By JOHN LEGASPI
Images by NOEL PABALATE
Known as the Garments Capital of the Philippines, the town of Taytay, Rizal has made a mark on the clothing industry through its famous Taytay Tiangge.
A shopper’s haven filled with clothes for as low as P25, Taytay Tiangge rose to popularity back in 2014. “Before, Taytay was known for two industries. There was the woodwork factory where men created windows, handicrafts, and furniture,” Eleno Tolentino, assistant to the mayor on Political and Economic concerns, tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “The other is the garment industry where the women sew and produce clothes.”
Taytay is home to many tiangges such as the Bagpi Garment Center, Igpai Garment Center, MySeoul, Freedom Bazaar, All Star Tiangge, EMF, Octagon Fashion Strip, and the Taytay Mega Tiangge. Housing more than 6,000 sellers, whose ages range from 19 to 68, Taytay aims not just to provide a safe place for local business owners to create sustainable means of livelihood, but to be the leader in the garment industry of the country.
Here’s what you need to know when going to Taytay’s Tiangges:
Know the tiangge’s schedule.
According to the local government and market sellers, it is best to visit Taytay on Mondays and Thursdays, as most of the stalls are open on those days. Every tiangge has its own schedule. Most are closed on Wednesdays, and weekends are expected to be full of customers, so schedule your shopping accordingly.
Prepare the budget you’re willing to spend.
A little money can go a long way at the tiangges. With low prices, and a variety of stores to choose from, one might get overwhelmed with the shopping and might end up overspending. Proper budgeting, as well as planning what items one needs, is among the measures necessary to have a smart shopping experience at the tiangges.
Debit card or credit cards are close to being useless.
There are no ATMs near the tiangge. So if you’re not the type who like to walk under the sun, then better prepare your cash before going there. And yes, merchants only accept cash, not credit cards.
Carry only the essentials.
Must-bring items at the tiangge are ecobags (let’s keep our shopping green), wallet and cellphone in your bag, water to quench your thirst, and umbrella to protect you from the sun and sudden rain. The tiangges are safe and guarded by the Philippine National Police and the Municipal Public Safety Office. But it doesn’t hurt to be extra cautious, and protect things that might get stolen from you.
Don’t haggle too much.
Most of the sellers at the tiangges are locals of Taytay, and the products they’re selling are priced fairly. Let’s support these small businesses by paying them their product’s worth.
Special thanks to the Roderick Santos of Tourism Office, Mark Jay Valdez of Public Information Office of Taytay, and the office of Mayor George Ricardo Gacula II.