Baguio Shopping - Philippines
Your bargaining skills will be put to the test when you shop in Baguio City. The city locals are naturally frugal and they do expect the same from their visitors and guests. The prices of different commodities in Baguio are pretty much standard since business owners understand that anyone can easily ask and compare prices.
The prices of commodities here are already reasonable, however, with some haggling, you can even bring the price even lower. Those who are into bargain hunting will find the shopping action in the city a treat. The idea is to always be prepared and watch out for a good bargain. One good tip is to always ask around before buying anything and bargain for a better price.
A couple of favorite places in Baguio City are the Maharlika Livelihood Center and the Baguio City Market. You're sure to find all your needs covered whether they be for antiques, jewelry, furniture, carvings, or souvenirs. We'll mention a few of the places where you can find good deals in pine city.
The main vein of all the Baguio City shopping action is Session Road. You can say that this is the city's foremost area to shop. Session Road is usually the busiest section in town. Here you'll find the malls, where you usually will get your groceries and other stuff, and the city market for the really cheap deals.
Another interesting thing is that it is highly likely that you'll find souvenir stalls and shops in the various tourist destinations in your itinerary. Some of the things you could buy in those small shops can also be bought at the city market, however you will of course have more options if you buy at the city market.
For example, you'll surely be offered some dry goods when you go sightseeing at the Mines View Park. Some of the items offered could also be bought elsewhere, however, if you can get a better deal or are pressed for time then why not them here while you can.
There are of course some products that are specially produced in certain locations. The Good Shepherd Convent is well known for its jams and the ever-popular peanut brittle. You'll find a factory outlet of the Baguio Export Processing Zone in Camp John Hay's Mile-Hi Center.
Original woven cloth can be bought at Narda's along upper Session Road. If you're looking for ethnic furniture or antiques then go to the Maharlika Livelihood Center's parking lot. However, there are still more furniture shops all over Baguio City where you can find what you like and bargain for better prices.
Wagwagan or ukay-ukay will be two terms that you'll get accustomed to while in Baguio. These are small stores or thrift stores that sell anything under the sun. These stores will most likely sell clothing, shoes, bags, and other accessories. Prices at the ukay-ukay are usually just a fraction of the original price of the goods.
Night shopping is also a fun thing to do while in Baguio City. Be sure to come over to Baguio during the Panagbenga festival in February. You'll find the city full of bargain stores and shops and will find great deals.
The fun goes on even after the sun has set as Session in Bloom, a night market held at the close of Panagbenga, drags in bargain hunters. If you decide to join the shopping craze at night be sure to double check the goods you choose since poor lighting conditions preclude your shopping eye.
Here's a few things that should be on your shopping list when you go hunt for great deals in Baguio City. Benguet coffee was introduced by the Spanish and is of the Arabica variety. The beans are sold already roasted and will be ground while you wait. Hand woven products, jams, food preserves, cashew and peanut brittle, and other food items can be bought almost anywhere even in bus terminals. Fresh fruit, vegetables, garments, woodcarvings, furniture, silver works, and metal crafts are other popular items.
Shopping in Baguio City is a bargain-hunting bonanza. Your haggling skills will surely be tested as you negotiate for better deals.
Peanut brittle pieces are flat rectangular caramel candy pieces with lots of ground nuts in them. When heated corn and caramel syrups melt, ground Baguio-grown pili nut or peanut pieces are mixed with it and then poured on a flat metal surface, spread thinly and left for a while to cool down. These are cut into rectangular pieces and placed in jars. Tourists will never miss bottled peanut brittle when shopping in Baguio.
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These are tasty and frozen-looking muffins made of Baguio-grown cocoa. The muffins are about 2 inches in diameter, dark brown in color accentuated by white powdery flakes sprinkled all over them. Choco flakes stimulate the taste buds with its rich yet elusive milk-chocolate flavor and soft brownie muffin so that people crave for more. When shopping in Baguio, just look for choco flakes in bottle jars.
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Baguio ube jams are the latest delicacy craze in the city. Baguio, being a mountainous region, grows one of the best and sweetest ube tubers in the country. Ube tubers are boiled with skin still on them and then peeled after they are cooked. They are then ground and mixed with sweetened milk and butter fat, heated on low fire until they reach a thick consistency. Newly cooked, they are immediately placed in bottle jars to be sold while hot. Superb and tasty ube jams are almost everywhere where tourists often go shopping in Baguio.
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Handicrafts in Baguio are mostly natural materials endemic to Baguio with souvenir prints on them. Some are woven or carved products. They range from desk decors, kitchen or dining utensils, home adornments, and key chains. Common handicraft materials are pine cones, crystallized stones, and wood or pine tree branches. These are made into souvenir items manually or put together to make crafts like dining place mats and curtains--perfect when shopping in Baguio.
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Baguio woven articles are mostly colorful ponchos, wrap-around clothing, curtains, pillow covers, and carpets manually made by Igorot women using wooden weaving machines. Cloth designs vary from stripes, zigzags, diagonal lines, and criss-crossing lines. These are excellent when gift shopping in Baguio.
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Wood carvings are mostly human figures and faces, wooden chairs and tables, or weapons. They range from big statues to small desk decors to swords and daggers and stick-weapons. An all-time favorite is a small wooden figure of a naked Igorot inside a barrel. When the barrel is lifted the Igorot figure does something mischievous. It’s among best sellers with people shopping in Baguio.
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