Trawling for Bargains in Greenhills Market


Shopping at Greenhills, Manila

Whole frog purse, anyone?

I’ve been to Greenhills enough now to start feeling more comfortable in its giant maze. Its still organized chaos in there, but a least I’m starting to notice the “organized” bit, and its less scary as the jigsaw puzzle pieces that make up the layout are starting to come together in my mind.

If you don’t know Greenhills, its a giant covered market with distinct sections selling a wide variety of stuff. There’s the clothing section specializing in “knock offs” of everything.  There’s the shoe section, the handbag section…and of course, the best known section: pearls (which are not knock offs, by the way).

Greenhills was the first stop on Paul and Nikki’s packed 8-day tour of The Philippines, as they came out to visit over Christmas.  It was a lively first stop and they did very well, especially considering the jetlag and mental overload of stepping out on to the street of Manila for the first time.

Buying pearls at Greenhills market manila

Nikki browses the choices….Look at the unbrindled enthusiasm (or is that avarice?) in her eyes!

Pearls from Greenhills

Pearls, pearls and more pearls

There’s just so much stuff! Shop fast and hard, and live to shop another day!

Greenhills market stalls

What a warren! You could get lost down there!

Greenhills Tshirts

Hairy Potter.. get it?…..took me a minute….

Sign Language: The Miniature Store


Mini 2oz bleach next to mega bottle

Its a consistent theme here:  the missing middle.  You see it most starkly in the striking contrast between rich and poor, and the lack of a very little in between.  The wealth disparity and missing middle class are reflected in so many experiences here:  very low end places to eat or shop, or very expensive alternatives instead.  Not so much in the middle. You can buy jumbo-sized or mini-sized versions of just about anything depending on the size of your wallet.  Robert dubbed the local 7-11 as “the miniature store” as the only sell mini everything…  Occasionally, like here, you see the jumbo and mini side by side and, at least to me, its symbolic of The Philippines itself.