Dapitan Arcade became a huge part of my film and TV production days as well as my visual merchandising stint. It served as my ever-reliable wingman and best friend when I needed to source props, set decorations, and window display elements with a limited budget.
But this decor paradise isn’t just for professional stylists and decorators. If you are into decorating and designing your living space, I bet you are familiar with it. Anyone looking for reasonably-priced quality items is welcome! All you need is a good eye and a lot of time! Good eye, because you’ll be bombarded by a gazillion options. And a lot of time, because, well, it’s easy to not notice how many hours you have burned hopping from one stall to another!
Dapitan Arcade is one of the most popular places to source decoration, furniture pieces, and other crafts in Metro Manila. But it’s chiefly known for its overflowing options for Christmas ornaments. Of course, there are other products including lighting or lamps, kitchen tools and utensils, vintage-looking items, picture frames, trinkets, and whatnot. But what attracts loyal customers and curious people is the relatively low price, cheaper than the average market rates.
If you are one of the curious peeps and it’s your first time going here, here are some of the stuff you’ll find and what to expect when you visit Dapitan Arcade.
WHAT’S COVERED IN THIS GUIDE?
Dapitan Arcade is located at #39 Dapitan Street corner Kanlaon Street, Barangay Sta. Teresita, Quezon City.
This is strategically located near the border of Manila and Quezon City, marked by the Welcome Rotonda marble monument. This is the area where manufacturers unload big bulk of their factory excess, export overruns, or surplus. Hence, it is sometimes called bagsakan.
The shops will then sell these export-quality items for a price lower than the market average. Win-win!
Originally, Dapitan Arcade mainly refers to the old building on the corner of Dapitan Street and Kanlaon Street. But it eventually evolved into an inclusive surplus shop community that covers the main building and the surrounding tents, stalls, and even other buildings in the area.
Dapitan Arcade is very accessible whether you are taking the public mode of transportation or if you are driving your own car.
If you’re coming from anywhere near EDSA or easy access to any MRT Station:
- Take the MRT to Quezon Avenue Station.
- Ride a jeepney bound for Quiapo.
- Get off at Burger King on the corner of Quezon Avenue and Kanlaon Street, just before you reach Welcome Rotonda.
- From Burger King, you can reach Dapitan Arcade on foot in 7-10 minutes.
From many parts of Manila City, simply ride a jeepney bound for DAPITAN.
If you are driving your own car, you can just use your Waze or Google Maps for directions. This will also let you know the live traffic situation.
For those bringing their own cars, designated parking slots are available, but you need to be there really early to get a slot.
Otherwise, you can just find a spot on the side of the road. There are locals who will offer to find you a parking spot and look after your car for a fee.
Main Dapitan Arcade Building
8:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Monday – Sunday
7:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Monday – Sunday
Note: This is just the usual opening hours. The opening time and closing time may vary per tent/stall.
Early morning. As much as possible, go there early in the morning when the crowds are small and the sun is not too harsh.
We arrived there at around 11 AM and there were quite a lot of people already. The volume of the crowd was steadily increasing near lunchtime. The peak hours or the busiest time is in the afternoon.
In the past, you just enter and exit the main Dapitan Arcade building anywhere. However, during these extraordinary times, the designated entrance to the main building is on the Dapitan Street side.
- Register first. Better if you have your own pen.
- Next, the guard will check your temperature.
- Start exploring! Don’t forget to practice proper social distancing.
If you exit and you need to reenter, just go back to the same entrance and tell the guard you have already signed up before so you won’t need to register again.
From the moment you arrive, you will be bombarded with various kinds of items. It’s an overwhelming experience. Items sold vary. There are stalls that sell the same stuff over the years, but there are also those that switch items or modify their displays depending on the season. Others just add seasonal items to their regular products.
Here are some of the things you’ll see while exploring. For the prices, you may visit Dapitan Arcade’s official website.
Other items include:
- Garden Items (pots, tools, etc.)
- Glassware (goblet, beer mugs, specialty glasses, etc.)
- Lightings and Lamps
- Religious Displays
- Wall Decors (clocks, picture frames, creative signage and posters, etc.)
- Decorative Jars
- Vintage-looking Items
- Wind Chimes
- Concept Decors (music boxes, bells, keyholders, collectibles, etc.)
Planning to go to Dapitan soon? Here are some tips that might be helpful to you:
- Go there early to avoid the crowd. We are still in a pandemic, so if you really want to go here, make the effort to wake up early. Honestly, there were moments when people failed to practice social distancing, particularly on narrow paths and at crowded places during busy hours.
- You can negotiate the price, especially if you are buying in bulk. But remember that the prices are already cheap, so don’t haggle too much. The businesses need to survive too. Let’s help each other, especially during these hard times.
- Shop around. If you have time, canvass items and compare prices first before you do your final purchase. Don’t buy on the spot. More often than not, you will find the same items in other stalls/shops.
- EXPLORE! Again, there are lots of other stalls and shops aside from the main indoor market. In fact, there’s a new bigger building adjacent to it. The entrance is along Kanlaon Street. There are also stalls and tents lining the side streets around the area.
- Before leaving, make sure to check the items for scratches or defects. We spotted items that had some minor hits but they were quickly replaced when we asked.
- Please handle the items with care when checking them out. Put them back exactly where you picked them up.
- If you are bringing your car, don’t leave your valuables and gadgets inside. Place them in the trunk or bring them with you. But …
- Secure your valuables. Always keep an eye on them.
- Bring sun protection like shades, a hat or an umbrella if you plan to explore the stalls and shops outside the main building. The sun can be brutal in the afternoon.
- If you have your own reusable shopping bags, bring them to lessen the consumption of plastic bags.
2021 • 12 • 05