My hair has a life of its own.
Anyway, as promised, here is the second installment of the Baguio trip, which will center on one of my favorite pastimes, thrifting, and Baguio being THE thrifting capital of the Philippines, it was nothing short of awesome.
December 27, Afternoon: Being the total tourists that we are, my family and I went to Mines View Park. Here you can buy all sorts of souvenirs for the pesky people back home and ride pretty decked out horses. You can also stuff your hat drawers with all the knit caps you want. Or any kind of knit thing, actually. Mines View Park probably has the biggest concentration of knit items in this country, from beanies to scarves to gloves to clothing. I think only the tourists buy these knit items, because the locals are cold-resistant, shuffling around town in a tank top and short shorts while I shiver in my three layers of clothing. Even though the stalls sell the same items, only in different colors, they are priced differently. My siblings and I were searching for a slouchy beret and the price ranged from 60-150php. Beanies are 3 for a hundred pesos, scarves for around 50php. The beanies with ear flaps retail for around 100-150php. There are also lots of key chains to take home as souvenirs, most of which are sold 12 for a hundred pesos. It would be best to ask around for the best deal. Of course I settled for the cheapest. Poke deeper in the maze of a market and you'll find a stall selling nice woven bags and clutches that I haven't seen elsewhere. I would've bought the pink and black minaudiere if only my cellphone fit in it. Only 180php, folks, and you can still haggle. After Mines View Park we hit Good Shepherd for jam and other sweet things, again for the people back home.
The minaudiere in question.
After an unsatisfying lunch we went for the thrifting spots. We were unfamiliar with the area and it took some walking before we hit the motherload. Three floors of clothing, shoes and other items to thrift. The place overwhelmed me; I didn't know which rack to search first. Found a really cute pair of kids' plaid pajamas by Tsumori Chisato but resisted buying it because it was too expensive for my liking.
There are clothes to thrift EVERYWHERE, from the ceiling to the floor.
Speaking of prices, most stalls had new arrivals, thus the jacked-up prices, but you can still haggle. Most women's clothing ranged from 80-200php for the unbranded ones (yes, they now sift out the branded ones and place a higher price on those). Men's clothing are much more expensive, with prices starting from 300php for the tops. The branded clothing aren't worth the prices if you ask me. I'm not forking over 800php for a used Lacoste button down, even if it is Lacoste. If you have a fur-lined puffer coat obsession you'll love it here. If you're looking for even cheaper items, look no further than the sidewalks surrounding the buildings with the thrift stalls, as these places will have small racks of clothing (which are mostly so wrinkled they're almost unrecognizable) lining the sidewalks priced from 20-50php.
The dreaded new arrival sign: a herald of high prices and obnoxious sellers. Hagglers beware.
I was searching for combat boots, but since my younger sister had already thrifted a pair a day before I held off the search. She got the boots for about 120php, not bad. I got a black dress with a neckline which I cannot fully describe for 100php, a basic long sleeved scooped-neck gray top for 100php (almost all of my basic tops came from ukay) and a black windbreaker for also 100php. That's not a lot, admittedly, but then again the entire place was overwhelming and bursting at the seams with stuff. Lots of oversized tops and dresses abound. Saw this cream poofy skirt but decided that I will not be wearing it outside the house and thus put it back. Tried on this color block tent dress that made me look pregnant. Thought over a black chunky knit poncho but then realized I lived in Manila where the average temperature is 32°C and not 20°C. Almost bought a pair of platform boots fit for a Spice Girl if not for the moss green color. There are tons of things to buy, not only clothes and shoes, but also vintage toys and eyeglasses, if you just dig hard, literally.
DO haggle. I cant give much advice in this area, as I'm not a hard haggler since most of the stuff I buy are so cheap anyway it would be unjust to ask for a lower price. Usually I just ask for the seller's 'last price' and if that is still too high for my liking, I walk away unless I absolutely love the item in question. I ask for a larger discount, but then again I'm such a cheapskate I usually wont go inside a thrift store without a '3 for 100' or a 'clearance sale' sign outside the store...
DO wear clothing you can layer things over. The stalls have no proper fitting rooms. Do not wear fussy clothing, or tops with buttons, or anything that has to be adjusted repeatedly. Wear shoes that can be easily slipped off if you're planning on shoe shopping. I wore a long sleeved top which I can wear things over. That way I can check if the item fits me without losing my dignity.
DO have an open mind. You cannot predict what you will find and dont limit yourself to the women's clothing. My brother found a very Christmas-y plaid button down (which I plan on borrowing soon) in the women's section for 200php. The items in the racks get mixed up, so sometimes you'll see tops that could pass for dresses.
Rows of jeans in the standard issue racks and hangers.
December 27, 11.15pm: We board the Victory Liner bound for Cubao, bringing with us boxes of jam, strawberries, vegetables and cashew brittle. Goodbye, Baguio. Hello, Manila.
That wraps up this Baguio tale. I will take pictures of the things we thrifted and post it if I can remember. My classes resume tomorrow. My birthday will be... soon. I keep forgetting I'm turning 20 and I'm not actually 18 anymore. Back to reality.