Ukay-Ukay Version 2.0 (A Shopaholic’s Guide to Frugal and Fabulous Shopping in Iloilo City)

Ever since I was a kid that I’ve learned to live the most frugal way and it’s only a “PLAN B” to shop for clothes at the supermalls. I’ve actually never looked at such a habit the same way even if I’ve got lots of free time to spend.

That’s unless, of course, if I’m buying some undergarments, sleepwear, hankies, towels or a pair of socks, or shoes. Or certain instances like I’m on panic-buying mode and Christmas is just around the corner.

Here’s the statistics to give you an idea:

  • Like only about 30% of my clothes came from the supermalls.
  • The other 30% are presents from (and custom-designed by) my dearly-loved ones.
  • The rest are nothing but hand-me-downs and came from the flea market that’s hand-picked again, by my loved ones and as well by yours truly.

Oh! I loved and treasured second-hand clothes as much as brand new ones that I could never let go of them and gave away only a few! Though, nowadays, I rarely go to flea markets and nearby town plazas.

So what’s my new “PLAN A”? The downtown area of Iloilo City! Here’s a list of my top 5 favorite ukay-ukay centers for your reference:

1. Magarbo, MaryMart Mall

“Guess what I found? An unused and tagged Marks & Spencer long-sleeved shirt for Php100 only! Such a steal!” ~ Hena of Mistaken Glance

“What I really like is that the clothes are arranged according to color. In that way, we can easily choose which colors… In a matter of minutes, I scored some nice maternity-styled tops which were in really good shape pa. 🙂 Only for 100 bucks each.” ~ Vina P

“Na adik na ko sa Magarbo, nami gali didto!” ~ Papet Santillana a.k.a Magiting

“Ay abaw… Mayu gani may Magarbo na subong. Why spend much kon may makita ka man lang nga barato, di bala? ” ~ Marie, a commenter on Magiting’s post

That's ODF, something like that, ane of my rarest finds in Magarbo.

That’s ODF-ish, bought few years ago and one of my rarest finds in Magarbo.

Magarbo’s the only shopping ground for me during my college days. The store expanded from one to a few more branches. But eventually shrank back, and what’s left are only 2 branches.

Everything, except for the plushies, are sold for only Php 100 a piece. Clothes at other branch/es are priced a bit higher but still worth every cent. Sale days are frequent and clothes are, at a time, sold in three’s for the same price.

Be warned though, fitting rooms are no longer available. The only way to ensure perfect fitting clothes is by putting one over your own and have a look at yourself in a full-length mirror. Thanks to the growing number of shoplifters I guess.

Magarbo does allow returns but it’s limited for a day or so only. So if you can’t wait to try your new hauls at home, then MaryMart Mall has gender-specific restrooms where you can have a bit of privacy and see if your new hauls actually fit.

2. Adiwang, across BPI Iznart

“Adiwang sell clothes for as low as 50 pesos or give discounts up to 70% off on selected garments.” ~ Karen Vergara, The Daily Guardian

“It’s super nice there! Bought 2 vintagey pullovers and 1 korean-like jacket!” ~ Kat of Whimsical Melody

Another one, a rare find while shopping in Adiwang! (Price is... more or less around Php100 something.)

Another one, a rare find while shopping in Adiwang! (Price is… more or less around Php 100 something and photo’s taken a few years ago.)

Adiwang’s a new establishment that became the next big shopping ground for me because clothes aren’t only reasonably-priced. Actually just as similar to Magarbo, but there’s more than clothes and plushies that you can find in this place.

From bags to caps and more, every day’s almost a sale day. There are sections for new arrivals and as well for clothes that are sold for as low as Php 20 a piece!

You may still get sweaty though, because of the narrowness of the place and all the stuff available on hand. Fitting rooms are tight, but better than nothing right?

3. Toppings, MaryMart Mall

“No need to spend much on things you might want to buy because there must be a cheaper version of it somewhere.” ~ Japhet of The Gene Express

From cosmetics, hair accessories and footwear (socks and shoes) to kids’ clothes (plus costumes) to dog clothes to various home essentials, plushies and books, what you can find at Toppings is more clothes and beyond!

4. Sidings, MaryMart Mall 

Only an extension of Toppings, but you can find some more stuff here including bags and school slash office supplies.

Price range in both shopping grounds isn’t as cheap as Magarbo or Adiwang though. It depends on what category the item falls in. But when they run a sale, stuff are usually sold in two’s for a price of one and it’s the higher price that you’ve got to pay for.

Any fitting rooms? Yes of course.

5. Joemil’s, MaryMart Mall (and alongside, or a few stores away from, the main entrance of the Amigo Terrace Hotel)

Here comes Joemil’s, the newest shopping ground that expanded to two more branches. Compared to others, what you’ll find in this place are of the finest quality designer stuff.

Almost everything is sold at a reasonable price and they run a sale too. You may like something that’s beyond your budget. But you’ll buy it anyway without much of a haggle because of the quality.

It still pays to ask for the last price before actually making a purchase and yes, they have fitting rooms.

“MaryMart Mall is the best place to ukay especially if you don’t want to literally ukay those clothes because they’re hanged.” ~ Marynit Rivera of My Ukay Chronicles (This one’s different and super tight, but still at the MaryMart Mall.)

“To think we swore off ukay shopping! Well, how could we resist a super-cool jean jacket by Jean Paul Gaultier for 330 pesos??” ~ Liza Ilarde of The Fash Pack

Thumbs up MaryMart Mall! (Or Center?) There’s nothing to argue about because this place has so much to offer than any other ukay-ukay centers around.

  • Clothes for all ages and genders.
  • Clothes for all four seasons (yes, even winter ones).
  • Clothes for all occasions.
  • Clothes from the distant past.
  • Clothes for pets.
  • Clothes of all kinds, sizes and colors!

Tons of rare finds. The whole place is air-conditioned. It has its own food court and many other dining spots too. Seems like it’s everyone’s top choice then!

What about the rest of the ukay-ukay centers? Some aren’t the typical ukay-type of store. But for more options, you can also head to:

  • 1688 Mall, nearby Robinson’s Place
  • GT Plaza Mall, Molo
  • The Atrium

The building beside Chowking Iznart, formerly known as 168 Allegro Plaza Mall, is also another option. And guess what, beside it are a few stalls of ukay too.

“It is quite comfortable to get around. I just hope that the air-conditioning system will be able to handle the influx of more shoppers in the future.” ~ Mazel Mary Jeongco of Iloilo: Rants and Raves

2 thoughts on “Ukay-Ukay Version 2.0 (A Shopaholic’s Guide to Frugal and Fabulous Shopping in Iloilo City)

  1. Omg! hahaha I’m super shocked when I saw Kat of Whimsical Melody. Didn’t expect to be mentioned on someone’s blog just because of my comment about Adiwang. hihi Thanks!

  2. Your welcome Kat! I’m writing about Adiwang and doing a lot of research… your comment should not be missed! This blog is still in progress and thanks for dropping by. How did you know by the way? 😀

Leave a Reply

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