Metro Manila · Shopping (Malls, Groceries & more)
There are a lot of places in the Megacity where you can have the perfect shopping experience - and in some you can even do the groceries and go shopping the latest clothes at once. For the latter category, have a look at our section on selected Malls in the Megacity. This section features stand-alone supermarkets, shopping centres, and stores which offer a wide range in goods as well as a great shopping experience.
When shopping outside the usual malls, it is recommended to have enough cash in your pocket or your credit card to withdraw at the nearby ATMs. Most shops will either only accept national issued credit and debit cards or only accept cash. It is therefore the recommended means of payment when you are going to do the groceries or shopping for clothes etc. For further information, have a look at our money and finance section.
Since a plastic ban has been implemented in Makati and many other other cities of Metro Manila, bringing your own bags is recommended when doing the groceries. Some grocery stores in the respective cities only give out paper bags without handles, while others use biodegradable plastic bags but they will charge you for a small amount for it.
For lack of public space, shopping malls are often the primary venue for social life in Philippine towns and cities, particularly in Metro Manila, where you find some of the world's largest malls. This section gives an overview of the Megacity's most important malls, their locations, special features and what you can find and do in each of them.
The Megacity Manila Shopping Basket gives newcomers in the Philippines orientation on how much they will pay for local and imported food, beverages, and toiletries in Manila's stores. It also allows to track the price development in the country, as we update the list every month and provide the prices in pesos, US dollars, and euros.
Doing the groceries in Manila means visiting either one of the supermarkets inside the shopping malls or going to a stand-alone one equally big. There are also smaller grocery stores in Metro Manila that serve villages and communities in the area. These grocery stores usually have basic items in their inventory. However, if you want to buy imported goods because you miss having them, going to one of the following supermarkets is probably the best idea.
When living the fast-paced life of a Megacitizen, in a foreign country and with long work days, it is not always easy to keep your body and mind balanced and healthy. Often you might choose to just grab some snack from the nearest fast food restaurant during lunch, and perhaps get a microwave meal from 7-11 after work. But there are other options...
Apart from H&M, other international clothing brands have found their way into Philippine soil. Megacitizens need not worry about missing their favorite clothing label as they can easily be found in Metro Manila malls.
Suit up! Custom-made clothes are often considerably cheaper in Metro Manila than in Western countries. Finding those small tailor shops in the Megacity can be a feat, but there are a couple of places where they will provide you with that suit you need.
You get groceries from all over the world in Philippine supermarkets, but the country also has its own local brands of delicious food, drinks, and snacks. Here is what you should definitely try out.
You get snacks, drinks and other necessities 24/7 at literally every street corner in the Megacity, thanks to international chains of convenience stores and the typical Filipino Sari-Sari stores.
Endless chains of sausages, tables laden with the freshest seafood, baskets filled with exotic fruits, mountains of rice: wet markets are the best way to get to know the world of Philippine food.
If you find shopping in Manila's malls too stressful or if you are looking for special deals and promos, the Internet offers quite some opportunities.
Eating and Drinking like home? At least if you are coming from Europe or Northern America, this promise can be fulfilled. As shown in our HotSpot section, there are a lot of good restaurants featuring international cuisine. Even if you don't like to go out, you can have a more Western lunch or dinner.
If you want to buy some clothes and don't like to visit the same-old malls or buy something you urgently need in one of the Hypermarkets, there are a lot of options. Altogether, there are so many options that you keep wondering if people in the Megacity do other things than shopping!
S&R is a "membership-shopping club" and wholesale market that caters to businesses as well as individuals. The five branches in Metro Manila offer a wide selection of imported and local goods, many of them in value packed sizes.
This gigantic store is a paradise not only for workmen but for everybody who wants to improve his/her home or needs new furniture.
"Vom Fass" is German for "from the cask", and that is how the delicacies at this little store are served. The two branches in Metro Manila have a wide, constantly changing selection of liquors, oils, vinegars, and whiskeys, sold straight from the barrel per 100 ml.
While shopping in the Philippines is relatively cheap for expat standards, many Manilenos would think twice before buying at malls. Many would still prefer buying at secondhand shops, more popularly known as ukay-ukay.