant from the Philippines that is dried to produce as a fiber. The locals are able to make abaca fan, abaca placemats, hats, handbags, carpets, and wall covering. Abaca placemats and carpets are one of the best products we would recommend.


One of the most popular artisanal handicrafts is weaving. Made from Romblon plant, tikog, and buli palm, this local mat is bought by a lot of people as it is cheap and a good alternative to mattress to sleep feeling fresh.

Wooden Handicrafts

From living room ornaments, kitchen decorations to purposeful things like back scratcher, ashtray, coin bank made of bamboo Philippines produce come in good quality.

Often, these souvenirs can be found while you are traveling in the provinces of the Philippines. In this way, you can help the livelihoods of the locals in the provinces.

However, if you find yourself running out of time to buy and must head back to the country where you from, there are stores in malls like Kultura to get Philippines souvenirs. Take note that stuff from Kultura is pricier.

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In the provinces, one popular store for shirts is Island Souvenirs. They can be often found in tourist spots or at the airports.

For the local stores in the metro, shirts from Team Manila is one of the best statement shirts you can get. And oh! That’s Dr. Jose Rizal, our national superhero on Team Manila’s logo.

Grocery Shopping in the Philippines

SM Supermarket

It is the first grocery store established by SM. SM Supermarket is and will always be located inside SM, a shopping mall in the Philippines.

SM Hypermarket

SM Hypermarket differs from SM Supermarket because of its wider variety of products offered that are non-food items. Here you may find clothes, appliances, furniture, etc.

SM Savemore

Savemore is a grocery store that we can find in our neighborhood. With that, the items are not as many and it is much cheaper as compared to Supermarket and Hypermarket.

SM Supermarket, Hypermarket, and Savemore have lots of stores all over the Philippines. It is worth noting that they offer an exclusive product called SM Bonus that is way cheaper than other brands.


Puregold only started in 1998 but has been a good rival of SM stores. Puregold shares the same price with SM but tends to stock up more local food items. It is good to note that buying clothes in Puregold is cheaper.

Super8 Grocery

It opened in 2006 and the same with Puregold, it offers more local products.

Landmark Grocery

This grocery has only four stores in the Philippines. In Ayala, Makati, in TriNoma, Quezon City, in Alabang, Muntinlupa, and in Nuvali, Laguna. Landmark has a lot of products as well and they are cheaper by centavos.

Robinson’s Supermarket

It is the second-largest supermarket in the Philippines. They also offer more imported items compared to SM and Puregold.


Rustan’s also stock up more imported products compared to the first groceries mentioned and way more expensive goods. Shopwise grocery is also their partner. Going to these groceries almost offer the same products.


If you are a chef but having a hard time to find an imported item at the grocery stores in the Philippines, Santi’s is the go-to place to shop to perfect the dish you’re cooking. To check their branches, here’s the list.

All About Baking

From baking tools, baking ingredients to personal effects related to baking, you can find everything at this baking store in the Philippines. They also have a lot of branches that are listed here.

Shopping Malls in the Philippines

The shopping malls in the Philippines are vast and it is mostly dominated by two giant companies: SM Prime Holdings and Ayala Land. Henry Sy, who is the owner of SM Prime Holdings is the richest man in the Philippines. He was able to diversify his income that all started from putting up SM malls in the Philippines.

Henry Sy started from scratch by selling overrun shoes at a store in Manila in the year 1958 he called Shoemart. This is where the acronym SM was derived and the rest was history.

Regarding to the list of malls, we would rather ask you to visit Wikipedia about the list of shopping malls in the Philippines.  Meanwhile, if you are currently in Manila, Wikipedia has also drilled down the list of shopping malls in Metro Manila.

SM Malls and Ayala Malls both offer quality items. The only thing that differs them is that SM Malls have more local brand stores compared to Ayala Malls where you can find more imported brands. Shangri-la Mall that is located in Mandaluyong has a lot of imported brand items as well.

Now, if you were to ask us about whether shopping branded items in the Philippines is cheaper than other countries or to the country you belong to, well, it’s almost the same and sometimes more expensive.

If you are a Filipino or a balikbayan who wants to shop in bulk at a cheaper price, shopping in Divisoria and in Taytay are your best option. Some brides who want to save money for their wedding mostly get their wedding dress or bridesmaid dresses in Divisoria. If you want to know what is the best gown for your body type, we have created a helpful guide here: The Right Dress for Your Body Type

Going to Divisoria must have an extra precaution as this place is not as safe as the usual malls. The shoppers here are from the lower class to the upper class.

Clothing Line Originated in the Philippines

The top three clothing lines in the Philippines are Bench, Penshoppe, and F&H. All of these clothing lines are patronized by locals and almost offer the same price ranging from P500 – P1000 for blouses and P1000 and up for jeans.

The Bench has more product varieties like gym clothes, undergarments, and towels. Penshoppe offers body spray, skincare, and more like Bench. On the other hand, F&H mainly focuses on offering clothes.

So there you have it, we hope that we have helped you answer your shopping needs!