What’s the best way to spend a holiday like Independence Day? Is it by revisiting the past and reconnecting with our history in museums and memorials? Is it by lounging around and spending it with our family and friends?
How about this for a different Independence Day idea: in the name of our country’s freedom, you can also go support the economy by shopping and supporting local establishments! As you probably well know, Manila’s got historical shopping joints scattered all over the metro—and the great part is they’re all accessible through the iconic LRT-1 train line. Here are a few you can hit up on your day off:
Anything you want to find, you can probably find at the legendary Baclaran Market, just off of the Baclaran LRT-1 station. From clothes to hardware to food products to shoes and so much more, Baclaran has it all. For those who are also religious, Independence Day also falls on a Wednesday, which happens to be the Baclaran Church Day where pilgrims visit the popular shrine.
The Cartimar Market in Pasay, easily reachable from the Gil Puyat LRT-1 station, is the place to go to when you’re looking for specialized things. Cartimar is the destination for bikes, pets (both pets themselves and accessories), food items, and imported Asian goods that you may not probably find anywhere else.
3. Harrison Plaza
Harrison Plaza, walkable from the Vito Cruz LRT-1 station, may not be the prettiest nor fanciest shopping center on this list, but it is pretty historic. The first shopping mall in the Malate area, this may be your last chance to visit Harrison Plaza as it is now, because it’s due for a huge makeover soon. Try the popular quick massage services to feel better in an instant.
What isn’t being sold in Divisoria? The answer is probably nothing, as you can get just about everything for a bargain in what is arguably Manila’s most popular bazaar. Take the train all the way to Carriedo station and board a jeep for a quick ride to Divisoria, find what you want to get, start haggling, and maybe get stuff you didn’t even know you had to have along the way. The good part about going to Divisoria? You get to eat in Chinatown, too!
If you prefer getting on the stranger side of things, then the Quiapo market is for you. Also accessible from the Carriedo LRT-1 station, the Quiapo market (in front of the famous Quiapo church) is home to many things mystical and supernatural. You can find fortune tellers and peddlers of interesting wares sitting right next to ordinary vendors of typical market items. Quiapo is definitely an adventure for the curious!
ikotMNL is a tourism campaign launched by the Light Rail Manila Corporation in 2018 to connect foreign and local travelers to Manila’s rich history, cultural heritage, and top food destinations by riding the LRT-1 to areas such as Intramuros, Binondo, Quiapo, and many more.