One of the more affluent-looking department stores in Manila, Rustan's is where you encounter such globally known luxury brands as Cartier, Dunhill, Tiffany and Lalique. Rustan's is also worth a visit for its Philippine section which carries a fine selection of native arts and crafts. Opened in the 1970s, Rustan's has been surpassed in size and scale by newer shopping malls but it remains the preferred department store of Manila's rich and famous. The store attendants are attentive yet leave you to freely browse.
Started in 1982 as a solitary arcade, Alabang Town Center has evolved into a cosmopolitan (yet almost rustic) center where people shop, browse, dine, socialize or simply watch life go by. Each new arcade complements the previously built ones, resulting in a horizontally flowing architecture interspersed with trees and green patches. A good mix of shops (including two supermarkets), cinemas, trendy cafes, breezy walkways, sunshine-draped corridors, a tree-shaded circular plaza plus regular shows/activities and lots of parking space make Alabang Town Center a very popular weekend destination.
An expansive market featuring a wide range of goods, Divisoria attracts tourists and locals alike owing to its versatile nature. Name it and chances are you will find it here. Divisoria is also known for textiles and other local crafts and souvenirs. Prices are generally wholesale, and you can also strike great bargains.
Shop till you drop in this huge flagship store of the SM Group of Supermalls. Here you can also have a haircut, a manicure, a massage, and do a hundred other things. You may even go for a spin on the ice skating rink. There is a wide variety of cafes, bars, restaurants and food stalls, in addition to the SM Megamall Food Court in the basement. Just in case you are wondering what SM stands for, it is short for Shoe Mart, the name of the hole-in-the-wall shoe store which the mammoth SM enterprise sprung from.
Though smaller than S M Megamall and Shangri-La Plaza Mall Robinsons Galleria has its own faithful followers perhaps because it is less impersonal than its bigger neighbors. The architecture is certainly more user-friendly with the upper levels running like galleries around an atrium and promenade on the ground floor. As in all of Manila's malls shoppers can browse through a department store boutiques and specialty stores. Cafes, restaurants, and movie houses are located on the upper levels; a food court is in the basement. Robinsons Galleria is connected to the Manila Galleria Suites which is handy for the hotel's guests.
Merely a small stall when it started in the 1930s, the country's biggest bookstore chain is now a solid mainstay for students and general consumers. Stocking a comprehensive list of textbooks and titles on just about any subject, each of National's branches nationwide is crowded with shoppers who almost always find what they are looking for-books school/office supplies, art materials, stationery/greeting cards, and so forth, all at very reasonable prices. A National Bookstore can be found in just about every mall and in various other locations throughout Metro Manila.
This huge shopping complex, open since the 1980s, consists of five distinct sections, two of which are open-air. The most recent additions, Greenbelt 4 and 5 are where the high-end retailers reside; the brands include Marc Jacobs, Prada, Balenciaga and dozens more. The mall itself is surrounded by lush greenery, making shopping a distinctly more pleasurable experience. There are restaurants in all five parts of the center bar Greenbelt 4; there are plenty of choices, from fast-food to sit-down restaurants. Check the website for more details and opening hours.
If you are looking for vintage artifacts and souvenirs then head over to Maria Closa Primitive Arts to find some really unique and beautiful artifacts. The shop sells primitive arts and antiques in the form of sculptures, furniture, paintings and other artifacts. The shop itself is designed beautifully with modern furnishings and decor and the collections are displayed marvelously around the spacious site.
For decades Manila's serious bibliophiles have turned to La Solidaridad as a reliable source of well-known Western classics as well as hard-to-find Asian titles. The owner is himself a writer, a fact that is reflected in the relatively small but wide-ranging selection of books. Of special interest are the works of Filipino authors writing in the English language. The books are stacked on low shelves for easy browsing; the knowledgeable staff will gladly assist you in locating a title.For decades, Manila's serious bibliophiles have turned to La Solidaridad as a reliable source of well-known Western classics as well as hard-to-find Asian titles. The owner is himself a writer, a fact that is reflected in the relatively small but wide-ranging selection of books. Of special interest are the works of Filipino authors writing in the English language. The books are stacked on low shelves for easy browsing; the knowledgeable staff will gladly assist you in locating a title.
Think Philippine products and Tesoros instantly comes to mind. Handcrafted items such as place mats, picture frames, jewelry boxes, tapestries, fine fabric, formal wear, cigars, and native delicacies cram the shelves. Patience in sifting through the clutter will reward you with accessories that will add the Philippine touch to your home. Furniture pieces often copies of antiques are also available. Tesoros outlets are found in most malls and in all SM department stores. The outlets also provide shipping services across the globe.
Set amid historic Intramuros, Silahis Arts and Artifacts is much more than just a shop selling local handicrafts. A visit to the center can help the tourist understand the multiple influences and aspects of Philippino art and culture. On display are historical artifacts, fine crafts, folk art, Oriental ceramics, textiles, antiques, books, prints and sculpture. In a way, every piece purchased here serves as an expression of Philippino culture and lifestyle. Worldwide shipping and wholesale/export orders are accepted.
The store shelves may seem in need of dusting, but if you are interested in Philippine and Asian history, art and culture, and you happen to be in Intramuros, Tradewinds Books is worth a visit. Some of the books and magazines here are no longer available elsewhere and you just might stumble upon some rare finds among them. Souvenir hunters can go for a nicely boxed set of cards reproducing scenes of Manila from the late 19th and early 20th century.