Bargain hunters to flock to Divisoria, Baclaran as Christmas Season fast approaches

By Priam F. Nepomuceno & Christopher Lloyd T. Caliwan

MANILA, (PNA/News Feature) — With the “ber” months now at hand and the Yuletide Season just a few knocks away, Filipino bargain hunters are expected to make an exodus at the various malls in Divisoria and Baclaran that are known to sell cheap but quality goods such as clothes, shoes and even Christmas fares.

Long-time patrons are convinced that items sold in the above-mentioned establishments are cheaper by as much as 40 to 50 percent compared to the other well known malls in Metro Manila.

“Polo shirts (in Divisoria and Baclaran) that are normally sold for P500 in well known malls can be bought for as low as P200 or P150 depending on your ability to bargain with the sales staff,” Eva Alejo, 47, a resident of Barangay Muzon, Malabon said in Filipino.

Aside from shirts, leather and rubber shoes are also for the picking, provided that one is patient enough to walk through the maze of stalls where they are located.

Alejo said that she is now saving money so that she can buy Christmas clothing for her grandchildren.

She added that she will drop by these malls within November or the early weeks of December.

Another bargain hunter, Catherine Encarnacion, also of Malabon City, said that what she likes about these malls is the preponderance of cheap electronic appliances like DVDs and cellphones which are usually sold at very fair prices.

“Prices are usually 50 percent lower than those being sold in high-end malls and the quality is not that bad either,” she stressed.

And for someone working overtime to make both ends meet, Encarnacion said that this is godsend.

Some stalls in Divisoria and Baclaran are also known to sell copies of “designer or signature clothes” 70 to 50 percent lower than the actual cost of the legitimate product.

And since some Filipinos are very brand conscious, the trade in these items are usually brisk despite the risk to the stall owners caught selling such items.

Violators are usually charged with trademark Infringement under the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines or Republic Act 8293

Recently, P20-million worth of fake “Lee” pants were seized by operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation-Intellectual Property Rights Division (NBI-IPRD) during operations in Pasay City last Sept. 6.

This is equivalent to around 13,759 pairs of fake “Lee” pants. These items were seized from the two stockrooms of Willie Ang located at One Shopping Center and Khatar Region, Kapitan Ambo, Pasay City and showroom and two stockrooms of Willie Cheng located at New Galleria Baclaran Shopping Mall and at Park Avenue Shoe Plaza (HSP2), Park Avenue, also in Pasay City.

The government is expected to crack down hard on stall owners selling “counterfeit goods” in the coming Yuletide Season due to complaints raised by manufacturers who are claiming that the distribution and selling of such items are detrimental to their product.