The Ultimate Bangkal Makati Thrift Shopping Guide
Let's revisit this famous place and get all the insider tips and tricks on budget and secondhand shopping in Bangkal and Evangelista
Bangkal has long been a go-to haunt for those who are looking for secondhand furniture and décor on the cheap. According to the shop owners, their items come from “house visits” to homeowners, usually affluent ones, who are either redecorating or moving houses.
Bangkal is actually the name of a barangay in Makati where the string of stores belong to, but the shops are really found from point to point of General Hizon Street to General Garcia Street. Shops are open by around 9am daily, but perhaps due to the unsteady stream of shoppers, some stores open after lunch or stay closed—unless it’s Baratilyo day.
With their monthly event called Baratilyo, the different stores bring out their wares to the streets, an event that starts by 9am until 10pm. The Bangkal Thrift Market Association usually holds the Baratilyo during the third or last Saturday of the month.
Here’s what to expect if you’re headed to Bangkal during Baratilyo, or any other day:
It’s an antique furniture haven.
If you’re a fan of pieces that look like they belong in a bahay na bato, there’s a lot of those in Bangkal. There are also a ton of Oriental-style and authentic Italian furniture around as well. The choice of furniture in Bangkal makes sense, since these pieces come from house calls from usually senior-citizen-homeowners.
Stay for the oddities.
From beer mugs to sparkling chandeliers, the shops cop up anything that can still be sold. We remember spotting a huge head of a mascot, straight from a well-known bakery, being peddled! Along the same line, there was a desktop jukebox, an impressive collection of vinyls, wooden statues of saints that look like they belong in a museum, and a wide array of bauls and suitcases.
There’s a huge amount of tableware.
Porcelain plates, blue china, and a wide array of dinnerware and silverware are found in almost all the shops. Some you can purchase per piece or by pair, but some you would need to buy per set, and even marked up as high as P55,000!
Their stocks are always changing.
Frequent Bangkal shoppers know how quickly items in all the shops sell out, so if you were mulling over a particular item in a store a from a previous trip, it’s most likely that you won’t find it again on your next. Always ask: “Anong bago?” and snap up that piece as soon as you agree on a price.
Follow their “As is, Where is” rule.
With antiques and thrift finds, expect that lighting fixtures or machines like old typewriters or clocks are no longer working—they’ll purely be for decorative purposes only.
Most shops have stepped into the digital age.
You can buy anything online nowadays, and most Bangkal shops have gone with the times and sell their items online as well through Facebook or Instagram. Some stores accept GCash or credit cards, as well.
Stores stock up for Baratilyo.
Days after their Baratilyo event, the stores were left with little to sell, and we were encouraged to return next month, when they were up to the brim with items. Come early to score the best deals and be the shop’s buena mano!
Ready? Now here’s what to find at each street (take note, not all shops have actual names):
Honore’s Thrift Store is surprisingly one of the biggest thrift shops along General Hizon. It has the same storefront as other thrift stores in the compound but it also occupies the back of store of a vacant unit.
They have a lot of tableware and silver ware, lighting fixtures like table lamp and vintage chandeliers. They also have a wide variety of steins or beer mugs with lids.
There are stores that are actually two-storey homes and owners either use the second floor as their living space or as their storage.
A few weeks before the photo shoot, this store was quite dark and grimy. We didn’t really look around that much then, but when we came back they cleaned up the space and removed the tarpaulin to let in light. They sell mostly glassware and tableware, but they even have elegant items like candelabra, brass décor, antique lights, and blue and white china.
Vintage Expression is located in the compound of stores along the far end of General Hizon Street. This store is a mix of timeless pieces and kitschy ones. They showcase big furniture outside the store and hang artworks and framed prints on the store's walls.
This is one of the most curated stores we have visited. We were able to talk to the owner, and he said he looks for the quality furniture to sell. His pieces are a bit pricey, but the turnover is quite fast, because he sells items that do not need refurbishing.
GENERAL HIZON COR. A. APOLINARIO
Mikaela is a small store across Bangkal Thrift Store that sells a hodgepodge of things—mostly small items—but every now and then they stock up on furniture.
Storefronts of Bangkal often change since items sell fast and they hardly have any name plates or box signages so it’s advisable to take note of street names and just walk along the road when you have the chance to visit.
As with any other store located in the area, this store, located within a thrift shop compound, sells big and small antique items like furniture, décor and surprisingly they also have artworks for sale. You’ll find Murano glass and Lladro items in antique showcase cabinets.
GENERAL HIZON COR. EVANGELISTA
Located right at the corner of General Hizon cor. Evangelista Streets, this thrift store mostly sells small decorative items, lighting pieces, tableware, and a few pieces of big furniture. They also sell apparel like secondhand shoes, and back issues of National Geographic and other magazines.
GENERAL HIZON COR. P. SANTOS
One of the biggest stores in Bangkal. They mostly sell big pieces of furniture with a few accessories here and there. We all loved the freestanding wood dividers there. They were also selling a number of bauls when we visited.
This store located right on the corner P. Santos and General Hizon is our landmark in the area because of the big santo. They mostly have furniture pieces for sale, lighting pieces, and some religious sculptures.
There is another shop beside the store with santo and they sell mostly big pieces of furniture. Many are made of narra and some are from other hardwoods. Home accessories are usually brass or copper pieces and glass vases.
—Store captions by Dagny Madamba
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