Divisoria is known as the central all-around market and one-stop shop in the Philippines. Situated at the heart of the capital, Manila, Divisoria has been known for its retail and wholesale stores, tiangges, midnight bazaars, street markets, shopping malls and food stalls that offer items at low, low prices. With items ranging from housewares, clothing, shoes, dry and wet goods, fabrics, and anything "under the sun" like pirated media materials (shhh!), Divisoria (or "Divi" to many) has been the default destination for those who want to make the most out of every peso spent without compromising value and quality.
Divisoria is also the home of the following attractions:
1. Divisoria Mall - located between Tabora and Sto. Cristo streets of Binondo area. This is an airconditioned mall with three floors and foodcourt on the third floor. Products as small as gift items can be bought here at wholesale.
2. Tutuban Center - formerly a PNR central station, this big area was converted to an air-conditioned mall in the early 90's and since then has housed bargain and wholesale stores. Robinson's Department Store and Supermarket can be found here as well as the Prime Block Mall. The original malls are Tutuban Mall, Centermall 1 and Centermall 2.
3. 168 Mall - located between Sta. Elena and Soler streets, this huge bargain mall caters to the higher class market selling fashion items and footwear that can rival designer brands at insanely lower prices. FYI - Soler is known for household items, especially plastic products and linens
4. Meisic Mall - This mall can be found beside 168 Mall at the corner of Felipe II and Reina Regente. The mall is known to offer entertainment performances to those who are in the foodcourt.
5. All the sidestreets will cater and present different items for sale at very cheap price. Some famous streets are: Ylaya for sewing needs (such as buttons, textiles, etc), Tabora for baskets, handicrafts, and kitchenwares, Masangkay for automotive parts and supplies, Dagupan for rice dealers and distributors.
6. Binondo district and Ongpin, known for being the Chinese center of Manila, are south of the area and can be accessed even by walking. Other than Chinatown, streets like Tomas Pinpin (street lined up with furnitures) and Nueva (a thriving shoe haven) is within the area.
7. Quaipo is also nearby; other "best find" streets can be found here. Raon (now known as Gonzalo Puyat is known for electronic supplies) and F. Hidalgo (known for its photography/camera equipments shops selling lower than market price visited even by the country's best) are one of those few.
8. Other shopping centers are Benison's Shopping Center (a residential building with mall), R-Square Commercial Center, Manila Textile Market, and Fiesta Shopping Plaza
9. Some more side-streets: Moriones - fishing equipment and supplies; Dagupan/Bonifacio - Home furnishing, accessories and toys; Chaves - souvenirs, stuffed toys, giveaways; Reina Regente - umbrellas, canvas, cotton, and vinyl products
Directions on how to get to Divisoria:
*Remember to take note that Divisoria's main landmark streets are Juan Luna Street, Soler Street, and Claro M. Recto Avenue. For traveling tips and safety guides, refer to the mentioned section below the map.
From the CaMaNaVa area:
Option 1. From Monumento, ride a jeepney bound for Divisoria via Rizal Avenue and get down at the corner of Claro M. Recto Ave.. Walk westward along Recto Avenue and you will end up at Divisoria.
Option 2. From Monumento, take an LRT 1 Yellow Line going to Taft and get down at Doroteo Jose station, walk towards Claro M. Recto Avenue and you can either ride a jeepney to Divisoria or just walk a little bit and you'll see 168 Mall and Tutuban.
Option 3. From Caloocan near Tondo area, ride a jeepney to Divisoria (or Dagupan street) via Juan Luna street. This will take you Tutuban Mall.
Option 4. From Navotas and Malabon, there are jeepneys bound to Divisoria via Ylaya Street with Tutuban as nearest landmark point in Divisoria.From Quezon City and Marikina:
Option 1. Take the LRT2 Purple Line and go down at Recto Station. From here, ride a jeepney bound for Divisoria or walk just walk westward until you reach 168 Mall.
Option 2. From Cubao, you can ride a jeepney/FX that is bound for Quiapo and asked to be dropped at Divisoria.
From the south (Pasay, Makati, Paranaque area):
Option 1. From SM Mall of Asia or along Taft Avenue, take a jeepney bound for Divisoria either via Taft or Mabini route.
Option 2. Ride an FX or bus bound for Manila City Hall or Lawton and from there either ride a jeepney or FX bound for Divisoria.
Option 3. Ride the LRT 1 Yellow Line bound for Doroteo Jose and then walk towards Recto Avenue westward until you reach 168 Mall or Meisic Mall.Alternatively, via Makati, you can ride:
Option 1. Take jeepneys such as Guadalupe - Cartimar and Evangelista - Buendia or Ayala-Leveriza Bus bound for Buendia LRT 1 Station. Then follow the options mentioned above.
Option 2. Take the Pasay Road - Libertad or Dian - Libertad jeepney and go to Libertad LRT 1 Station. Then follow the options mentioned above.
Option 3. Pasig River Ferry and go down at Escolta station. There are jeepneys passing by the area that are bound for Divisoria.Areas by the east side of Metro Manila (i.e. Pasig, Mandaluyong, Pateros etc)
Option 1. You can ride an MRT southbound to EDSA-Taft Station and transfer to the LRT1 via an elevated walkway to EDSA Station and ride an LRT bound for Monumento. Go down at Doroteo Jose and then walk westward throught Recto until you reach 168 Mall at Divisoria.
Option 2. You can ride an MRT southbound to EDSA-Taft Station and from there ride a Divisoria bound jeepney via Taft Avenue. There are also buses from the south that are bound for Lawton, you can take that, get down at Lawton and transfer to a Divisoria bound jeepney.
Option 3. You can also ride an MRT northbound to Cubao and transfer to LRT 2 Purple Line bound for Recto and ride a jeepney bound for Divisoria or walk westward to reach 168 Mall.
Option 4. You can also ride an MRT northbound to Cubao and ride a Quaipo bound FX/jeep along Aurora Blvd and asked to be dropped at Divisoria.
Option 5. From Ortigas or SM Megamall, there are FX bound for Quiapo, you can also ride this and asked to be dropped at Divisoria.
Option 6. You can also ride a Pasig River Ferry and go down at Escolta. There are jeepneys passing by the area that are bound for Divisoria.
Option 7. From Ortigas or Robinson's Galleria, or Greenhills, there are buses (G-Liner) bound for Quiapo, you can also ride this and asked to be dropped at Divisoria.
For private vehicles, from the south of Manila you can take Taft Avenue or Mabini and cross via (1) McArthur Bridge and follow Rizal Avenue until you reach Recto, turn left and you will reach Divisoria (Tutuban is on your left and 168 Mall is accessible via a left turn on Roman) or (2) Jones Bridge and follow the Juan Luna route until you arrive at Divisoria. If you are coming from the north of Manila, you can take Rizal Avenue or Juan Luna (which is a closer route to Divisoria). From the east of Manila, you can take Espana or Magsaysay - Legarda to reach Recto. Parking is available outside 168 Mall and along the sidestreets.
Of course, you can ride a taxicab from any area in the Metro and just mention to the driver to drop you off "Divisoria", "168 Mall", or "Tutuban". The route might seem hard for them so a good compromise would be anywhere close by along Recto or Juan Luna.
Here's a map around Divisoria via Google Maps:
Note that the Divisoria Market does not have clear boundaries and may extend to streets outside the green box above (as stated in the Attractions section). The map only serves as a vicinity guide than a geographical guide. Divisoria is geographically shared across the geographical districts of Tondo, Binondo, and San Nicolas.
Traveling Tips and Safety Guidelines
1. Note that since this area is crowded all the time, it is advisable to be extra careful and make sure that your valuables are safe and well-secured.
2. Practically speaking, wear something casual and comfortable so as not to attract the public eye and also to help ease the shopping experience, since the area outside the aircon malls is hot and humid.
3. First-timers should probably invite veteran hagglers to make the visit more worth it.
4. Credit cards are not used as main mode of payment in this area, it is better to withdraw money beforehand and create a list to control a budget.
5. If you get lost, don't hesitate to ask around - for sure a lot of shoppers would point you to the right direction and would even recommend where to exactly go for the items that you are looking for.
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