Quiapo 101

This weekend I went to Quiapo in Manila to buy some craft supplies for my polymer clay jewelry. Quiapo is something a not-so-safe shopping district where you can buy almost anything at a amazingly cheap price. Anyway, I was looking for a guide to good buys in Quiapo and some Do's and Don't's when you are shopping in Quiapo but I couldn't find any. So I decided to compile all the advice I got from my worried friends when I said I wanted to go to Quiapo by myself (I was so frustrated since I wanted to go to Quiapo since the first week of Feb.).

1. Dress down or at least try to blend in.
The more you stand out, the more you are an easy target for pick pockets or robbers. Since Quiapo is also considered as the "old downtown" of Manila (according to wikipedia), there are a lot cases where shoppers had all their money stolen. Some people say that their bags were cut at the bottom without them knowing.

2. Distribute your money in different pockets.
In case you're a victim of the pick pockets, you'd have some spare money hidden so you can at least commute home.

3. Be prepared.
Quiapo is an experience in itself. For people who are very OC about cleanliness and have an aversion to large crowds... be prepared.. I myself hate crowds and unlike the general pinoy population, I hate it when strangers stand to close to me. I really wanted to go to Quiapo for the great deals on my supplies... so I had no choice but to prepare myself and expect the worst. At the risk of being a snotty brat, I'm sharing my thoughts (rants). Most people here in the Philippines have a blurry sense of "good manners and conduct" and are lacking common sense when it comes to these things. with that said, here are somethings to consider to avoid the stress and frustration:

a. Do not expect anyone to say "Sorry" or "Excuse me" if the bump into you. (Even in malls it'll be rare to hear those words, what more in Quiapo)
b. Don't expect anyone to clear the way for you. (Again, even in the posh malls people don't seem to know the concept of keeping right when walking.. not every one is looking where they are walking, they stop abruptly in the middle of the road and they wont steer clear until you are already less than an inch apart. In small alleys are walkways, no one would stop to let you pass first instead they would squeeze in and force themselves in the tiny space.

*beeeeeeppp* I'm already hating what I'm writing so I'm stopping. I'll try to continue the rant in a separate post.

4. Bring a bag you can keep in front of you.

5. Last but not the least.. Take a long bath after your shopping experience. Hahaha. Once you see Quiapo, you'll know why.

Sorry for the rant and enjoy Quiapo

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