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  • 9 Budget-Friendly Stores for Buwan Ng Wika Costumes

    No time for DIY costumes? Here are some places where you can get great Filipiniana costumes this Buwan ng Wika.
    by Jazer Basan .
9 Budget-Friendly Stores for Buwan Ng Wika Costumes
PHOTO BY Jazer Basan
To read this story in Tagalog, click here.
  • Buwan ng Wika is all about passing on to our kids the value of Filipino language and culture. Traditionally, schools would hold a program to celebrate, and students would be asked to come in costumes that represent the different Philippine regions. The department store is the easiest place to go to for a costume if you cannot DIY, but since the budget is always a consideration, I usually scour the metro to look for more affordable pieces.

    If Divisoria is too far, finding affordable costumes may be closer to you than you think. The dry goods section of your district's shopping center may just have what you are looking for. On crowded days, it is not advisable to bring the kids. It’s best to get their measurements, bring a measuring tape and do the shopping yourself. Note that "bargaining" is part of the purchase deed at any public market so if you have the skills to negotiate the price, then do so to your advantage.

    Below is a list of places where you can find costumes at more affordable prices, not only for Buwan ng Wika but also for birthdays, Halloween parties, and other special occasions.


    Meding Embroideries (Redemptorist cor G.G. Cruz Sts. Baclaran)

    Meding Embroideries has been selling custom-made clothes for decades. Filipino costumes here can be as low as Php200 for a plain barong Tagalog to Php1,200 for a hand-painted piña gown for girls. Here and in any other open market place, it is advisable to check if you can return or exchange the item you bought should you find that the fit isn’t right, etc. Make sure to ask for a receipt.


    Rosy's Gown and Costume Rental (Redemptorist Road, Baclaran)

    Sometimes renting an outfit can be more practical than buying, if it will only be used once. At Rosy's Costume Rental, native costume rental rates are Php250 for the boy's outfit, Php450 for the baro't saya and Php600 for the golden sequined patadyong for girls. Terms and conditions apply in renting these costumes.


    Bayan Tek native products

    At the Pasay Public Mall and Market, you can find native costume props like different sizes of weaved baskets (bayong), hats, floor mats (banig for the stage or backdrop) and purse. The price ranges from Php35 for the weaved baskets to Php250 for the floor mats.


    Guadalupe Commercial Complex

    Guadalupe Commercial Complex is accessible by MRT. Filipino costumes for kids and adults can be found at the dry goods section of the basement area. Clothing, accessories, even plastic fruit and vegetable props for Nutrition Month (which coincides with Buwan ng Wika) are available from Php45 (native hat) to Php350 (Igorot set)

    Quezon City

    Nepa Q-mart

    Accessible by MRT, Nepa Q Mart is where you’ll find almost everything, costumes included. Filipiniana costumes range from P250 for a Kimona set to P380 for an embroidered baro't saya.


    Paco Market

    For most Manila residents, getting to Paco is easy. At the newly renovated Paco Market, Buwan ng Wika props and materials can be found at the dry goods section. Costumes for girls start at Php85 for kimona and Php62 for the camizo chino. Costume props like Bilao, arnis sticks, coconut shells, clay pots, and fans are priced between hpP20 and Php80.

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    Bambang Market (Carriedo)

    200 meters from the LRT station, Bambang Public Market is Manila's shopping center for pre-owned clothes. Even theater and costume departments of TV stations find materials for costume base and trimmings here. If you’re lucky, you might even find the costume you are looking for complete with accessories. Shown here are fine assembles from ukay-ukay finds. Important tip: before using the clothes, wash them thoroughly after soaking in a detergent and disinfectant solution.

    Segunda Mana store by Caritas (Pandacan)

    This project of Caritas Manila helps the needy by accepting and selling old and 2nd hand items. Supplies can come from individual donors, shop owners, department stores and overruns from factories. Proceeds go to the funding of Caritas's charity works. The main branch is located at Caritas Manila, Pandacan, and they have Satellite branches at Makati Cinema Square, Harrison Plaza in Manila, Victory Central Mall at Monumento, Caloocan City, and Star Mall at EDSA-Shaw, Mandaluyong.

    Photos by Jazer Basan

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