Make sure you click on our previous Divi guides at these links, Divisoria Shoppers’ Guide: Have The Proper Mindset (Part 1of 5) and Divisoria Shoppers’ Guide: Be Prepared for the Trip (Part 2 of 5) so you’re ready to pound the pavement of Divisoria’s seamy streets for good deals. Don’t forget to check out this handy map: http://www.mapcentral.ph/mapcentral/index.cfm
Sta. Elena St.
At the intersection of Juan Luna and Sta. Elena is the sleek blue and white sign of Jinhung Bijou, a year-round Christmas décor store. If you find yourself with the incurable urge to put up your Christmas tree in the middle of July, this is where you can get your shiny balls, tinsel, and fake mistletoe. As for the rest of this street, you can find fruits and vegetables by the cartload (Fuji apples in pristine boxes abound) in the area.
Extremely affordable wedding souvenirs are in abundance in this area as well as a plethora of toys from Lego look-alikes to Cabbage Patch clones and Barbie wannabes. An interesting place here is a building commonly known as the Bodega. It is the Divisoria version of Toys ‘R Us, offering party favors by the kilo, remote control cars, large doll houses (between P400-P700 for the Cinderella castle knockoffs) Monopoly sets (P100, yes, you heard me, P100!), punching bags and gloves and drum sets for toddlers (for the rockin’ rebel kid) and Yuh-Gi-Oh cards. Give a child P1,000 and take her to Bodega as a Christmas or birthday treat, and she will worship the ground you walk on until the end of her days (or until she discovers Toy Kingdom and realizes what a cheapskate you are). Once again, we advise you to shop at your own risk. Check out our safety guides before buying toys.
C. M. Recto
University belt aside, the western area of C.M. Recto has many Chinese drugstores offering traditional herbal medicines as well as modern remedies. As you head east, you’ll end up in Divisoria and Aranque markets. True, those places look and smell like Vietnam-war battlefields but the carnage-per-kilo is fresh and cheaper than any swanky SM or Rustan’s grocery.
Carmen Planas St.
Hardware and various fruits and vegetables (sweetish suha and tiny succulent kiat-kiat ponkans or whatever is in season) are among the items to be found in this street.
J. Abad Santos
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If you somehow ended up in this area, then you are lost. This is place is highly industrialized, with lots of auto supplies and heavy equipment. Of course, if you have a need to buy a forklift or steam shovel, go right ahead.
LRT 1 and LRT 2
Under the LRTs, between Carriedo until all the way past Doroteo Jose and Rizal Avenue (lengthwise, crosswise and everything in between), is a veritable smorgasbord of street food, stalls and shops selling goodies for budget film buffs, homebound handymen, armchair martial artists, budding audiophiles and musicians, and antique collectors. Do avoid the Victor Wood Karaoke CDs unless you wish your neighbors to burn you at the stake.
Other Articles in this Series: Divisoria Shoppers’ Guide: Have The Proper Mindset (Part 1 of 5) Divisoria Shoppers’ Guide: Be Prepared for the Trip (Part 2 of 5) Divisoria Shoppers’ Guide: Exploring the Malls (Part 3 of 5) Divisoria Shoppers’ Guide: Exploring the Markets (Part 4 of 5)