Manila Shopping Tips by Tijavi

Manila Shopping: 106 reviews and 203 photos

Amidst the greens, entrance to G3 - Manila

Amidst the greens, entrance to G3

Ayala Center, Makati: Prime shopping experience

Located at the heart of Metro Manila's premier business district, Makati, is Ayala Center, a mecca of pure shopping, dining and entertainment experience. Ayala Center is a sprawling shopping area consisting of two major developments - Glorietta and Greenbelt. Glorietta itself has four wings - G1, G2, G3, and G4 (G is for Glorietta) and is appropriately shaped like an octopus (well, quadropus in this case). This is where the not-so-expensive shops are located.

On the other hand, Greenbelt is a more recent development (except for GB1), where the high-end stores (particulary in GB4) and the exciting restarants are.

My top 5 favorite stores in Ayala Center:
1) Hobbes in GB3 - for the youngsters and "young once," a treasure trove of toys and knick knacks.
2) Powerbooks in GB4 - simply love their selection
3) Tower Records in G3 - for music lovers
4) Mercury Drug in G3 - conveniently located for those last minute purchases of medicines, tolietries and even groceries
5) Rustans Dept Store - for "pricey" shopping experience

My top 5 favorite restaurants:
1) Max Brenner - move over, Bizu; the bald man's chocolate creations are exquisite and divine.
2) Sugi - for Japanese
3) Sentro - Filipino favorites with a twist
4) Good Earth - Chinese staples with a twist
5) Luk Yuen - affordable, quality Chinese food

What to buy: In this shoppers' mecca, almost anything and everything!

Top 5 things to do besides shopping and dining:
1) Catch the latest art flicks (vs commercial films) in Ayala Center's comfortably furnished cinemas.
2) Get a special spa treatment.
3) Learn more about Philippines history and culture in the adjacent Ayala Museum.
4) Get a strategic seat in the many caf├ęs and people watch.
5) Recharge those batteries amidst Greenbelt's wonderful gardens - for free!

What to pay: From P1 to infinity! Cash or plastic, no problem!

Address: In the heart of Makati Central Business District

Directions: Makati Central Business District

Theme: Department Store

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 4, 2011
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Shangri-La mall sparkles - Manila

Shangri-La mall sparkles

Shangri-la mall: Classy shopping

Shangri-la mall, developed by the same group that brought the prime Shangri-la hotel brand, is known for its pricey shopping, with perhaps the highest concentration of luxury brands in the Philippines (but the newly developed Greenbelt in Makati is challenging this). The mall enjoys a very strategic location and is within the same area where SM Megamall, Robinsons Galleria, The Podium, and Star Mall -- the area known to be the mall capital of the Philippines.

What to buy: Top 5 favorite stores:
1) Healthy Options - best place to shop for 'healthy food options'
2) Rustan's Department Store - if you're lucky, you could find some great 'bargain' treasures.
3) European Living - great options for European style furniture and accessories
4) Marks and Spencer - probably the most well-stocked branch when it comes to men's line.
5) Candles and Scents - gift ideas galore.

Top 5 restos:
1) Cibo - ultra chic and modern, in addition to great Italian
2) Trattoria Gourmet - their thin crust pizza is to die for
3) Bon Appetit - Rsutan's in-house resto offering Filipino comfort food - the pasta in crabfat sauce is simply sinful (read: cholesterol-rich)
4) Via Mare - traditional Filipino favorites

5 things to do besides shopping and dining:
1) Enjoy the posh, shiny interiors.
2) Take the 'double floor' escalators.
3) Treat your kids to a carousel ride.
4) Consult the dermatologists at Clarity Skin Clinic.
5) Consult the opthalmologists at the mall's eye clinic.

What I don't like: Recently the mall has gone elitist with their policies. For one, commuters have to endure higher taxi surcharges as they no longer allow regular taxi cabs to load passengers. Only their 'official' taxicab - Basic Taxi - are allowed to do so. Also, cinema afficionados will have to settle for their in-house 'styrofoamy' popcorn. Nor can they bring food bought from one of the many fastfood stores in the malls. Food and beverage could only be bought from the cinema's snack stand.

Address: Corner of EDSA and Shaw Blvd, Mandaluyong City

Directions: From Ayala station in Makati, take the northbound MRT and get off at Shaw Blvd station. The mall could be accessed directly from the station.

Theme: Department Store

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Dec 3, 2004
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Megamall in the morning - Manila

Megamall in the morning

SM Megamall: The largest mall in the Philippines

SM Megamall, strategically located in the (geographical) center of Metro Manila in Ortigas Center, is the largest mall in the Philippines. It offers everything, the consummate shopper desires - from medical clinics, to a chapel.

The stores are housed under two buildings - buildings A and B. As a reference point, the one closer to ADB (Asian Development Bankl) is Building A.

My top 5 favorite stores:
1) Powerbooks
2) SM Department Store - arguably the best-stocked among the many branches scattered nationwide.
3) Ace Hardware
4) The new computer stores at the 5th level
5) Home

My top 5 favorite restaurants:
1) Sushiya
2) Pancake House
3) Luk Yuen - saw Tatang (Mr. Sy, the major shareholder of SM malls) eating there once - tells you how good the food there is.
4) Cibo
5) Foodcourt at the basement for variety.

What to buy: In the Philippines, malling (yes, we Filipinos are masters of this activity) does not mean buying stuff only. While you can buy almost anything in this giant of a mall, there are other more fun ways of malling. Here are 5 suggestions on what to do at SM Megamall besides shopping and dining:

1) Count the number of steps it takes to traverse the entire distance from Building A to B.
2) Watch free mini-concerts.
3) Browse at Powerbooks.
4) People watch.
5) Ask directions from the security personnel and get blank faces as answers.

What to pay: From zilch to millions!

Directions: From Makati take the north-bound MRT at the Ayala station, get off at Ortigas station. Megamall's giant white shoebox architecture (talk about aesthetics!) is hard to miss!

Theme: Department Store

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Sep 19, 2004
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