October 25, 2008
the crowded streets of Divisoria
Divisoria in Manila is the hardest of the hard-core bargain shopping destinations in the Philippines. Goods from all over the country, as well as from China, Taiwan, Thailand, Korea, and other neighboring countries are sold here at wholesale prices, not only to retailers, but also to individuals. It is a sensory explosion—dizzying sights of the colorful wares and people passing by, sweltering heat, the odor of waste water and sweaty laborer, and the fearful feeling that someone might just snatch your wallet—that is hard to forget.
Last Thursday was Divisoria (or Divi) day at 168 mall, perhaps the most civilized section of the whole Divisoria. I used to go to Divi way back in college to buy raw materials for little fashion shows we directed, but the clothes and accessories I discovered in this trip really impressed me. My two thousand one hundred pesos (roughly USD 44) went a long, long way. Here are the highlights:
three pairs of sunglasses, the first two costing a dollar each
trompe l’oeil small messenger bag. I find this to be quite a clever take on the ubiquitous SLR cameras seen on the shoulders of every other hipster in town. What if I use it to carry my oh-so-square digital camera?
sunglass necklace. This has been making me happy for the past two days already.
cassette tape necklace. It’s an old cassette tape suspended from a fabric neck strap…
…which zips open to reveal a compartment for storage!