One way of being wiser is also being practical.
A couple of days ago, we (my wife and my daughter) decided that we will go shopping this weekend in the bargain capital of the Philippines: Divisoria. We wanted to have our advance Christmas shopping to somehow beat the holiday rush. However, I am having second thoughts to go there knowing fully well what to expect; traffic, congested places, crowd of people, etc.
I actually grew up in Manila and occasionally goes to Divisoria to buy toys. Since relocating to the southern part of Manila a decade ago, I haven’t been to that place for quite a long time. So it seem that I would be in for a challenge especially for my daughter since this will be her first time to experience a very crowded place.
Saturday came and off we went. Since I’m no longer familiar with the place, we initially planned to bring the car and park somewhere in SM Mall of Asia, and take a taxi to take us to the popular 168 Shopping Mall. Then it came to me that we’re going to Divisoria so we can purchase items at a lower cost so we can save a little and put those savings in our investment fund, so why not use a much lower cost of transportation. We thought of taking the train of the Philippine National Railways (PNR). A train trip from Alabang to Tutuban only costs P25.00. There are three of us, so it’s only a total of P75.00 and P150.00 for a round trip. That’s nothing compared if we use the car which entailed gas and toll fee which will approximately cost us P1,000.00.
So we took the train trip and generally its a pleasant experience. By the way, that’s the first time we boarded a PNR train. It’s a one hour trip from Alabang to Tutuban and there are I think 16 stop overs. Expect the train to be filled up with passengers starting from the EDSA/Magallanes station so you will be needing a certain amount of patience from thereon.
Upon reaching Tutuban station, we took the tricycle and asked the driver to bring us to the 168 mall. As expected, the place is a big house full of people. People who also wanted to beat the holiday rush.
I came to Divisoria with only one thing in mind, to buy toys to add up to my collection. For me, a middle aged man who still has passion for toys is normal as long as I don’t play with it. My wife and daughter have different things in mind so I let them stroll around the mall and look for their own stuffs to buy. However, I got disappointed when I only saw a handful of toy shops. I am expecting that the toy shops would be the same with that of Greenhills where toy shops are just adjacent to each other and you will have a hard time buying stuffs you want because there are lots of stores to choose from.
Suddenly, there was a lone toy store which caught my attention. They didn’t have much to offer but I was able to buy some. I bought four Dragonball Z figurines and it costs me only P1,700.00 at P425.00 each. I find the price reasonable since I saw the same items sold in a mall in Alabang at around P600-P700. So its a good deal.
My wife and daughter were able to buy items they wanted without so much dent to our budget which is great. 🙂 Some are gift items and some items are intended to be sold online.
We’re able to finish our shopping by 2PM and we decided to go back to the train station so we can beat the rush our. At exactly 2:30PM, the train left Tutuban station on our way back to Alabang.
As we reached home, we somehow felt good that we were able to purchase items at considerably low prices. We were able to endure the trip to and from Divisoria without hassle. And maybe one of the most important thing is the first hand experience of our daughter of being exposed to the heart of a very busy district in Manila. But most of all, we savor the rewards of being practical which we can apply to our everyday lives.