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DIVISORIA GUIDE and VLOG: What to buy and not to buy plus shopping tips + Youtube Video


DIVISORIA- a budget lover's paradise, a go- to place for entrepreneurs to source supplies, and a haven for all things affordable, be it products or services. I grew up shopping in Divisoria frequently when we used to live quite near the area because my mom loved going to Divisoria. It's been a while since I visited the place so on Mother's Day, my mom tagged along with me and we shopped 'til we dropped!


Of course, you'd like to see my haul, but I'll begin this Divisoria series with a vlog (YAY! VLOG! FINALLY!); I'll share what went down in my Divisoria trip and I want to make this a primer, especially for those who are Divisoria first- timers, so I'll share what to buy and not to buy in Divisoria too.

Divisoria is a shopping area: it's comprised of malls and sidewalk stalls; the malls in the area are 168 mall, 999 mall (or Meisic mall), 698 mall, Divisoria Mall, Tutuban Mall, and the new Lucky Chinatown Mall. The popular streets for sidewalk shopping are Ilaya st. (for affordable textile and fabric), Tabora st. (party and event supplies), and Juan Luna st. (general items as well as clothing). Hidalgo (a destination for affordable camera equipment) and Binondo/Ongpin/Tondo (destination for food, jewelry, and Chinese products) are also considered part of the Divisoria shopping experience. It will take one more than one weekend to explore the entirety of Divisoria!

TIPS BEFORE SHOPPING:

1. Wear comfortable outfit; nothing flashy and fancy, preferably no jewelry and a small bag to keep close to your body.
2. Bring only what you need. Secure your belongings and money as there are pickpockets around.
3. Wear comfortable shoes because walking is a huge part of the Divisoria shopping experience.
4. Bring water to stay hydrated especially if you will go shopping at the sidewalk stalls.
5. Be nice and courteous when haggling.
6. Prepare yourself for lots of pushing and overly crowded areas.
7. Look around. Don't buy the first thing you see.
8. It's always cheaper in the stalls located at the middle and end parts of each floor.
9. Bring enough money as there are not enough ATM machines around.
10. Best to go in the morning; it's always crowded there in the afternoon and night! Also, if you have time, better to go on a weekday so there won't be so much people!

WHAT TO BUY IN DIVISORIA

1. OFFICE AND SCHOOL SUPPLIES

- Office and school supplies such as tapes, paper clips, pens, notepads, notebooks, and paper are INSANELY CHEAP! It's a must- visit if you want to buy these things in bulk. Also, coloring books for children here can go as low as P5.00 if you buy wholesale so buy a lot; they're perfect giveaways for children during birthdays and for moms, as an alternative activity for your kids.

TIP: Tabora st. is the place to be for really cheap school and office supplies!

2. JAR PACKAGING

- Mason jars, bottles, glass, and jar packaging for homemade dressings, sauces, etc. are cheap here. A large mason jar is P45/pc. (P120.00 in malls) and can go for as low as P35.00 if you buy wholesale. Mini glass bottles that can contain colored sand and are perfect as party souvenirs are only P5.00/pc. with cover already. Jars for dressings and sauces begin at P50.00/pc.

TIP: Tabora st. is the place to be for jar and glass packaging!

3. PARTY DECOR

- Got a debut or party coming up and you want those life- sized letters to adorn the venue? Then schedule a Divisoria visit. Cardboard letters begin at P20.00/pc. If you buy the big ones, you can have them personalized with glitter, on the spot, for an extra fee. If you are in the business of events and events styling, Divisoria is the place to be to source materials. There are also other decor items available here such as dream catchers, feathers, masks, costume wings, wigs, feather boas, craft items, and more.

TIP: Again, go to Tabora st. for ridiculously cheap party supplies!

4. PARTY FAVORS

- Into the business of arranging children's parties? Go to Divisoria to source your party favors like playing cards, erasers, stickers, mini coloring books, pogs, and more.

TIP: Right outside Divisoria mall, there are sidewalk vendors that sell party favors; you can get it cheaper here than inside the mall.

5. PACKAGING

- Paper bags and canvas bags are some of the must- buy items in Divisoria. If you're having parties and will have giveaways or you want to start a donation drive and looking for cheap canvas bags for packaging, go to Divisoria. I bought some for my 8th anniversary meet and greet; I got a large red canvas bag and it's P5.00/pc. only! Price difference is huge compared to buying it from malls in Makati and Taguig! While walking around the Tabora area, I spotted this store that sells canvas bags only; forgive me, I have completely forgotten to take note of the name of the store, but if you happen to be in the area of Sto. Cristo, walk around and you'll see this lone shop that sells purely canvas bags.

TIP: Sto. Cristo and Tabora sts. are known places to get cheap paper bags and canvas bags

6. TEXTILE/FABRIC

- Even renowned Filipino designers are said to frequent Divisoria to source affordable fabric and textile, so if you're looking for one, you now know where to go!

TIP: Ilaya st. is the capital for cheap fabric in Divisoria; there are also seamstress and tailors around in the area as well as in Tabora st. who can customize gowns and suits for cheap. FYI, Divisoria is also a haven for budget brides and grooms!

7. ACCESSORIES

- If you're an accessory lover or if you want to resell accessories, do your wholesale in Divisoria. I purchase the flower crowns for my bridesmaids here!

TIP: 168 mall is a great place to buy accessories.

8. MAKEUP BRUSHES

- Makeup addict on a budget? Go get your tools in Divisoria. We all know how makeup brushes can cost a fortune and in my experience, Divisoria brushes are good alternatives; some are actually sturdy and soft, and the quality of the brushes being sold here have improved by a huge lot already since makeup artists started flocking the place to source cheap makeup tools.

TIP: Gladking is the go- to place for affordable makeup brushes.

9. TAIWAN LASHES

- Specifically Taiwan Lashes; it's a favorite brand of makeup artists because it's very affordable yet the styles are nice and they're unbelievable lightweight. One set can be as cheap as P70.00!

TIP: You can buy Taiwan lashes at 168 and 999 malls. I got my Taiwan Lashes from Gladking, ground floor, 999 mall. My advise is walk straight all the way to the end of the aisle, going away from the mall entrance, and you'll find a huge stall that has more and better selections for Taiwan Lashes.

10. ACRYLIC STORAGE

- If you got no budget for Muji's acrylic storage, take the trip to Divisoria because these can go for as low as P100.00 per storage! Whoa! How I wish I bought an acrylic brush storage, but I already ran out of cash and was too tired to look for an atm. Oh well, more reasons to go back!

TIP: Please refer to the tip on #9. The place where you can find better selections for Taiwan lashes is the same place where you can get cheap acrylic storage.

WHAT NOT TO BUY IN DIVISORIA

Just because I was so brilliant, I accidentally deleted all my Divisoria- related photos on camera's SD card. :( I'll just muse about the things that I won't recommend that you buy in Divisoria.

1. FAKE MAKEUP

- First on my list, of course. The price may be tempting or the look, smell, feel, and color is same as the authentic one, but for the love of red lipstick, DO NOT BUY FAKE MAKEUP. There is no guarantee that fake makeup are manufactured under sanitary conditions or if they contain safe ingredients so please, don't. The reason why authentic makeup are expensive is because you are not only paying for the product, but also for the research and safety behind them.

2. ELECTRONICS

- I was surprised to learn that electronics such as hair curlers, hair irons, and blow driers can be as cheap as P150.00 in Divisoria! Just like makeup, the price can be tempting, but again, there is no guarantee that these electronic items are safe and won't start a fire; most likely, these items are substandard and do not bear the 'Q.C. passed' seal, a guarantee that a certain electronic item has passed safety standards. How many times have you heard in the news about homes being engulfed in flames and the reason behind is an electronic item bought in Divisoria? Prevention is better than cure so if I were you, just buy electronics from authorized retailers.

3. CONTACT LENS

- THIS. You only have one pair of eyeballs so don't settle for anything less for it! Be forewarned about the perils of wearing fake contact lens through this article that I wrote HERE.

4. CLAYS AND CRAYONS

- Especially if you intend to give it to children. Clays and crayons must be guaranteed non-toxic because children can be so stubborn and we all know that they like testing everything with their mouths. I've seen in a T.V. documentary before wherein the hosts submitted clays, crayons, and even toys bought from Divisoria for lab testing and it has been found that most of the items contained traces of lead and other toxic substances. For school supplies like clays and crayons, spend a little bit more for your child's safety.

Hope you like this guide! Do share your Divisoria experiences and tips at the comments section; I encourage you to do so because there might be something important or cool that I have missed!

And my first ever Vlog is debuting right here; see my Divisoria adventure live, plus you'll pretty much know which stuff comprise my Divisoria haul. :D


Divisoria haul video coming up next!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Beauty. Fitness. Fashion. Food. Travel. Unicorns. World Peace. Digify Corporation.

10 Lovely Thoughts

  1. Wow, na-tempt na ako mag Divi next week. :D
    Question Ms Martha, how much much are the flower crowns for your bridesmaids? Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Arianne! There are different prices:

      P250.00 for the one I wore in the video because it's much nicer and filled with flowers
      P100 for the one I held in the video because the flowers are not a lot; it's P80/pc. if you get wholesale :)

      Delete
  2. yay! thank you for sharing your experience with us Ms M! We went to divisoria last February to buy wedding needs of my younger sibling (from the gowns for the bride and secondary sponsors, father of the bride barong, head dress and flower baskets for flower girls)

    That month sakto lang di masyado matao, medyo mainit at karamihan ng namimili puro gown para sa Prom. It was really nice goin to divi for more items!

    Yes! will go back to look for makeup tools! (storage and brushes and falsies) and definitely YES -- I WON'T BUY MAKEUP from divi nakakatakot baka di safe mga ingredients na ginamit.

    Also I will rather buy items from National Bookstore for my little miss! (She loves coloring! at her age she prefer doing coloring yung mga pangadult na coloring books na.. bonding nila ng father ko)

    Will watch your video later! Gonna save it first!

    hugs!!

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  3. I am Divisoria lover as well because there are a lot of products to choose from. I love the flower crowns as well. Oh my! I'm getting married as well. My fiance proposed when I arrived in Chubu Int'l airport in Japan last May 4 so I am really looking forward to your wedding preparations so I can get tips and ideas :)

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  4. What not to buy: colored drinks along the streets of Divisoria you'll mever know if it is loaded with magic sugar. To be safe buy bottled water or much better bring your own water

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  5. I love going to Divi in fact my friends made me the "waze" of Divi because I know the places where to buy stuff they needed. I guess thanks to my mom, who always takes me there whenever I wanted to buy "stuff that interests me". Also I agree with NOT BUYING fake makeups, fake gadgets and stuffs for kids like crayons and clays. Nakakagulat ung mga store ng madaming fake make ups, as in super daming tao na bumibili which is alarming, kaya ang hirap bumili online ng makeup eh unless kilala mo talaga. As for the makeup brushes my binibilan ako sa 999, super mura, mas mura sa Gladking - and I think Gladking maraming branches. Ung Unicorn brush mga 350 ko lang nabili and ung Mermaid brush na nasa Clam shell nsa 550 lang eh sa iba 700, 800. As for the furry tela, naghahanap din ako niyan, kasi ang mahal sa Bazaar, hindi ko matanggap na 500 pesos ung tela na un tapos wla pang 1/4 yard? I guess kelangan ko suyurin ang Ilaya st. nakakapagod lang kasi ang inet! And ugn wedding gown ko and sa mga bridesmaids, dun namin binili ung tela, kasi super mura, kaso it was across Ilaya St. Sobrang mas malayo siya and ang hirap hanapin pero mas mura talaga lalo ung mga lace :)

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  6. How much are the cardboard letters Ms M esp the ones that are about 2-3 feet tall? Here in the province, it cost around 3K for the whole name and smaller in size. How much are the acrylic storage for brushes?

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  7. I love going to Divi, malapit lang kmi. I go there to buy fabric for uniforms, school supplies, clothes and other random stuff. Pero I don't buy makeup kahit I love makeup and I'm on a tight budget di ko bibili dun. Maybe tools..yes. I'd rather buy sa malls na cheaper the price but I'm sure na it won't harm my skin.

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  8. Thanks sa guideline Ms M. Nung wedding ko dyn din kame namili ng mga tela at pang giveaway. Yup, kahit na on budget ako, hindi din ako nabili ng fake makeups. Tama ka din sa crayons at clays, it's a no no para sa kids, hilig pa nila magsubo ng kamay.

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  9. Na-excite ako nung nabasa ko yung, "this is where I bought the flower crowns for my bridesmaids" 😍 *wedding bells* I always hear tabora and Ilaya but I have really poor sense of direction kaya hanggang 168 lang ako. I'm afraid i'll get lost around divi 😢

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Thank you for your comments!