10 Shops to Recommend to Your Foreign Friends

Where to buy something nice and fun to remember MNL and PHL by


(SPOT.ph) Here’s a compilation of mall-based and off-the-beaten-track stops when visiting foreign fellows and acquaintances throw the FAQ “Where can I buy souvenirs in Manila?” They would appreciate the gesture—and maybe even make their own list for when you visit their home court next time.


ayala museum


Ayala Museum Shop

3/F Ayala Museum, Makati Avenue corner Dela Rosa Street, Makati City

Open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Tuesday to Sunday)


Catch the permanent diorama display and current exhibition at the Ayala Museum, and swing by its Museum Shop on the third floor with an offering of exhibition catalogues, art books, Inabel cloths and tapis, Philippine-themed canvas totes, and small handmade gift items such as bright woven fabric coasters from Gifts and Graces, a foundation that promotes fair trade.




The CCP Shop by Archivo 1984

Little Theater Lobby, Cultural Center of the Philippines, CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City


Contact: 622-0473

Instagram: @archivo1984

Open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Tuesday to Sunday)


Archivo 1984, a gallery along Chino Roces Avenue in Makati, has a sister shop at the CCP offering collectibles, art and history titles, rare Philippine vinyl, and home décor from Firma. In the past, they have also mounted a display of vintage and indie movie posters in time for the Cinemalaya Film Festival. Coming from the opposite side of the Metro? Catch a local production on the day of your visit.

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Maria Closa Primitive Arts

1335 A. Mabini Steet, Ermita, Manila


Contact: 0917-831-1958

FB: facebook.com/MariaClosaPrimitiveArtsPH


The second floor of the renovated mansion Casa Tesoro houses the long-time Philippine artifacts collector and enthusiast Maria Closa. The shop has a tightly edited and unique selection of bululsarimanok, religious statues, papier mache molds, textiles, furniture pieces, to name a few—a paean to the rich local craft traditions. It is advisable to allot sufficient time to explore the vignettes and appreciate each piece to get the full experience.  





Click here for a list of branches


FB: facebook.com/papemelroti


Papemelroti was already around long before recycled paper and rustic handmade décor became on-trend. It has become a favorite stop for family-friendly stationery and gift items. Recommend this to foreigner friends looking for a wide array of inexpensive, heartfelt postcards, notebooks, tabletop and wall décor, and accessories. Papemelroti’s collaboration with Human Nature—a line of coin bank dolls made of used shampoo bottles—is particularly interesting.




The Manila Collectible Co.

Chamber 8, Fort Santiago, Intramuros, Manila

Contact: 230-9710

Facebook: facebook.com/manilacollectible

Open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Take a break from a morning or afternoon stroll in Intramuros with a pit stop at this shop filled with colorful banig and malong, ethnic attire, handwoven textiles, jars, local and organic food items, and toiletries such as Tsaa Laya pandan herbal tea and The Tropical Shop calamansi soap. The Manila Collectible Co. also offers heritage tours and T’Boli and Bagobo weaving classes taught by indigenous weavers.



The Papier Tole Shop

General Luna Street, Intramuros, Manila


This little shop near NCCA and Barbara’s is as quaint and unaffected as it can get (they don’t even have online presence yet!). To some, their shelves could use a bit of sprucing up, though the hodgepodge is also what makes the space candidly charming. Never mind the imported teenybopper whatnot and just focus on their papier tole of retro Manila streetscapes and landmarks, Philippine-themed stationery, and miniature bikes.






Facebook: facebook.com/echostore


EchoStore can be counted on to stock up on ingenious local products under its house brand and from many different independent labels and artisans across the country. They have staples like rice and coffee, and exciting offerings such as the ensaymada-flavored ice cream and a loot bag filled with pili nuts and cracking tools. They have branches in Salcedo Village in Makati, Podium Mall in Ortigas, Serendra in BGC, Centris in Quezon City, as well as in Antipolo, Davao, and Cebu.




Team Manila

Click here for a list of branches


Instagram: @teammanila


Team Manila is a pioneer in branding Manila and Pinoy pop culture elements as fun and cool through graphic shirts and lanyards with clever quips and icons. Though they still have a slew of cool shirts, their product lines have expanded to include stationery, caps, bags, and even lighters (in collaboration with Clipper) and a coloring book.



Linya Linya


FB: facebook.com/anglinyalinya

IG: @linyalinya


Since hugot lines are laced with Filipino humor and their meanings may be lost on foreigners (with the exception of such lines as “It ain’t over till it’s hangover”), go with your guests when they drop by this store to provide some instant interpretation—and watch them grin, giggle, or guffaw. Aside from UP Town Center, Linya Linya also recently opened a branch at Market Market in Bonifacio Global City.





Click here for a list of branches


Facebook: www.facebook.com/artworktshirts


Pinoy kids who grew up in the '90s should easily recognize the quirky shirts, bags, and pins of the local brand Artwork. To this day, the shop still produces fun designs, which include themes like Filipino heroes and summer destinations in the Philippines. They’ve also added notebooks and stocking stuffers like coin purses and patches to their offerings.

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