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October 25, 2008

The Peak of Cheap

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.  

168 mall
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!


  • Wax
    October 25th, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    I am so going to Divi soon! Is it scary there though?

  • izzydore
    October 25th, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    wax: not at all! the third floor of 168 is definitely shopper-friendly. you must definitely go sooner than later, christmas is fast approaching.

  • Giancinephile
    October 26th, 2008 at 11:03 am

    Gotta love Divi!!!

    I usually get broke after a trip or two there as I spend my money on stuff that I don’t really need like yards and yards of lace, silk, cotton, and wool! Especially back then for my thesis when I attempted to do a capsule collection wahahha.

    Divi is a good place to go to for fabrics despite the heat and the odours! I love it no matter what!!

  • Nature Grafitti
    October 26th, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    loveee the sunglasses and the “camera bag”
    … i wish we somewhere like Divi here in America!

  • chauss
    October 26th, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    that sun glass necklace looks super fun!!!!!!!!!

  • kirstie
    October 27th, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    hahaha awesome loot. i can’t wait to go back to the philippines so i can go crazy there.

  • MR style
    October 28th, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    i wanna come to Manila and party !! so many cute people there

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