Destinations | Manila | Philippines

Dapitan: Manila’s Christmas Street

November 29, 2010

Infatuated as I was with Barcelona’s Christmas street, there’s really no place like home. And nothing compares to the joy I feel whenever I visit Manila’s very own Christmas street– the mecca of craft/home-decor bargain-hunters– Dapitan Shopping Arcade or simply, Dapitan.

I recently visited Dapitan with my fellow Dapitan pilgrim, Nanay. We braved the Sunday crowd in search of (cheap) Christmas decors to add to our collection and we were not disappointed.

Dapitan is an export-overrun paradise. Much of what you’ll find here come from exporters for huge companies like Crate & Barrel and Macy’s.  Stocks are usually rejected for minor flaws but if you’re willing to overlook these imperfections, then you’ll find that Dapitan will make you a very happy shopper indeed.

parols made from dyed coconut leaves (I think)

The stalls outside the main market usually sell the cheapest stuff and this is where shoppers naturally gravitate so be prepared to face some competition when haggling.

that’s Nanay, in “tawad” mode

No one was paying any attention to these boxes since people were not interested to make decors anymore (at least not this close to Christmas).  So Nanay and I dug in. I had a wreath at home that needed ornaments and these were just what I needed.

These berries were 5 pesos a bundle!

I bought a lot of these abaca angels for my garlands
Yup, that’s Santa on his shoulder!

One thing to remember when going to Dapitan is to make sure that you have enough cash with you (preferably in small bills).  I so wanted to buy some of these beautiful capiz balls but my money wasn’t enough and the ATM was a few blocks away. Oh well… maybe next time.

adorable acorn bookends

Christmas season is Dapitan’s busiest. So prices tend to go up. But even if they do,  everything is still affordable and you won’t feel ripped off.

You know all those magazine pictures of beautifully decked out homes with designer furniture that no one seems to actually use? They are inspirational, but I love the way my own place has turned out with my bargain buys. It really feels great to be creative at home even if it’s not as perfect as those gleaming showrooms.

Want to see how my house looks like with all my Dapitan decors put up? Well, here it is.

To get to Dapitan, take a jeep marked Mayon from Burger King along Quezon Avenue. Go down Dapitan Street, near the baranggay hall.


  1. Oh ever reliable Dapitan! I love that place. And I love the acorn bookends. Makes me want to go there now. From the photos, at least the crowd doesn’t look as crazy as the one in 168 in Divisoria, another bargain paradise, where I went to with my own mom last Saturday 🙂

  2. Hey mabes! I love the acorn bookends, too. Reminds me of that prehistoric squirrel hehe. I did not even dare go to 168. I turn agoraphobic whenever I hear the word Divisoria haha

  3. Grabe, Pol. I’ve been going to Divisoria since I was a kid and the amount of people out on the streets was just crazy. At one point para kaming nasa prusisyon, may jeep sa harap and we were all walking behind the jeep, na di makausad-usad dahil naman sa mga tao sa harap. Panalo. Inisip ko talaga, ‘Syet, sana wag mag-stampede’ Hehe. (And the prehistoric squirrel would love that acorn!)

  4. hi there! yup, christmas is getting hot here in manila. but early mornings are a bit cold… if you can consider 25 degrees cold, that is. haha. thanks for the visit! happy travels.:)

  5. Hi WL, yup! It does exist somewhere in Manila.:) The capiz balls are 100 bucks apiece, I think. I’m sure you’ll have a blast when you go there!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *