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The Most Updated Ultimate Divisoria Shopping Guide 2019 Edit

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Lorrianne Aryenz Valdecantos  • Contributor
Opinions expressed by Explora.ph Contributors are their own.

After the bitter-sweet clearing operations that rolled out in Manila recently, the once crowded Divisoria was never the same again. Gone are the sidewalk vendors selling clothes, the carts of fruits, and the rows of vendors selling shoes are gone. The Recto Avenue that used to be a shopping experience on its own is now just a normal street. Where did they relocate? Where should I go to buy what I need? Where should I start my Christmas shopping?

Answer’s all here. This is The Most Updated Ultimate Divisoria Shopping Guide.

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C.M Recto Street cleared of street vendors

Divisoria Streets

The Fashion-forward Street (Roman St.) 


The first sharp left turn along Recto Avenue from 999 shopping mall will lead to Roman St. In this street, most stalls are selling ready-to-wear clothes. Most of the RTW shops located along Recto Avenue before the clearing operations moved here. Now, the street is full of colorful clothes of all designs, school uniforms, and even undergarments.

Stores selling bulk hair care items for salons are also spotted in the area. Just make sure to look for them really hard because this street is a little bit busy!

The first signs of Christmas decors also seen here! 

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Roman St. lined with stalls selling RTW garments

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Into Roman St. 

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Roman St. with the first sightings of Christmas decorations

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Christmas decorations and gift wrappers

The Handyman Heaven (Soler St.) 


At the end of Roman St. is Soler St.where two huge shopping centers, 999 and 168 shopping malls are located here. Coming from Roman, the right side of Soler is dotted with hardware stores. A big Christmas decoration shopping center is also located here, just after Hawaii Hardware Store.

This street used to be full of sidewalk vendors but is now cleared.

At the end of Soler St. is Recto Avenue. 

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Roman St. corner Soler St.

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A hardware store along Soler St.

The Plastic Emporium Street (Juan Luna St.) 


Still traversing Recto Avenue, just after KP Tower, is Juan Luna St. Located at the right side of Juan Luna is the Fiesta Shopping Plaza which used to be the home of the famous La Paz Batchoy and goto. Today, it holds many retail stores selling RTW clothes and fabrics.

Juan Luna St. is famous for the stores here selling industrial plastic products like fishing nets, PVC pipes, and styrofoam products. There are also stores here that sell upholstery, linoleums, and vinyl products.

Gody Wax Center is also located along this street for those who are looking into buying candles for Undas!

These stores used to be blocked by vendors selling RTW clothes but ever since the clearing operations, the street has been cleared.

At the end of Juan Luna St. are the branching streets of Sta. Elena and Ilaya.

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Juan Luna St. 

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A store in Juan Luna selling plastic goods like zippers and cords

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Gody wax center along Juan Luna St.

The Textile Capital (Ilaya St.) 


One of the few streets in Divisoria that seemed to be unfazed by the clearing operations is Ilaya St. Still crowded, still selling the same products, and still known as the textile street of Divisoria.

From Juan Luna, the entrance of Ilaya looks like a toy store with a big stall full of stuffed toys at the corner of the street. From there stalls after stalls of RTW clothes, costumes, aprons, and bedsheets can be seen. The superstars here in Ilaya are the rolls of textiles being sold left and right.

At the opposite of the textile street of Ilaya are the rows of stalls selling footwear and bags.

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Stalls in Ilaya St selling RTW garments

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Deeper into Ilaya are vendors of fabrics and textiles

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Rolls of fabrics at Ilaya St. 

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At the other side of Ilaya are sellers of footwear

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At the ground floor of Ylaya Commercial Center are stalls selling bags and footwear 

The Party Planner (Tabora St.)


Having a party soon? Tabora St. is the giveaway center of Divisoria. From personalized mugs to invitations, Tabora is one party planner.

Stalls here like in Ilaya seems to be unaffected by the recent clearing operations. Stalls line up on the streets, displaying their products. The real battle here is where to buy the personalized giveaways.

Apart from party-themed products they have, Tabora also has children’s costumes, discounted catering tools, and sewing shops with all kinds of laces, buttons, and other sewing trinkets. 

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Entrace to Tabora St. via C.M Recto Avenue

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Personalized party giveaways available at Tabora St.

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Stores selling decorations like paper mache letters

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A stall selling invitations

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Stall selling Filipino-themed goods like weaved fans, hats, and bayongs

The North Pole (M. De Santos St.)


The full-blown Christmas street, catering to all of Christmas decoration needs. This short street in front of Divisoria Mall patiently waits for the BER season every year until it can accomplish its true mission, to bring the Christmas spirit in Divisoria.

Christmas trees, decors and all sorts of Christmas lights for sale decorate this street. 

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Christmas decors at M. De Santos St.

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A similar Filipino themed goods are for sale on this store 

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More Christmas stalls

The Fruit Basket (Sta. Elena St.)


An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Sta. Elena street is where most of the fruits vendors relocated after the clearing operations. They used to park their carts just along Recto Avenue. 

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Dirt-cheap fruits for sale 

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more fruit vendors

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Lemons selling for almost Php 50 (1 USD) for 8 pieces

The Business District (Commercio St.)


Looking into building a business? Plastic supplies stores are located here. Commercio St. is a short street full of stores selling plastic merchandise in bulks. Stores here sell plastic bags, eco-bags, plastic crates, and many more It is located by the side of the Divisoria Market. 

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Corner of Commercio St. 

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A Carienderia along Commercio St.

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Gen. Merchandise stores

The Snack Capital (Sto. Cristo St.)


Sto. Cristo, like its neighbor street Commercio, sells products in bulk. Here, kitchenware and plastic merchandise are very common. This street can be very crowded and busy because of delivery trucks, people pulling trolleys.

At the other end of this street, facing the Recto Avenue is like a dream come true for people who like to munch. Rows of stalls selling all types of candies and gummies line the street. Assorted chips in large bags are also sold here, perfect for pica-pica parties, or a quiet Friday evening with Netflix. 

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Classic savory snacks like chips and chicharon

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More snacks

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Powdered flavorings are being measured

The Neat Freak Street (Clavel St.)


Know someone a little bit extreme in cleaning their houses? Drag them here in Clavel. The entrance to this street is lined with walis tambo or brooms. Along this short street are few stores selling house-keeping products like cleaning agents and instruments

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Walis tambo, scrubs and more

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Typical display along Clavel

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A store in Clavel St.

Just Red Onions (El Cano St.)


This street is mostly empty save for some general merchandise stores and a red onion supplier.

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Gen. merchandise stores

Divisoria Shopping Malls

999 Shopping Mall


This shopping mall with two buildings is one of the well-known malls in Divisoria, it is the first mall available for commuters coming from Mendiola and Recto. It is recognizable in its huge and screaming green facade. Selling brandless products of all sorts is its charm. Overrun clothes stores are also plenty in this mall, making it a must-visit mall for millennials. 

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999 shopping mall along C.M Recto Ave.

168 Shopping Mall


The most well-known and loved shopping mall in Divisoria. This massive mall has dedicated shops for each floor. Their most popular is the boutique floor, a whole floor dedicated to ready-to-wear garments of local brands. Another exciting floor of 168 is the bridal gown floor, where people can buy gowns, tuxedos, and other formal wear. 

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168 Shopping Mall along Soler St.

Tutuban Commercial Center


This mall used to be a train station and is now converted into a shopping mall. Famously known for their textiles and ready-to-wear gowns and formal wear, Tutuban is still a crowd favorite. 

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Tutuban Center along C.M Recto Ave.

Divisoria Mall


Located deep within the winding streets of Divisoria, this mall is fairly small compared to the Goliaths like 168 and 999 but people still flock this mall because of the decent amount of stores inside the mall. 

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Divisoria Mall along Commercio St. 

Dragon8 Shopping Mall


This six-story behemoth shopping mall is neighbors with Tutuban. Dragon8 Shopping Mall opened in 2015 and has been thriving ever since. Equipped with a grocery store and pharmacy, it offers a complete shopping experience. 

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Dragon8 Mall along C.M Recto St. 

Lucky Chinatown Mall


Of all the malls in Divisoria, Lucky Chinatown Mall is the sole mall offering branded products in the area. It has a luxurious feel to it, like some of the mainstream malls in the country. This mall also hosts high-end products and restaurants.

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 Lucky Chinatown Mall along Reina Regente St

Where to eat

Keean Fried Siopao- Rivera St., just in front of 999 Shopping Mall

Perfect for a quick merienda fix while shopping along the sidewalk 

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Keean fried siopao

Serves Well- Juan Luna St. 

A typical Chinese diner known for their Kiampong and soup. Tucked away at the middle of Juan Luna St.

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Serves Well Food Center

Chubby Checker- Ilaya St.

From the outside, it doesn't look like much but their food and low prices draws people in to taste their American inspired  dishes

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Chubby Checker

Ang Laguna Restaurant- Ilaya St.

A perfect mix of Filipino and Chinese dishes. Perfect for those who are tired from lugging around huge rolls of fabrics.

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Ang Laguna Cafe and Restaurant

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Ang Laguna menu

Cary’s Beef House- San Nicholas St.

Part of a chain restaurants serving hot and savory beef-based soups and noodles 

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Cary's Beef House

Ilang-Ilang Restaurant- Ilang-Ilang St.

An old Chinese restaurant., Ilang-ilang has a reputation of being one of the go-to Chinese Restaurant 

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Ilang-Ilang Restaurant

Enzai Coffee House- El Cano St.

This coffee house can be spotted right away because of their quirky shop design with their displays of cakes visible from outside

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Enzai Coffee House

Boyet and Cathy Mamihan- Clavel St.

This little cart at the corner of Clavel St. is responsible for the delicious beef mami scent traveling along the street. This little shop earns customers through their signature mami. 

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Boyet and Cathy Mamihan

BONUS!

Visit the birthplace of Kataas-taasang, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan, or KKK at the corner of Recto Avenue and El Cano Street. The lot was used to be the house of  Deodato Arellano once stood, at number 72 Azcarraga. 


On July 7, 1892 the secret society of Katipunan was born on this house. Today, the house was demolished and was replaced by a building but a shrine stood on the exact spot, known as the Katipunan Shrine.

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The Katipunan shrine

Insider tips:

If possible, avoid bringing bags- Wear clothing with lots of pockets in it instead, or wear bags that are attached to your body like belt bags.


Disperse your money and bring extra!- Do not pile up all of your money in one place, it is better if you split your money, segregate your bills from your coins (hello, cargo shorts!)


Bring your own eco-bags- Okay, we lied. You should bring a bag with you. An eco-bag or large shopping bag because we care for the environment as much as we care about getting exciting bargains at Divisoria. Make sure you bring your biggest shopping bags because no one enters Divisoria and just buys one shirt.


Eat first before going on a shopping spree- This is for the best, no one wants to shop on an empty stomach


Bring drinking water, umbrella, and handkerchief- common mistake of people is, they thought Divisoria is just like any shopping experience in malls. No. Divisoria is the real deal.

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Getting there and around

From Taft Avenue: Board any jeep with ‘Divisoria’ signage. Once you reach the Binondo Church alight the jeepney, walk towards the fountain. From there, you will see two roads. The left one, Juan Luna St., will lead you to Divisoria Mall, Sta. Elena St., and at the end is Recto Avenue. The right street, Reina Regente St., will take you directly to Lucky Chinatown Mall, 11/88 Shopping Mall and 999.


From Mendiola, Sta. Mesa, LRT 1 Doroteo Jose Station, LRT 2 Recto Station: Jeepneys with ‘Divisoria’ signage will pass by these places. For those coming from Doroteo Jose, walk southward, following the jeepneys going to Taft Avenue. Once you reached Chowking, board the same Divisoria jeepney.


In the past, these Divisoria jeepneys very seldom pass by the footbridge so people will have to go off on the footbridge but now, the jeepney can take you straight to 999, Tutuban, Dragon8, and El Cano St. before it circles back.


Getting around

It’s best to leave your cars in parking lots around Divisoria. The malls have paid parking, and some vacant lots by Binondo Church are also open for paid parking. It’s better to commute to Divisoria since parking is scarce and most streets are only navigatable by walking. Trikes are always available but it is recommended to traverse this mega shopping district on foot so you won’t miss anything.

The Divisoria Shopping Map

Emergency Hotlines

National Emergency Hotline

911


Philippine National Police (PNP) Hotline Patrol

117 or send TXT PNP to 2920


Bureau of Fire Protection (NCR)

117, (02) 729-5166, (02) 410-6319 (Regional Director, Information Desk)


Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) hotline

7890 or (02) 726-6255


Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA)

136, 882-0925 (flood control)

Trunkline: (02) 882-4150-77 loc. 337 (rescue), 255 (Metrobase)

Metrobase: 882-0860


Manila Traffic Hotline 

527-3087; Twitter: @MTPB_Manila


Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP)

Phone Number: 729-5166, 410-6254, 413-8859, or 407-1230


Association of Philippine Volunteer Fire Brigades (APVFB), Inc.

Phone Number: 522-2222

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