Shopping is always a part of any tourist’s itinerary. To be more specific, we love to shop for things to give to our friends and family back home or buy something that will remind us of our travel. The Philippines may not be a shopping mecca in Asia, but shopping is good experience with the wide array of items to purchase and the relatively low rates.

So what can you buy during your trip in the Philippines?

If you are looking for souvenir items to bring back home, you can shop for handicrafts, T-shirts and other items. You can buy pen holders, place mats and shirts with famous destinations printed in front. The best souvenir that you can buy in the Philippines are handicrafts.  These can be woven items like placemats or table runners. You can give them away for use them in your own homes to add a touch of exotic Asia in your abode.  Those who can afford to ship bigger items can go for antiques, ceramics and sculptured figures. The most popular are the bulols or those wooden sculptured in the Mountain Region of Northern Luzon.

Take home some accessories made in the Philipines like pearls and beads. These are very cheap and can easily be bought even along the shores of popular beaches like Boracay Island. Textiles like Abel from Ilocos and the famous Pina Jusi from the Visayas are luxurious items to bring back home.

These items are sold in various department stores in the Philippines as well as in small stalls locally known as tiangge. These stalls can be found very close to famous destinations and attraction areas all over the country. In tiangge, you can ask for discounted rates by haggling. To haggle, say “tawad” and say “mahal if you find the item too expensive.

If you are in a mall, you can easily find these items from the Filipiniana section of popular department stores like SM and Robinsons. Expect prices to be a little higher than buying tiangges.

Aside from the typical souvenir items, shopping is a delightful experience in the Philippines. There are many malls in the country that operates from 10am to 9pm daily and even have longer store hours during holidays and weekends.  Popular is SM with Mall of Asia on the front line.  Mall of  Asia is the country’s biggest mall.

Those who want to shop at cheap rates can visit the famous Greenhills mall. If you want real bargain with a little adventure, visit Baclaran and Divisoria. Just be cautious enough to safeguard your wallets and shop in these places sans your jewelries as not to attract the watchful eyes of thieves and pickpockets.

If you want luxurious shopping spree, Philippines also have malls that carry upscale boutiques, shops and brands. To name of a few, there are Shangri-la Mall, Rustan’s, Glorietta and Trinoma. Here you can purchase items from your favorite brands at lesser cost.

Ignite your visit to the Philippines when you shop. Shop till you drop in its malls. Practice your haggling skills in tiangges. And cherish items bought in the Philippines when you back home.