When I was still in college, I remember going very often to Tutuban Center, Divisoria and 168. The stuff that you can buy there is unbelievably cheap and you can basically find anything that you can possibly imagine in any of the shops there.
But that was like 7 years ago, when you literally have to fight and push people on your way to get to one place to another. I haven’t been back since because I don’t really buy things as much as I did before and I just don’t think it is convenient for me to travel that far. (I didn’t mind the travel when I was in college because I was studying near the area.)
So when I received an invitation to visit Tutuban Center for a shopping spree on a budget kind of day (and transportation was provided, thank you so much!), I couldn’t say no to that!
I try to avoid this part of Manila because of the traffic but was surprisingly okay and tolerable
The last time I was here, it wasn’t this organized. Such an improvement!
Here’s what Tutuban Center is now, looks like a proper shopping center! It’s a three-floor building with so much space and not as chaotic as I remembered before.
We received our badges and was instructed to shop for at least one item under these categories:
- School Supplies
- Rainy Day Must Have
- OOTD Items
- Sulit Buys (smart buy because its cheap but you get value for money kind of thing)
The catch? We have only 1,000pesos to shop for these items within a 2 hour timeframe!
When I need to go shopping, I always have a list and I try to stick to it. So that’s what I did. I listed:
- Make-up remover
I walked around during the first few minutes to see what Tutuban Center has. I mostly stayed in the Prime Block area because that’s where all the affordable items can be found.
I passed by this shop selling bags and had to stop because I was curious why people were flocking the area. Then I saw the signs, you can buy a bag or a purse for as low as 50pesos!
I spent a good 15 minute here, rummaging thru the baskets until I found a cute backpack! Unfortunately, I couldn’t ask for a more cheaper price. Yes, I tried to bargain still! Haha!
This is the first floor of the Prime Block. I suggest that before you settle for an item, look around first and find the shop that offers it a lower price. Walking around felt like a breeze and I felt safe too. But of course, always be attentive to your surroundings.
Gowns can be found on the third floor and I overheard a mother and daughter closing a deal on a wedding gown for 80,000pesos. It looked really beautiful! Before you reach the end of the third floor, you can find this Ukay-Ukay. With patience (and perseverance), you can score branded clothes, shoes and bags for a really cheap price! They even let you try them on.
On the Main Block, you can find CD-R King, National Book Store, Watsons, the food court area and other branded shops.
I definitely recommend these two shops for school supplies. Papermart, definitely, for the more affordable items.
Feeling hungry after shopping? Treat yourself to a good classic fried chicken in Savory.So what did I end up getting for 1,000pesos in Tutuban Center? I managed to buy 11 items! Woohoo!
I bought these 3 clothes in the Ukay-Ukay for only 165pesos (55pesos each). So that’s 3 for OOTD items
Then these 2 for Sulit Buys, I bought these makeup remover wipes and Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water for only 248pesos in Watsons. I am tagging these under Sulit Buys.
A power bank from CD-R King for Sulit Buys as well because its only 150pesos.
These Nike Slip-ons for Rainy Day Must Have for only 150pesos. You don’t want your nice shoes to get wet, right? So always have a pair that you can change to when it starts pouring when you are outdoors.
This beautiful backpack for only 250pesos. I saw a shop in Eastwood selling the exact same bag for 600pesos, wow! I definitely scored a good deal on this. This is perfect because it fits my laptop and can be both under School Supplies or OOTD items
Then lastly these 4 black folders from Papermart for only 28pesos and a pink ballpen for 9pesos from National Book Store.
So, let’s do the tally:
- School Supplies – 4 items – 2 sets of folders, 1 ballpen and a backpack
- Rainy Day Must Have – 1 item – slip-ons
- OOTD Items – 3 items – 3 clothing items
- Sulit Buys – 3 items – powerbank, makeup remover wipes and Garnier Micellar Water
4 folders – ₱28
Ballpen – ₱9
Backpack – ₱250
Slip-ons – ₱150
Powerbank – ₱150
Makeup Remover Wipes – ₱199
Garnier Micellar Water – ₱149
3 clothing items – ₱165
Total – ₱1000
I managed to not exceed the budget and at the same time find everything that I planned. I was pretty happy with myself because I budgeted the money really well. I will definitely come back to Tutuban Center as I plan to buy a white faux fur rug so I can properly do my flatlays at home. Let me know if you’ve seen it around the area, please?
Disclosure: I was invited and the money spent was provided by Tutuban Center Inc. but rest assured that all thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.