Cebuanos are known to be frugal people, in that they always get their money’s worth. They make it a point to really look for high-quality products at a reasonable cost. That’s why downtown Cebu thrives; it caters to people who are keen on finding the best value for their money. The area has unbelievable places which make cheap shopping in Cebu City definitely achievable, and ShoppersGuide lists nine of the best downtown places where you can shop to your hearts’ content.
3. Gaisano Main
Gaisano Main, one of the institutions in the Cebuano retail industry of Cebu
is one of the biggest establishments along Colon Street. It offers an assortment of products for home and office use. Long before major malls opened for business in the uptown area, Gaisano Main was the go-to place when Cebuanos wanted to go shopping. The store offers just about everything one would possibly need in their homes and offices. What’s more, the prices of items sold at Gaisano Main are usually 10 to 20% cheaper compared to the stores in the uptown area.
6. Ukay-Ukay Store (Thrift Shop)
Ukay-ukay stores (thrift shops) can be found in nearly all corners of downtown Cebu
The term ukay-ukay is derived from the Tagalog word hukay, which means to dig. In an ukay-ukay store (thrift shop), you can never really predict what you will dig up among the piles and piles of secondhand goods and outlet surplus. In the past, items sold in these places are used clothing donated by the US Salvation Army. But now, you can even find surplus clothing from the biggest brands from Korea and Japan in some ukay-ukay stores. They remain the great equalizers, in that you can possibly find quality clothes that would usually sell for a thousand bucks, for only a tenth of the price in ukay-ukay stores. When buying at these places, though, patience is the most important virtue to have, since it may take some time to rummage through enormous piles of clothing before you can find the treasure you long to add to your wardrobe.
8. Happy Mart
Long-time Cebu residents always associate Happy Mart with two local comedians who served as the endorsers of the store
Teban and Goliat, who were known for their antics in a defunct local television show, was the first thing that came to the minds of Happy Mart’s patrons. Happy Mart is located along Osmeña Boulevard and mainly sells shoes and apparels at affordable prices—music to the ears of most Cebuano buyers. Their collared shirts start at PhP99.50 while dresses start at PhP 79.00. They also sell shirts at 3 for PhP100.
9. Sidewalk Stalls
Sidewalk vendors are a familiar sight not only in Cebu but in most places in the Philippines.
Aside from the established stores in the downtown area, there are also instances when someone would be able to find what they need from a stall located on the sidewalk. Normally, people wouldn’t go for sidewalk stores if they can buy the same from established commercial centers, but sometimes, they sell things which are hard to find in other places. Moreover, the items at these stalls are really cheap. For instance, a pair of slippers is sold at PhP50. Fruits normally sold at PhP25 to PhP30 in supermarkets are sold at PhP10 each.
Getting to downtown Cebu
It is not difficult to go to downtown Cebu, especially Colon Street, since most of the jeepneys in Cebu City pass by there. When riding a jeepney, simply ask the driver to drop you off at Colon Street. You may opt to walk from one end of Colon Street before moving on to Osmeña Boulevard, to really get to see what every merchant offers.
Cebuanos have a discriminating taste when it comes to products sold in the market. This prudent attitude when it comes to shopping simply shows that Cebuanos always look for the best value for their money. Because of this, Cebuano consumers are always on a lookout for the best deals in town—most of which are typically found in stores located in downtown Cebu.
Ready to go do some cheap shopping in Cebu City? Drop a comment below and let us know which spot you’ll visit first!
All photos of downtown Cebu were taken by the writer.
Prices may change without notice.