Shopping on a shoestring budget? There are only a few places in Mega Manila that can help you make ends meet especially during the start of the school season and right after paying for all the school fees.

The more kids you have, the shorter the string -I know that many of you can relate to that.

If you’re near Manila, there’s really only one place that can get you almost everything that you need with prices that stretches what you have in your wallet – DIVISORIA.

And when in Divisoria, the most convenient place to shop is at TUTUBAN!

I visited Tutuban last week to participate in a shopping challenge and to test the following theories about the place:

  • You can find almost everything at Tutuban
  • You get items at bargain prices all the time
  • It is now more convenient and safe to shop at Tutuban

We were assigned four tasks with a budget of only 1,000 Pesos:

  1. Look for back-to-school items
  2. Buy at least one rainy day item
  3. Scout for OOTD-worthy pieces
  4. Be on the look-out for that super sulit buys

After a little over two hours of roaming, I was able to finish all the task at hand and see almost everything that Tutuban has to offer its shoppers.

The Concierge at the Prime Block

Tutuban has  featured locations and activities:

  • Prime Block – this is the main mall, a two-storey complex that contains a mix of specialty shops, boutiques, restaurants, food stalls and a couple of tiangge items.
  • Cluster Building – this area is designed for the wholesale market. Stores are divided into clusters and offers anything from textile, fashion accessories, toys, bags, apparels, shoes, housewares and many more.
  • Night Market – as the main mall closes, the night market opens up to a whole new breed of night shoppers.
  • Food Street – this is Tutuban’s version of the outdoor food parks and complements the Night Market as it offers extended fast dining services to shoppers.
The Prime Block

While there’s a Papermart outlet in Tutuban, I did most of my back-to-school shopping at National Bookstore.

National Bookstore
The Information Desk at the Cluster Building
The Elevator at the Cluster Building
The Food Court

The best part about Tutuban is that while it’s loaded with shoppers from all walks of life, there are always a security officer just around the corner from where you are. So you feel a little bit more safer.

It’s a worry-free shopping experience, all you need to do now is to find that store that will give you the lowest price and the best value for your money. And that’s what I did last week.

For a budget of only 997 pesos, I was able to buy the following items:

  • 10 notebooks
  • 1 roll of plastic cover
  • 1 assorted pad paper pack
  • 1 rain coat
  • 1 insecticide
  • 2 pcs of shirts

Also, I have to mention that I’ve been looking for a very specific style of plain white T for the longest time and found it in a store in Tutuban called MuraDito for only 150 pesos. The price are lower when you purchase it in bulk or wholesale.

But if there’s a MuraDito, there’s also an OrigNaMura store and this is where I found the raincoat (110 pesos) and insecticide (110 pesos).

They have cool jackets as well and I plan to come back there again to score that one within the month. Bags are awesome too, if you’re not the type that look at tags – a backpack only cost around 300 pesos each. Again, it’s going to be more cheaper when you buy a couple of pieces more.

More items on SALE:

That’s how they roll in Tutuban! I am so happy with my shopping finds and wished that all stores and malls in Manila can be as reasonably priced as the one in Tutuban.

How to get there:

From LRT 2 Recto station or Taft Avenue, Avenida and Recto, there are Jeepneys that can take you straight to Divisoria for only 8 pesos (minimum fare) – ask the driver to drop you off at Tutuban Mall. Your landmark is the Bonifacio monument.

Getting out is little bit tricky, since there are a lot of people in Divisoria – but there are Jeepneys and Tricycles (20 Pesos each) that can take you to the nearest LRT 1 and LRT 2 stations.

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