The Great Tutuban Mall Challenge! 🙂

Catchy title.. right?  I so love my experience last Monday at the Tutuban Commercial Center.  This is not the first time that I’ve been to Tutuban but this is the first time that I’m going to shop there alone and for free. 🙂

Tutuban is synonymous with Divisoria.  It is one of the first and the biggest fully air-conditioned mall in the Divisoria area.  It is divided into three inter-connected tenanted buildings: The Cluster Building on the left wing, the Primeblock on the right and the Tutuban Center Mall.

If you are a resident of Manila or you were born in Manila, you should be ashamed of yourself if you have never been to Divisoria and Tutuban Mall.  I think that’s the first thing I will ask returning Manila resident actor-politician Joseph ‘Erap’ Estrada when I get a chance. 🙂

Well, I should say that Divisoria and I have a love-hate relationship:

  • I love the many choices  -but I do hate the overly-crowded streets and the long walks.
  • I love the bargains and the rock bottom prices – but I hate the fact that there isn’t any readily or easily accessible parking areas and that to get to the nearest public transportation you have to walk two to three blocks carrying all the things that you purchased while praying and hoping that it will not rain.
  • I love the place because it is really a one stop shop for anything and everything – but I hate the traffic.

We usually go to Divisoria before the school start and during special occasions like birthdays, valentines, Christmas, new year, etc.  I used to go there also to canvas for items that I needed for past business ventures.

Tutuban Center has been like a heaven for Divisoria shoppers because it’s way more comfortable to shop in a safe, air-conditioned mall than to shop outside and be exposed to all the elements.

I went there last Monday for a special task along with 4 others.  We were given 1,000 pesos each and were asked to spend all of the money inside the Tutuban Mall on ‘back-to-school’ items only.

I have with me a list of things to buy and also a game plan to maximize the spending power of the budget that was given to me.  I decided to tag along and observe first and watch how the others haggle for the items that I needed and come back to the shops who gave the lowest price.  That way, I save on energy and get the item with more savings. 🙂  Special thanks goes to the mommies that helped me Mommy Lariza, Mommy Jing and Mommy Janese.  Also a special shout to my bargain-hunting bro Arvin Ello. 🙂

We went first to scout items at the Primeblock here’s a quick look at the place:



I wasn’t able to find what I was looking for in this area so we head on to our next stop which is the Cluster Building:

The hallway in these area is smaller than those of the Prime Block but this is where I bought my first item for the shopping task.  I bought three pieces of Sando (Undergarment) for my 7th Grader for only PhP200.00 pesos or 66.66 per piece. 🙂

I also bought from another stall two pieces of School White Polo also for my 7th Grader for only Php 120.00 a piece.  The original price was Php 130.00.  There is a shop inside the Primeblock that sells White polo for only PhP 110.00 only but I was specifically looking for a Polo with slits and they don’t have that.

Our last stop was the Tutuban Center Mall where I spent all my remaining budget on school supplies inside Papermart.

After the three-hour bargain hunting, Tutuban Commercial Center treated us to an after shopping snack at McDonalds.

I can’t believe the number of items that I was able to purchased inside the Tutuban Mall for just a 1,000 pesos budget.   I went over by 95 pesos but have purchased a total of 49 items.  Excellent!  Here are the items that I bought:

Item Price QTY Total
St. Anthony White Polo (slits) 120.00 2 240.00
Kentucky Sando 66.66 3 199.98
Art paper 8.75 1 8.75
Construction Paper 16.50 1 16.50
Plastic Envelope 79.75 1 79.75
Scotch Tape 14.00 2 28.00
Colored Pen 18.00 2 36.00
Crayons 51.00 2 102.00
Typewriting Paper 1 ream 182.00 1 182.00
Intermediate Pad 13.40 5 67.00
Grade 3 Pad Paper 13.00 4 52.00
Pad 1/2 Crosswise 3.80 10 38.00
Pad 1/4 2.00 10 20.00
Pad 1/2 Lengthwise 5.00 5 25.00
TOTAL 593.86 49 1,094.98

What can I say, this has been a really wonderful experience.  I got a quick tour of the Tutuban Commercial Center and the  different items that they have there.  I was able to scout for the shops who gives out the best value for your money.  I have learned a few tricks on how to haggle for the lowest prices and what brands have the best quality.  And the best part is… I did all my shopping for FREE.  Even the snacks are for FREE!

Thanks to Richard Mamuyac of Mapanghingi Ka Ba and all the people of AMPR and Tutuban Commercial Center.

Check out also Tutuban Commercial Center’s BACK TO SCHOOL SALE happening in June!

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Writer, Wanderer, Child of God


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