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Christmas for Filipinos has always been that very time of the year where we can no longer use an excuse not to shop or spend. It has always been our custom to celebrate our holidays with festive treats and wonderful gifts to our families and of course our godchildren. So no matter what social status you are in, whether you are rich or you are poor, we always find a way to spend on things that we think are essential. With the present status of our economy (which I think has always been the same) and the sky rocketing of prices, it is best to spend that hard earned cash wisely. And where better spend it but at the ultimate shopping haven of the Philippines, Divisoria.
For years, I have lived around the outskirts of Divisoria. With a lot of cheap stores to buy from, I always have find it hard to shop in malls for I know I can get a better deal out of my peso in this great place. This is the ultimate Mecca not just for smart shoppers but for wise business minded people as well and for newbies, I am sharing this guide to help you on your shopping adventure.
Preparation is the Key
Whether it’s your first time to shop in Divisoria or not, it is still best to prepare a lot before entering this territory.
1. Make a Shopping List that you intend to follow
For a lot of people, they have been creating shopping lists as early as August but the challenge here is sticking to it. Try grouping your shopping lists to shoes, bags, clothes, toys, etc. instead of writing it like “ For Jun- Jun, for Manong Driver, for the my son’s girlfriend’s neighbor” so you can plan your shopping more. With the great number of people that is expected to come to Divisoria at this time of the year, it would be very disappointing if you miss items in your shopping list just because you’ve randomly written them.
2. Wear comfortable clothes
By comfortable clothes, I mean those types where you can easily move around. Try sporting a nice shirt and a pair of ultra-comfortable jeans or pair of shorts. As for your footwear, I recommend that you wear rubber shoes or any closed type of footwear over those flip-flops. Expect a lot of people stepping on your foot as if you’re sporting a new pair. Also, don’t forget to bring an extra shirt or two and some towels or handkerchief.
3. Avoid too much accessories.
It is best if you tone down your accessories for a while. If possible, don’t wear any. With a lot of snatchers around, you wouldn’t want to go home with a sore neck or a bruised ear.
4. Use a sturdy bag.
Whenever I go to Divisoria, I always try not to bring any valuables except my shopping money. But for those of you who can’t go out without a bag, it is best to make sure that you bring a very sturdy one. Avoid using your Long Champs as it is a very known target for pick pockets and snatchers plus, the lining is so thin that they can easily pierce through it and grab your valuables when you least expect it. If you have a nice “bayong” or any other native bags that is handcrafted with a very thick material, I would really recommend it. Also, don’t forget to keep your money in a very safe place and always stash an extra in your pants or shorts just enough to take you home.
5. Get enough rest.
Entering Divisoria these days is like entering a battlefield. With a huge wave of people coming from every spot here in the Philippines expect that it will be crowded, too crowded if I may say. There will be a lot of pushing, stepping, shouting, and grappling. This is one of the reasons why I tend to do my Christmas shopping as early as October. But do not fret, rather be prepared. Eat and sleep well the day before and make sure that you really condition your mind and body before you venture the streets of this populated district.
Going to Divisoria is not a rocket science but it is really best if you prepare for that day. With thousands of people that are planning to go there as well, you should know how to manage your time better to get the most out of your day. This is the first part of my Divisoria Guide, next time I’ll share to you the different types of people you would encounter in this great journey also some tips and tricks of dealing with them. I really hope you enjoyed my guide. Happy Shopping!