Getting to Divisoria on the first week of May last month, me and daughter braved the busy streets and alleys finding every shop there is. Getting a PUJ plying along Taft Avenue, we boarded one and stopped in front of Tutuban Mall. After hopping from one shop to another and buying few things, we hopped onto other malls like 168 mall, 999, and Divisoria Mall. Our first Divisoria experience had been better despite alarming warnings from city friends who knew that shopping in “DIVI” is a huge risk. Coming to the place with the best comfortable clothes we have plus a year-old unbranded flip flops on our fee. Boarding the same PUJ route that will take us back to the Taft area, we heave a sigh of relief that the experience was okay. Until, we heard a small shriek from a lady who’s about to board the same jeepney we were riding. Her earring was snatched! Whew!
Our second Divi adventure happened last Saturday, May 27. Coming from Nueva Ecija, we left home around 3 am hoping to arrived in Manila before 7am. We boarded a Baliuag bus enroute to Grace Park, 2nd Ave. in Caloocan City. Airconditioned bus fare were 180 pesos per head. Reaching NLEX at a quarter before 7 in the morning, we were greeted by heavy rains which accompanied typhoon Chedeng which battered Visayas regions. Ready with our hooded jackets and armed with umbrellas, we alighted the bus at 2nd Avenue in Caloocan and boarded a PUJ plying along that street, bearing the jeepney sign, MCU, Monumento, Divisoria. Jeepney fare was ten pesos.
Arriving in Divisoria a few minutes after 7 in the morning, I was surprised that Recto street fronting Tutuban Mall was devoid of shoppers. Busy were the sellers/vendors who were just starting to arranged their wares.
Going straight to Divisoria Mall were we have found the prices were much lower among other malls. Divi Mall has also airconditioning but the “pasilio” were narrower and tends to get tighter as the morning hours gets busier. And, because “pasilios” were narrower and kiosks were quite small, we got lost finding back shops who offered less. Should I memorize the “pasilio” numbers and alleyways?
At 10 am, we ventured into 999 and finding out lunches at 168 Mall where they have huge “posh mall-like” food kiosks.
At 3 o’clock, me and daughter decided to call it a day and headed towards the Baliuag Bus Station in 2nd Ave., Caloocan City. Fortunately, we had catch the bus that commutes daily from Grace Park to Bongabon (our town here in Nueva Ecija). The aircondtioned bus leaves at 4 pm and at around 7 pm were were safely home. Bus fare is P205/head.
- Wear comfy clothes as one is bound to go shoulder to shoulder with other shoppers esp at around 2 pm onwards.
- Don’t forget your umbrella even if there’s no rain because shops were buildings or few streets apart, umbrella surely beats the heat.
- Camera, gadgets, jewelries are a no-no. Divisoria is a haven of pickpockets and snatchers.
- Forget to bring your wallet with all your ids, cards, ATM’s in there. Should you need to bring an ATM, make sure to look for one at an atm booth inside a mall.
- Should you plan to buy many stuffs, make sure to bring a bag that would carry all your purchased items. We brought in one of our luggage bag for easy handling. You can not find a baggage counter in any of the malls there, so, assume that you will be carrying much of your purchased items wherever you go. Trolley bags are easier to transport esp in escalators and in the streets.
- Lastly, be alert on people who comes squeezing your sides. Must I say that we didn’t bring any wallets with us, just a small purse to keep loose bills and coins. Big bills we place inside our brassieres. Believe it or not. Better be safe than sorry. IT IS DIVISORIA!