“You Haven’t Been to Manila Until You’ve Been to Greenhills!”

That is what everyone told me. I can’t say I’ve been to Manila until I have been to Greenhills. So I’ve lived in Makati for a little over a month now. Now I can officially say I’ve been to Manila because I’ve been to Greenhills. The famous shopping mall in Metro Manila where you can buy jewelery (especially pearls), Knockoff designer purses, shoes, clothes, phones, bootleg DVDs, etc. It is the place to stock up on souvenirs and gifts for all your friends and family back home.


Greenhills is bargain central. Never pay the price that they first tell you. You always bargain. I had learned a few words in Tagalog that I thought would be useful on this trip.

Macano = How much?

Mahal (exaggerate the “hal”)= Too much

I still can’t remember discount LOL but I need to make sure that I learn that one for next time. My friend from work went with me for my first experience. She was able to speak to the vendors on my behalf even though I did use some of my Tagalog as well. When you speak Tagalog to the vendors they seem to give you a better deal. Also, the more you buy the bigger the discount 🙂

*Cultural Moment*

I bought a purse and was the first customer. In Filipino culture if you’re the first customer they see this as luck and for hopefully a good sales day for them. You often get a discount for being the first customer (I’m always down for a deal). When I gave the lady my money she took the money and touched it over the rest of her purses and rubbed the money all over her body. The hubby had told me he had read about this, but I thought it would only happen in the provinces. I guess my assumptions were incorrect.

It’s hard to describe the Greenhills shopping experience without being there and seeing it for yourself, but it is basically like a big indoor flea market. People beckoning for you to come buy their products and telling you they will give you a good deal. One lady said “you promised you would come back and buy from me” when I passed her shop. It was just like being in Tijuana 🙂

I realized I spent a crap load of money in a short amount of time as I saw so many things I liked. There were a few shops that I really liked that I will definitely shop at again. Let’s just hope I can find them in the maze of vendors that is Greenhills.

Since most of the items I purchased were gifts for friends and family that read this blog you only get a sneak preview of the items. I did take a picture of some jade bracelets I bought for myself though 🙂 



4 thoughts on ““You Haven’t Been to Manila Until You’ve Been to Greenhills!”

  1. It’s nice to know that you’re enjoying Manila. How much is actually “Magkano” but you were close anyway. hehe. 🙂 And the superstition regarding you being the first to buy from a store is called “Buena Mano” I think it’s a belief from Spain. Here are some more shopping tips/translations:

    Ate (pronounce a as a in apple and te as te in tell) – Big sister
    Kuya (pronounce ku as koo and ya as yah) – Big brother

    we use Ate/Kuya when talking to salespeople instead of Miss/Ma’am/Mister/Sir

    Tawad – Discount

    If you want a discount, ask it this way: Wala na tawad, ate/kuya? (No more discount?)
    or if you want them to give you a discount, say this: Ate/Kuya, Bigyan mo ko nang tawad ha. (Give me a discount, ok.)

    Another tip is when the saleslady gives you a price, bargain for half the price (sometimes this works) or meet half way.

    Hope this was helpful. can’t wait for your next post. 🙂

    • Thanks for the tips. For me it’s hard to know how to pronounce the words if i just see it written. I’m sure I would butcher it if I tried saying “Ate, Bigyan mo ko nang tawad ha.” I can say “ate” though, but the rest, I’m sure I would be in trouble. I will try my best. I’m trying to learn a word a day. I learned two yesterday, kasi and parang, so I’m giving myself a break today LOL

      Thanks again!

      • haha! well, good job then! 🙂 don’t worry I’m sure you’ll get a hang of it! enjoy your stay in the Philippines! Don’t let the language barrier keep you from having a good time. Haha! 🙂

  2. reading this made me smile. I’m a Filipino in Canada and I do miss shopping in Greenhills. You can’t find malls like that here in Canada. Glad that you enjoyed that experience 🙂

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