> tianGge / diviSoria

With Christmas season looming, tiangges have been sprouting all over. Tiangges, or bazaars/flea markets are definite crowd-drawers for the opportunity they give for some Christmas shopping that does away with hopping from one mall to another, or worse, braving the frenzied crowds in Divisoria and Tutuban.

Honestly, I’m not much of a tiangge person. It is more convenient to shop where there are dressing rooms, credit card consoles and the guarantee of a return policy. Of course products at a tiangge have lower prices precisely because of the inconvenience, but sometimes the quality is questionable, and, I’d rather go to Divisoria.

But I plunge headlong and experience the tiangge rush, gladly, twice a year, during the third week of November. It is fortunate that both the tiangge I go to are held during the same week, and during the happy time when the Christmas bonus is safely in my pockets, albeit raring to be spent.

I make exception and go to these bazaars because of several reasons. First, convenience. Second, most of the vendors in these tiangge are present every year. So I’ve acquired some suki, and I’ve developed some trust as to the quality of their products. I still smile every time I see the tie-dyed dusters for DJ- bought at one of these bazaars for barya, as they have survived about seven years of being tossed and stretched by the washing machine and still manages to be decently wearable, not having faded at all. And a friend, who marks his birthday in November, still raves about a long-sleeved polo from the tiangge which I gave him as a birthday present some five years ago.

Third, aside from the novelty items, the tiangges mostly offer products that are real necessities. Fourth, familiarity. The products on sale are the same every year, with changes only on the style front, following current trends. And fifth, most of the vendors do not have stalls elsewhere, or are located so out of the way.

So I actually look forward to these yearly events, anticipating what to buy and limiting my shopping during the rest of the year for the household items that I could buy, at steal prices, at the tiangges at least for inaanak’s and some pinsan’s gifts.

And yep! When I got home this morning, I joined Roan and Kuya Resty in braving the crowd of Divisoria. He’s getting married this January so his invitations are being readied. See how we enjoyed the day despite the heat and the crowd?

Panalo diba?


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