Shopping Guide

Shop For Cheap Christmas Decor in Quiapo

Head to one of Manila's busiest areas to score bargain finds in time for the holidays

Original Article: Coni Tejada Photography: At Maculangan

It’s the –ber months, and soon, everyone will be buying Christmas gifts and decorating their homes for the holidays. Department stores and malls will soon be displaying Christmas ornaments for sale. But before you go to the cashier and buy one, why not check out the decorations sold in Quiapo? Apart from the anting-antings, potions, and religious articles the area is famous for, Quiapo is a veritable trove of cheap home décor. 

Head to ils de tuls (short for “ilalim ng tulay”) that the spot under Quezon Bridge is colloquially called. There, you’ll see rows of stalls selling Pinoy handicrafts like baskets, bilaos, and brooms. You’ll also find woven hats, mats, and other native goodies. Scour the area and you might just find a belen or holiday ornaments hidden among the pile. 

After you’re done checking out these woven goodies, walk around the area to find capiz Christmas lanterns. Are you looking for a Christmas ball alternative? Try decorating your home with ostrich egges—put them in a bowl or tray on your coffee table and they’ll surely be conversation starters. Check out the fruit bowls and serving platters (in different shapes and sizes) that make for great centerpieces on your Noche Buena table. 

If you’re the creative and crafty type, head to Villalobos Street. Stalls in this area sell thread and sewing supplies, beads, and jewelry parts which you might want to use to make personalized Christmas gifts or décor. You may also want to buy some new housewares as well in time for the New Year—explore the rest of Villalobos Street and nearby Hidalgo Street for this. 

Going to Quiapo now? It’s advisable to leave your vehicle at home, as finding a parking spot is a challenge if not impossible. Commute your way to Quiapo by taking the LRT1 and getting off at Carriedo Station, or riding Manila-bound jeepneys that will pass by Quiapo. Wear comfortable clothing and don’t forget to bring your tote bags to hold all the purchases you will make. 

Read theoriginal article (“Under the Bridge and into the Plaza") in the September 2005 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App. Log on to for more details.

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