Test your bargaining skills at the Garments Capital of the Philippines

Photos by Tin Sartorio

Summer school breaks taught us how to enjoy cheap thrills. No allowance? No problem. While staying in and cozying it up with a book is fun and all, the real excitement comes from the challenge of making our year-long savings last for the next two months. It practically prepared us for adulthood. Y’know, having to make
every penny count ’til the next delayed paycheck arrives and other stuff.

In the spirit of getting bang for your buck, Ford and fashion blogger Yuki Tansengco challenged us to fi nd the perfect summer road trip outfit on a budget for this year ’s Ford EcoSport Fashion Challenge. They gave me an allowance of P700, a Ford EcoSport Titanium 1.5L AT (in the fiery Mars Red colorway) to drive for the day, and a limit of one hour in Taytay Tiangge. I basically spent that time walking, finding something cute,
contemplating but deciding not to buy anyway, more walking, and sweating — repeat. The place is huge so it’s easy to get overwhelmed, especially if it’s your first visit. But after so much internal debate, I eventually got myself to commit to a printed wrap dress and a cute pair of hoop earrings for a total of 350 pesos.

I’m probably still the worst bargainer in my family, but there were a few other tricks I picked up along the way. Here are some of the things I learned from my trip to Taytay Tiangge.

Take the wheel: A trip to Taytay Tiangge to find that summer outfit is also a trip in itself, so might as well take the whole gang with you.

Know where the secret spots are
Did you know that Taytay, Rizal is known as the Garments Capital of the Philippines? Well, I didn’t, so imagine my surprise when I saw the prices of the offerings in Taytay Tiangge. The tiangges house the works of Taytay-based dressmakers who used to rent stalls in Baclaran, Divisoria and Greenhills. In 2014, the local government of Taytay initiated building a center for them right in their hometown to ease their costs and travels, and to drive tourism to the area. And since the dressmakers absorb less cost to maintain their business, they’re also charging their customers less. It’s a win-win-win situation, TBH.


Navigate, b*tch
For the unacquainted, Taytay is now a mere one-hour drive from BGC thanks to C6 expressway. Yes, get on it. (Pro-tip: Search Club Manila East on Waze and choose the C6 route. When you spot giant tents and endless shoppers and vendors, you’ll know you’re in the right place.) Beware though: big trucks usually pass by that expressway, so some damaged roads can get bumpy. It wasn’t a problem for the Ford EcoSport, but it’s best to bring medicine for motion sickness if you’re prone to it. The unfamiliar roads might also make you feel lost at certain times, but
don’t let the stress get to you. No one wants to spoil the fun before it even begins, right?

Into the drop: New goods are delivered to Taytay Tiangge on Monday nights.

Keep your friends close
The Taytay trip to find that summer outfit is also a road trip in itself, so might as well take the whole gang with you. You can stuff the glove box with soda (it keeps it cool!), enjoy the breeze through the sunroof, blast your version of A Chill Mix™ through the smart car’s SYNC system, take cute boomerangs of the road (only if you’re not the designated driver) — the works! You won’t even notice the hour of driving that just passed by. Coming in groups is also a good strategy for the actual shopping. There are multiple centers in Taytay Tiangge, but they’re all concentrated in one area. You can split into smaller groups if you want to check different stalls. Chances are, you’ll get lost even if it’s not your first time. But having a shopping buddy always just makes it more bearable. You’ll also need them as a voice of reason for when you find yourself wanting to buy everything. (Trust me, you will.) But if you’re that type of barkada who actually likes the same things, you might even score your loot at wholesale price. #Twinning?

Cutting corners: Ford EcoSport’s fuel-saving innovations make it the perfect car for trips.

Shop it like it’s hot
A legit smart shopper knows to bring change to places like Taytay Tiangge. But just how affordable is it? Think: P150 for leather sandals, P250 for dresses, P50 for sunnies, P350 for branded overruns — you get the idea. And if you, too, are not a seasoned bargainer just like me, settling with prices like that aren’t bad at all.

In true street fashion, the items arrive in “drops” on Monday night ‘til Tuesday morning. Info like that comes handy when you’re setting a goal and planning for your trip. Do you want to call dibs on all the new goods? Score the best clearance steals? Avoid the crowd? The experience is different for every visit, so gear up with your best fuel-saving car because you’ll want to keep on coming back. Oh, did I mention the stalls from the day market are different from those in the evening? You’re welcome.

#style #technology #travel

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