Bambang Ukay Ukay Empire


A friend of mine recently gave birth at Metropolitan Hospital in Masangkay. I was on my way to visit her, taking the LRT to Bambang station. Ambling away towards my destination, I can't help but think about Bambang Market which is known for being the original ukay-ukay destination in Manila - long before Baguio.

Ukay-ukay (read: oo-kai oo-kai) is taken from the Ilocano word for hukay (to dig). These are shops that sell second hand clothes, originally displayed in huge piles where buyers are challenged to look for great finds by digging through them. So the term is literally translated as 'dig-dig'! Nowadays, though, the clothes are typically displayed on hanger racks making them a lot more easier to browse.

This is the part where I confess my vow not to buy new clothes again. ever.

Okay, it's not exactly a vow, but I've come to love the thrill of thrift shopping and finding one-of-a-kind pieces which I'd never, in a million years, find in SM. So, it's not an exaggeration when I say 85% of my clothes are thrifted.

I reach the Bambang-Masangkay intersection and there it is, the famous Bambang market!

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I spend about an hour inside, checking out the merch. I wasn't in the mood to buy anything but I found out that the prices were pretty much the same as what I would find in my neighborhood ukay shop. Probably what sets this apart is the fact that the bulk packages of clothes that arrive from the port are taken here for storage. You can buy them at P1200-P6000 per bundle (depending on weight, what the package contains and where it was imported from).

Next time, I'll share some tips on how to score great stuff from ukay shops.

After that brief visit to Bambang, I dust my clothes off and wash my hands twice to prepare for the first day of Baby Annika's room-in with her mum.

A sweet baby girl was delivered by a nurse. She was one calm baby. I was reminded of how opposite my boy was when he was first brought to my hospital room. I can't wait till she grows old enough to play with my kid!

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