The art of ukay-ukay or thrift store shopping is an art that can only truly be mastered through cultivated time and patience. As its name suggests, it involves the arduous task of having to rummaging through racks and racks of pre-loved clothing in often hot and dusty confined spaces. But as any thrifter would know, the satisfaction of finding the perfect look for less makes it worth it all so we’ve compiled our top five favorites ukay spots in the Metro.
1. UKAY UKAY WAGWAGAN, PASAY
At the intersection of EDSA and Taft is the Pasay Rotonda, which houses one of the branches of Ukay Ukay Wagwagan among other ukay stores. Apart from its accessible location via LRT and MRT, this store in particular is a must-go because prices are lowered weekly until the items are sold, simultaneously replaced with stocks of items. If you’re lucky, you may find the piece that you’ve been looking for sold for merely 10 pesos.
2. MAKATI CINEMA SQUARE, MAKATI
Situated along Don Chino Roces Avenue in the center of Makati, Makati Cinema Square is a treasure trove of affordable yet stylish finds. Here, you are saved from the usual musty smell of ukay-ukays as all two floors of the building are air-conditioned. As it is located in the heart of the city just across Little Tokyo, the prices are higher compared to other ukays. Fortunately, every now and then a sale is held in which selected stores sell their clothes for 20 pesos only.
3. ANONAS MALL, CUBAO
Cubao is one of the more popular destination for thrifting as it is sprawling with ukays, but you simply cannot call it a day without having gone to Anonas Mall. Beside the Anonas LRT Station, it stands four floors high, packed with everything from vintage dresses to shoes and toys. It’ll probably take a couple hours to carefully sift through the racks of clothes, but it’ll be worth it because the more you buy at once, the bigger the discount.
4. STARMALL ALABANG, ALABANG
If you’re the type who likes to take breaks in between shopping, then Starmall Alabang located along South Super Highway is the perfect place for you to ukay. It’s like any other mall, with its cinema and food outlets, but it’s also known for its ground floor which is packed with ukay stores. There are at least 14 ukay shops alone within the mall and many more just outside. Expect to spend a whole day browsing to find what you’re looking for.
5. UKAY-UKAY, TAGAYTAY
Just two stores down from Olivarez Plaza in Tagaytay Junction, is a warehouse-like ukay store simply called UKAY-UKAY. Everything from second hand bags to branded shoes and clothing ranging from jackets to spaghetti straps can be found here, and conveniently organized into easily identifiable sections. Whether you are looking for lounge wear or a fancy suit, you’re sure to find it here as they really have everything and for half the price you would normally get them for in Manila.
*Tagaytay is roughly about a 2-hr drive from Manila