About Helen A
Lives in Metro Manila, Philippines
Since Mar 2005
35-49 year old female
I am originally from the UK and spent seven years after university traveling around the world. I finally settled on a small island in the Philippines called Boracay because for me this is the perfect beach. I moved here in 2003 and its the longest I have lived anywhere since i was 18! This year though we moved permanently to our second home, Manila, for the sake of the children's education. I have a travel website which promotes the Philippines and an accommodation marketing business that provides both technology and expertise for many of the hotels in the Philippines I consider myself very lucky, I work for myself doing what I love and also making an impact on promoting this amazing country...perfect!
Gift & Specialty Shops
Shopping Malls, Flea & Street Markets
Gift & Specialty Shops
Points of Interest & Landmarks
SM Mall of Asia is the third biggest mall in the world and certainly a prime example of how the Philippines has embraced the mall lifestyle and made it singular to the culture. This Mall has everything you could imagine and is located right on Manila Bay. Spending a day here is easy—apart from shops and restaurants, of which there is a full range and a huge SM department store, there is a Science Discovery Center, Imax theater, Ice Rink, Bowling Alley, and Storyland. Add to this the SMX convention center, and there's bound to be something interesting happening when you visit.
Makati is really the ultimate shopper's heaven, and at its heart are the 5 Greenbelt Malls, home to upscale luxury brands and high-street shops. Though sometimes confusing, the layout allows for a lovely park-like central area, with bistro seating outside the restaurants and lots of outdoor space—there is even a tent-like Chapel.
Glorietta Mall sits at the center of the shopping city of Makati, and features a good selection of mid-range shops and lots of food. Check out the exhibition areas, as there is usually something interesting being showcased.
An enormous Mall that has served Manila residents for many years, SM Megamall recently opened a whole new wing, which showcases brands previously not in the Philippines, like H&M and Zara. With IMAX, bowling, ice skating, and a basement full of kids' entertainment, this is certainly one for the whole family.
A different kind of experience from the usual mall, Tiendesitas is based on a market stall concept. Here, the stalls have been moved indoors to form a refurbished, air-conditioned version, but the concept still holds firm. Here you can find local arts and crafts works, wood carvings, furniture, antiques and new items. Tiendesitas is also known for its extensive garden and pet section, good food stalls and live events most weekends.
A sprawling area that holds several different malls, Greenhills is a bargain shopper's paradise. The main building, Shopsville, houses hundreds of small market stalls and is a great place to bargain for shoes and bags, gifts and souvenirs, clothes and pearls. Other small, more traditional malls surround Shopsville, including V-Mall, which has nice shops and a great computer section on the top floor, and the Promenade, which has some really good restaurants.
Located in Bonifacio Global City, this mall epitomizes the stylish new city that has developed here. SM AURA Premier is an SM Mall but decidedly upmarket, with many speciality shops not found elsewhere. In addition to a unique mall experience, it has incredible architecture.
Bonifacio High Street provides yet another example of a different shopping experience in Manila. Here in this master-planned city, the High Street is like no other. Instead of cars going down its middle, there is only green grass, fountains, and art works. Shopping ranges from High Street to luxury brands.
To round off the selection and really experience local bargain-basement Philippine shopping, take a trip to Divasoria. The 168 Shopping Mall and surrounding streets are where most goods first arrive into the country—as other stalls in the city use this as their wholesale area, prices are often lower here.