Dapitan Arcade became a big part of my movie and TV production days as well as my visual merchandise era. It served as my always reliable wingman and best friend when I needed to get props, set decorations, and window display items with a limited budget.
But this decor paradise is not just for professional stylists and decorators. If you like to decorate and design your living space, I bet you are familiar with it. Anyone looking for fair quality items is welcome! All you need is a good eye and lots of time! Good eye because you will be bombarded by a gazillion options. And a lot of time, because, well, it’s easy not to realize how many hours you’ve burned to jump from one stall to another!
Dapitan Arcade is one of the most popular places to get decoration, furniture and other crafts in Metro Manila. But it is especially known for its crowded options for Christmas ornaments. Of course, there are other products, including lighting or lamps, kitchen utensils and utensils, items that look vintage, 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’re one of the curious and this is your first time going here, here are some of the things you will find and what to expect when you visit Dapitan Arcade.
WHAT IS COVERED IN THIS GUIDE?
Dapitan Arcade is located at # 39 Dapitan Street corner Kanlaon Street, Barangay Sta. Teresita, Quezon City.
It 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 large portion of their factory surplus, export overrun or surplus. That is why it is sometimes called fall down.
The stores will then sell these export quality items at 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 developed into an inclusive surplus shopping 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 transport or driving your own car.
If you come from anywhere near EDSA or easy access to any MRT station:
- Take the MRT to Quezon Avenue Station.
- Drive a jeepney on the way to 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 drive a jeepney en route to DAPITAN.
If you drive your own car, you can just use your Waze or Google Maps for directions. It will also let you know the live traffic situation.
For those who bring their own cars, designated parking spaces are available, but you need to be there very early to get a slot.
Otherwise you can only find a spot on the side of the road. There are locals who will offer to find you a parking space and guard your car for a fee.
Main Dapitan Arcade Building
8:00 – 19:00
Monday – Sunday
Outside tents / stalls
07:00 – 22:00
Monday – Sunday
Note: These are just the usual opening hours. The opening time and closing time may differ per tent / stall.
Early morning. Go there as much as possible early in the morning when the crowds are small and the sun is not too harsh.
We arrived there around 11:00 and there were already quite a few people. The volume of the crowd gradually increased near lunch. The peak hours or the busiest time is in the afternoon.
In the past, you just went in and out of the main Dapitan Arcade building anywhere. During these extraordinary times, however, the designated entrance to the main building was on the Dapitanstraat lace.
- Register first. It’s better if you have your own pen.
- Next, the guard will check your temperature.
- Start exploring! Do not forget to practice proper social distancing.
If you go out and you have to go in again, just go back to the same entrance and tell the guard that you have already logged in before so you do not have to register again.
From the moment you arrive, you will be bombarded with various kinds of items. It’s an overwhelming experience. Items sold differ. There are stalls that sell the same stuff over the years, but there are also those that exchange items or change their exhibits depending on the season. Others just add seasonal items to their regular products.
Here are some of the things you will see while exploring. For the prices you can visit Dapitan Arcade’s Official Website.
Other items include:
- Garden items (pots, tools, etc.)
- Glassware (mugs, beer mugs, specialty glasses, etc.)
- Lighting and lamps
- Religious performances
- Wall decorations (watches, picture frames, creative nameplates and posters, etc.)
- Decorative pots
- Vintage-looking items
- Wind bell
- Draft decorations (music boxes, bells, keychains, collectibles, etc.)
Planning to go to Dapitan soon? Here are some tips that may be helpful to you:
- Go there early to avoid the crowds. We’re still in a pandemic, so if you really want to get here, make the effort to get up early. Honestly, there were moments when people did not practice social distances, especially on narrow paths and in crowded places during busy hours.
- You can negotiate the price, especially if you are buying in bulk. But remember that prices are already cheap, so do not negotiate too much. The businesses must also survive. Let’s help each other, especially in these difficult times.
- Buy around. If you have time, first search for items and compare prices before making your final purchase. Do not buy on the spot. More often than not, you will find the same items in other stalls / shops.
- EXPLORE! Again, there are many other stalls and shops besides the main indoor market. In fact, there is a new larger building next door. The entrance is along Kanlaon Street. There are also stalls and tents along the side streets around the area.
- Before leaving, make sure you check the items for scratches or defects. We noticed items that had a few minor hits, but they were quickly replaced when we asked.
- Please handle the items carefully when checking them out. Put them back exactly where you picked them up.
- When bringing your car, do not leave your valuables and accessories inside. Place them in the trunk or bring them along. But…
- Secure your valuables. Always keep an eye on them.
- Bring sunscreen such as shades, a hat or an umbrella if you plan to explore the stalls and shops outside the main building. The sun can be cruel in the afternoon.
- If you have your own reusable shopping bags, bring them along to reduce the consumption of plastic bags.